My paintings each deal with one moment, one story, or one emotion only.
It all really started with a piece I painted called 'Queue'. It was about a group of people standing (queuing) at a bus stop. I used to do a lot of that back in the UK. I always thought it was strange and a little sad that although we were all there huddled together in the cold, there was never any recognition of each other. It was as though if you did actually have the nerve to break the ice and start a conversation, the other person would simply jump backwards, startled, and say "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't see you there."
I didn't really have a style at the time. I just saw these curious figures in my head and wanted to paint them, just for fun. And so after I had finished it I was left wondering what to paint next, and in what style? But emboldened by my first attempt, I decided to further see what would happen with these characters I just created. Who were they? what were they to each other? where would they all be in 20 years from now?
'Queue' became the nexus for my whole style. I have since taken all of these characters and continued them in other paintings. Some as couplets, and some as a whole series of events throughout their lives. You can flip the pages back and forwards, like a photo album of their lives.
In fact, two of the characters on the painting I mentioned at the beginning, are older now. You can see them in a piece called The 'Telly'. But behind them, on the wall, is the painting of them from all those years ago........'Queue".
For my current series 'The Animorphia Collection', I'm fascinated with the old, stained and aged Victorian and Edwardian photos I see. I look at old reference photos, imagine what sort of animals they would be. Then compose a hybrid of the references. I often change poses and back grounds. But I try not to alter the features of the animals expression. But often, the animal seems to give it a greater sense of humanity than the actual person posing. I sometimes finish the piece with a selection of aging techniques. Everything from tea, coffee, soy sauce, lemon juice and a heat gun.