Simply put my work can be summed up in a Slim Aarons quote: “attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.’’
I like photographs of leisure scenes like those by Slim Aaron, vintage travel and holiday postcards from the 50s and 60s. I use these kinds of images as well as my own personal bank to make my paintings. I am drawn to the mix of nostalgia and ‘Luxe, calme et volupté’ in these depictions of leisure. Here is a place where people are partly naked, relaxed and often unaware of themselves and being natural.
I don't slavishly copying photos as to me this is most often a banal meaningless practice. I am generally reflecting on a scene, enhancing and manipulating the image from the original source changing it to closer relate to what I think of as a purer more direct feeling about the subject.
The beach scene and other social settings form a backdrop to my own meditation on what constitutes ‘leisure’ time and how within that time and space I can focus more easily and clearly on expressions of social and personal emotional dynamics. In this sense I feel I am more of a traditionalist as I attempt to relate back to painting history and pull away from the other media -film and photo- which ironically inform and are almost always the starting point of my work.
On a formal level I am currently focussed on extending and strengthening my colour palette, for example in many of the scenes I will incorporate primary and complementary colour dynamics - cool versus warm– to create spacial tension the way Richard Diebenkorn was able to so successfully; a large ocean/pool blue or tree green punctuated by a small area of skin tone or a bright red or yellow umbrella or swimming suit.
I find in much of my painting I cannot easily separate nostalgia for a bygone era, the sensual from more specific contemporary iconography of human interaction. I think this makes the subject-matter multi-layered and keeps me interested in making work. Hopefully it makes it more interesting to the viewer as well.