As a child, fantasy and science-fiction stories and magic captured my imagination. Now an adult living in an all too real world, I still long for surreal and magical possibilities. Although I am visually in love with our world, from the colours of a glorious sunset to the muted shades, textures and shapes of age and decay, I still feel compelled to create my own worlds on canvas with acrylic paint. Over the years my vision has moved from abstracted landscapes, skyscapes and non-objective works to my current series of cityscapes.
My paintings of ideal landscapes in earlier years have given way to the reality that half of the world’s population lives in cities. Hopes and dreams are trying to survive in concrete towers and wooden hovels. My surreal cities are peopled with glowing structures and infinite possibility. At first glance the city looks as if it is situated on water and has a mirror reflection. A closer look, however, reveals that the city’s horizon line is sitting on a dimensional plane that reflects a different reality. Each city says that there is more going on here than meets the eye and that anything is possible.
My painting technique is much looser than might be expected when viewing the finished painting. Each painting has its roots in a specific time and place but not what one might imagine. The time and place begins with what I am feeling, which colours I need to see and how my body wants to move as I paint. After mixing the background colours and layering them on the canvas, I choose colours for the buildings to contrast with and complement the background. Using the limited palette of colours I’ve chosen, I pour out fluid acrylic paints with loose gestures and proceed to “sculpt” buildings with colour and various tools. I reserve my brushes for the final steps of finishing the piece when line and structure take over. I don’t use visual references or sketch out buildings in advance. Too much planning limits freedom and risk-taking, which are an important part of my process. My greatest joy in painting is the act of creating in the moment. For me, that is when the magic happens.