It may come as bit of a surprise for visitors to Ryepress to come across this page. Ryepress has come to be synonymous with “Prints of Rye, Hastings and the East Sussex coast” and indeed this web site was established over 10 years ago in Rye with the intention of showcasing mainly local views and predominantly etchings.
When I was living in Kings Cross in the 1980’s most of my work was abstract, but having worked through most of the ideas I was interested in and having exhausted the vocabulary of textures and marks I had then at my disposal I returned to figurative work with the Kings Cross St Pancras series of etchings and then on moving to Rye carried on with mainly figurative etchings and paintings.
After a short time in Rye I discovered the groynes on Winchelsea beach and have spent the last 20 years exploring their wind and wave battered textures in a succession of representational etchings and paintings. These were followed by related images of paint, rust and splintered wood on the old abandoned fishing boats at Rye Harbour and Dungeness. More recently a series of paintings exploring patterns of erosion on rocks at the base of cliffs at Rock-a-nore had led me to the conclusion that I now had a viable vocabulary of marks and textures to return to non-representational image making.
Watching the wood crack, the paint peel and the rocks crumble made me want to attempt to reconcile this with my own feelings. Zooming in on small flakes of paint or splinters of wood with their own micro landscapes gave me a way of escape to new worlds beyond simple human scale.
I now have accumulated a vocabulary of marks and textures that I can use as the language to convey these interests and feelings.
Things Fall Apart, Naming of the Parts and Loose Connections were the title of earlier exhibitions of my abstract work in the 1980s, and the themes of creation, destruction and random collaboration are still present in these recent paintings. Fractals, Chaos theory, Galaxies and cells; elements combining in brief encounters with unforeseen consequences.
The immediacy of oil painting is my laboratory; an opportunity to push shapes and marks from side to side and use colour to move them backwards and forward.
These paintings will be mapped, dissected and explored further as etchings – which will in turn throw up the next series of paintings...