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I want to create paintings that are life-affirming, pleasurable and comforting. The sensuous appeal of colour inspires me.
I like to work with a variety of themes and media (oil, acrylics, watercolour, gouache, silkscreen, mosaic). My subjects are landscape, still life, pattern and combinations of all three.
Decisions about subject and media are determined by season, place and circumstance. I used to feel that I ought to consciously focus on a particular theme, but I have come to realise that all my work connects in one way or another anyway - either by colour or by the decorative elements.
When I make these works, I am reminded of sewing and embroidery. My interest in pattern stems from a love for Indian miniatures, Islamic Art, and the crafts, music and textiles of Africa. Working with pattern and colour is sheer indulgence - I intend my pattern paintings to provide the kind of sensuous pleasure one gets from handling a piece of lovely fabric.
I like the fact that patterns are "open" and abstract - meaning is suspended. Some of the pattern pieces are purely decorative. Others have meaning embedded, for example It's My Party (title after the song).
At the time I was organising birthday parties for my kids, and there was a lot of "What I want at my party." The painting affirms that I can do what I want to as an artist: I do not have to be very serious and agonise over content in my work.
These are often good sellers, a "bread and butter line". I once set myself the task of recording anything that grew in our garden, and completed sets of very naturalistic watercolour studies of fruit and vegetables in rows.
Water colour studies frequently "feed" other paintings. I completed a laborious study of a basket I bought in Windhoek, Namibia, and later on I started using spirals in my pattern paintings. Some of the spirals stem from basket weaving, others are more like roses or the tendrils of a vine. Sometimes the studies inspire more constructed, flat, geometric works.
Our family goes on camping and hiking trips during the holidays. I like to work "direct" - en plein air - and will sometimes complete a watercolour sketch on site. Once at home, I may use the sketch together with our holiday photographs to make a more developed painting.