I knew from an early age I had the ability to draw, but it was the ability to remember and learn by heart details, that when combined, became the future benchmark of the work I now create.
Coming from a large family of girls, my mum, an excellent seamstress, often told us stories to keep us quiet when she needed to work. I would sit under her sewing table listening attentively to her tales. Her storytelling carried me to a benign world full of hope and love; but sometimes with a foreboding and creeping sadness that lay untold. These stories told and retold as a child helped, in part, to create a palpable and lucid world deciphered only through the use of drawing. Her storytelling always left an ineffaceable impression of enchantment and magic. It seems fitting that my inspiration comes from those early days of listening to my mum.
Painted in oils on canvas my little characters are presented like the typical portrait paintings of old; quite still and ordinary.Yet there is plenty about them that is peculiar. A beguiling charm made all the more apparent by their enigmatic gaze.They are vulnerable in scale, sharing neither their proportions nor their features.Their sizable heads and characteristic hair dominate the canvas,equalled only by the charming nervousness revealed within the peripheral ‘full stop’ eyes that stare blankly back at you.The absence of a mouth perhaps gives you the impression that they are essentially solitary and lonely characters, devoid of communication, but this is not true; they provide a range of sentiments from hope and joy to thoughtfulness and melancholy.
Even as they are being painted, their characters become apparent to me; a snapshot of a moment or a feeling considered.They are in essence a tensely guarded connection to a benign world summoned by the passing of time.
My characters are often simple, if I try to guide too much information into them they become complex and therefore difficult, even for me, to understand. Their personalities and nuances soon become apparent to me as they are being painted. A flick of the paint brush or the eccentricity of the hair can reveal a different character instantly. Perhaps the most appealing of all in my paintings is the fact that the characters can be anyone’s child as whilst definitely having their own individuality; they also, due to the lack of distinguishable features, possess the ability to remind you of someone you know – be it now or in the past.