As a native of South Yorkshire, I have always had a love of local landscapes, from playing in them as a child to appreciating them when older as I hiked across the hills and moors. Allied to this was a love of drawing and painting, which was encouraged by a gift of oil paints that I used enthusiastically.
Unable to pursue art educationally, I never lost my interest and in mid life returned to my old dream of painting, and an ambition to depict the decaying, deserted pit sites of South Yorkshire in oils. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) by this time, they had been grassed over, regenerated or lying under shopping malls; and in the case of my dad’s old pit, under a Lyons bakery.
Urgently rethinking, I turned my attention to a local beauty spot that I loved and with advice from a friend learned to use acrylics instead of oils because of their quick drying properties. This area, Worsbrough Mill - an old working Mill with its wheel driven from a picturesque stretch of water, became my inspiration for years. As I became familiar with its atmosphere and it’s weather, I produced a series of paintings in a naturalistic style, trying to capture the play of light on leaf and water.
After joining the Art Academy at Redbrick Mill, I widened my horizons, literally, to consider scenes from much walked areas of the Peak District, the Dales, the coast around Flamborough, and even as far abroad as Morocco. My work is now less naturalistic and makes use of a mix of media: acrylics, pastels, crayons - even sand and PVA, and I deploy a range of tools from brushes and knives to sandpaper and wire wool. My approach has become much looser, with more freedom, and moved away from precise description of scenes to attempting to capture the immediacy and the spirit of a landscape and the skies that frame it, so that viewers of the painting might feel they are participants in the natural movement and drama.
mixed media on canvas