Travelling to different destinations is one of the elements that has recently allowed my work to develop in new and exciting directions. When exploring a new location I take notes and make some very simple drawings. I find it also helps to know as much about the history and culture of that particular place too.
Last year my time spent in Greece allowed me to explore new and exciting locations such as Paros and Mykonos. If possible I like to spend some time in museums. Here I can learn something about the history of the area. This gives me a much greater understanding of my subject. Somehow this seems to come through the layers of information I have in my head when painting in the studio. Time was spent studying marble statues and ceramics. The ancient city of Delos was a place that held a particularly fascination for me. It once had a population of 33,000 and now the elegant marble columns stand against the vivid blue of the Aegean.
On quite a regular basis I also stumbled upon ancient doors and there was something about them I really connected with. They had these incredibly beautiful surfaces. Paint weathered by sun year after year. Some had addition pieces of wood nailed to them. The textures and colours stayed with me and helped to influence the way paint was applied back in the studio.
Abstraction allows me to incorporate all of these influences, sometimes in a subtle way, at other times more obvious. It is only through the process of applying paint that I can really rediscover the sensations I experienced when I was physically there.