Recently, I have been working on a series of still-life paintings for the Thomas Henry Gallery in Newlyn, Cornwall.
I have always loved still life, there is something about the quiet nature of the scene that I find appealing. From Cezanne to Giorgio Morandi, a still life can be both evocative and familiar, a quiet meditation upon nature within the human domain. I originally started painting still lifes during the first lockdown, when the interior world became so familiar. Subsequently, I have found that still life painting requires a different mindset and it often takes me a while to adjust, with my focus shifting from vast open spaces to more intimate ones.
My chosen subject is mainly flowers, I’m fascinated by both the colour and forms but also their transient nature. That the still-life painting can capture this moment in the life of the flower or plant, imbuing it with a life that reaches way beyond its own.
When it comes to style, how I choose to depict my subject matter, it’s not the pretty or photo-realistic representation of a still life that interests me. Similar to my landscape paintings, I’m concerned with the atmospheric impression of a scene. Something poetic rather than descriptive, traversing the lines between abstraction and representation. The history of its making is visible upon its surface and in its rendering. An element of flux and movement within the stillness of the scene, something slightly unresolved, impermanent and imperfect.
The still life is becoming an integral part of my practice and whilst the landscape is still my primary concern, these more intimate studies into flowers and plants seem to compliment the skies, sea and sunsets that I’m better known for. The external and internal world, from the empty beaches of North Norfolk to the quiet corners of my studio.
My still life paintings will be exhibited at the Thomas Henry Gallery in Newlyn, Cornwall UK from June. So if you are visiting Cornwall do pay a visit