My paintings have always been informed by the Irish landscape and whilst there are subtle references to rocks, bog, sea and sky, you need to take a closer look to appreciate the layers and textures that lie beneath the surface. They are multi-layered, being as much about the medium of paint and the process of painting, as well my interpretation of the landscape.
Working mainly with oils on canvas, I paint in a layering, sketching process. I start by creating a ground with thinned-out washes of oil paint, creating drips and splashes along the way. I tend to work on a number of canvases at the same time, each one feeds the next. With thicker more opaque paint I paint out certain areas, or enhance others, constantly editing, until a composition begins to emerge. I use brushes, rags, my fingers or palettes knives to create soft layers that result in an illusion of texture. These built-up layers eventually result in an abstracted view of the landscape. The more you look at them, the more entities you see, resulting in a different take on it each time.
Titles are very important to my work. Referring to the title subtly opens another facet to the painting that you may not have seen or thought about, and it also allows me to retain a small connection to the work.
I prefer to work on large canvases as this allows me to really explore the capabilities of the paint and push this medium to convey an experience of the landscape around me rather than depicting a landscape that I see.
My most recent body of work delves further into abstraction than before. It explores the landscape of memories, suggesting a sense of place, an atmosphere, or a feeling, rather than depicting a particular scene. When I paint I am immersed in the painterly experience. By combining my technical skills as a painter together with my emotional response to the landscape brings an immersive and reflective quality to my work, for both the artist and observer.