Memories, looking for birds nests as a young boy in a Celtic landscape, “Too long ago”, remind me of the little Yellowhammer. Fascinated by markings on its eggs, we boys called it the “Scribbling Master”. Random scribbled markings on its shells appeared to be drawn with a frenzied fine nibbed pen.
The egg has become a recurring symbol in much of my abstract art work.It is a symbol of rebirth, of new life, a motif of regeneration following times of turbulence. I view the Yellowhammer’s primitive shell crazing as patterns that precede new beginnings, a precursor to change.
“Germination 1” and “2”
Coils of new life emerge like ribbons into a world, as if breaking away from primitively crazed shell patterning. I relate this abstract approach as a portrayal of the human spirit and its resolve to overcome adversity. A metaphor representing the struggle and tenacity of people who often escape from broken and hostile environments to start afresh in a new place.
Acrylic on 300 gsm. paper, 50cm. x 70cm.
Boyhood memories of “scrumping”, an exciting, albeit unlawful, seasonal pursuit where young village boys would secretly raid farmers orchards with the goal of pilfering apples. There was always the danger of being caught.
I begin painting with a process of applying multiple layers of colours and random shapes with no focus on the structure or any plan for the final image. This process continues until my emotional responses inform me of the possible subject.
The viewer may question, “Why the lack of figures in a painting with such a theme”? However the old artist remembering, does not see himself or his friends, rather it is the emotional experience only, that is keenly remembered.
In hindsight it seems the memories may also reflect on the theme of property versus place, where land is always owned and adventurous boys always trespassers.
Two distinct, endless ribbons intimately interconnected and eternally linked, suggesting life’s complex pathways and our need for supportive relationships through such a labyrinthine journey. Acrylic on paper, 50cm. x 75cm. (2016).