Where did the inspiration come from for this piece?
Tomorrow is a Long Time was painted after spending time in Prussia Cove in Cornwall. Even though I live in London, I try to go to Cornwall for 4 or 5 weeks a year. Last September I stayed in a cottage on the cliffs in Mounts Bay that had amazing views of the sea and I spent every night watching the vivid sunsets over Mounts Bay. Cornwall is one of my favourite places in the whole world to visit and I love to watch the light change on the sea, I find it quite magical. I am endlessly fascinated by the horizon, not only because of its infinite beauty but because of what it symbolises. Sometimes that manifests itself as uncertainty and darkness but in this painting, it evokes positivity and hope. Tomorrow is a Long Time is full of fire and passion and the joy of the sunset. Music is integral to my work and my paintings are always named from song titles & lyrics. I think what I listen to while I’m painting influences how the picture turns out. While I’ve been painting this Autumn I’ve been listening to a lot of Sandy Denny’s music and this painting is titled from her song “Tomorrow is a Long Time”. I think Sandy Denny’s dreamy and powerful folk music contributes to the ethereal yet vivid quality of the painting and those lyrics are perfect to express the timeless feeling of the end of the day.
What is the creative process when creating your abstract art?
I paint abstract seascapes from memory, not life and my starting point is often the image of a place that it has been in my mind’s eye. I want to evoke a sense of place however abstract the work becomes. Sometimes my pantings turn out to be more figurative. I often like to take an idea and see how it travels across a series of canvases, each one evolving into something new. Last Summer I painted 10 paintings from the memory of one incredible sunset in Cornwall, and they were all different.
I often paint with my hands and with sponges rather then brushes. I paint with oil on canvas and usually use the paint straight from the tube and mix it on the canvas with my fingers. I love bright pure colour and want my paintings to be vivid and alive.
I always listen to music when painting and feel that this has a strong influence on the finished work. I feel that a snippet of a song lyric as a title gives the painting extra depth. Lyrics often jump out at me when I’m painting and seem to fit the artwork perfectly. I often get lost in the music and don’t realise where the time goes!
How long would this work have taken you?
Tomorrow is a Long Time evolved over a few weeks. I wanted to build up the layers to make it textured but also retain an ethereal quality. I had to leave it to dry for a few days in between layers. When I finish a painting it usually takes a week to dry and then I varnish it to protect it and give it a glossy finish.