I am often asked how I start a painting in the first place.
It was Klee who said:
I take a line for a walk – and that is pretty much what happens at the start.
(You will see from my vertical landscapes that I am particularly interested in the linear design of the subject).
I might add that I splash on some colours and see what happens. This may sound wilful, but from these early stages of chance,
and together with the extreme versatility of acrylic paint, my final vision begins to appear.
And this degree of unexpectedness adds a certain charm to the final product. I am never quite sure how it will work –
though perhaps never as well as I hoped it would! I trust that my buyers will understand this as a striving for better things,
rather than an admission of some degree of failure.
There is no great secret about painting from imagination. Obviously I have a firm idea of how trees and rivers,
clouds and skies, valleys and uplands should work, and I try to translate these memories into a world of my own.
Of course, written ideas and sketches play their part, and photography is always a standby.
Add to this mix, an exploration into structure and form, by way of the many textures available –
sand and gel, mica and moulding paste, even glitter and glow paint, and I am on my way to finishing a painting.
I paint landscapes, and I try to make my work imaginative, poetic, atmospheric and original to capture the drama and mystery of the natural elements.
I lived in Wiltshire for over thirty years, and was naturally influenced by the landscape in the close vicinity of Mere: the chalk escarpments with their terracing of strip lynchets casting strong shadows in early or late light; the surprising steepness of the various combes; white fields and tractor lines in the first green of the corn; the variety of marks on the land: circles and squares, stars and crosses; old track ways across the downs and the way ancient woods suddenly appear on the tops of hills; the silent acres and the luminous clouds that drop lightly half out of sight behind the wide horizon.
But my heart is very much in Wales, and it is this
welshness that I aspire to. Visits with family to the Gower and the Brecon Beacons have been a constant source of delight for me, and I have a very special and secret place in Pembrokeshire – admittedly it was found by Graham Sutherland some seventy years before me!
Here in a land of creeks and river estuaries, of wild coasts and ancient moors, I can let my imagination take over, and this is what evolves when I am back home in my studio with the rain beating on the window.
Dedication & Thanks
I had the idea of asking the owners if they would like to write about their own paintings, and in many cases they have kindly done so. Obviously I couldn't demand this task from everyone (even if they wanted to do so), and some of the subjects written about just didn't fit in here – my apologies to them.
This site is for my mother, source of my one and only sale in my first exhibition (rather like Van Gogh's brother!), and who, until her death in 1982, never stopped encouraging and believing in me.
I am totally indebted to Chris (another Chris R) for all his hard work on the production and excellent design of my website.
I would also like to express my appreciation to the many buyers of my work, and to all my friends who take such an interest and especially to those who have helped me the most; Lynda, Nicky, Debbie, Hugh, Richard L, Richard W, Nick, Tanya, Richie and Stephen - thank you.