I have put a book together to mark a four year period of work that started in 2006. In a way I rather hope it will act as a milestone - the end of one phase and the beginning of another. I have been feeling a need to change, to say more in my work and with the start of the new year, it is on my 'bucket list'! (Ref: a great film starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman).
In other words, until now I have found it hard to focus on what it is that I want my paintings to 'say' about landscape. Yesterday I was walking with a painter friend high up on a ridge in the mountains near my home surrounded by staggering views in every direction. We kept stopping just to breathe in the air, to marvel at the vast landscape of rock under the brilliant blue Mediterranean sky and to listen to the silence that is so special in this part of the world. We had been talking about what my friend was searching for in her work and it was at that moment that I knew what I had to focus on in mine.
I suppose that subconsciously an artist's voice is already expressing something about their feelings when they paint, however what I am looking for is a way to communicate to others a profound love of the natural world that I have had since childhood. It feels particularly important today in light of so many environmental challenges that we are all facing, that I make some small contribution by sharing that sense of wonder, peace, stillness or simply sheer joy of being alive that comes from being somewhere wild and beautiful.
I know I haven't captured those elements to my own satisfaction in my work so far, so this year I'm going for it - I'll share the journey with you as I go along.