The main theme of this part of my work, as it has now evolved, is the depiction of the beauty in nature, particularly that of flowers and plants.
That beauty exists in nature is undeniable, but it is not just about nature in full bloom, that is too obvious and superficial. I want to challenge the accepted idea of beauty, by exploring and showing that there can equally be beauty at the point where age has started to set in and the plant is decayed and dying. It is not merely a visual thing but also something that elicits an emotional response, an understanding of the transience of things.
That emotional response in me is crucial in determining the subject to be painted. Having then observed it in great detail, I will photograph it to preserve the moment, which could disappear in a moment.
The Daffodil paintings were deliberately painted in an'Old Master' style, using varnish and glazes in the paint to produce a glossy surface, on panels coated with several layers of gesso prepared in the traditional way.
But rather than paint the flowers in their full bloom I have chosen to show them just before they wilt and die, but hopefully am able to show that beauty still exists, even in that state
In the sunflower and cornflower paintings, the essentially autumnal, monochrome colours have been deliberately chosen to engage with this notion of decline, of beauty in decay; the Anemone is likewise painted with a restricted palette. In so doing, I hope to focus the viewer's attention on the aesthetic qualities of form and colour, on the beauty of the object as a thing in itself, rather than just depicting an image of a flower.
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