Extract from my 2nd interview of the week ...

... for Rhys Evans (an enquiring GCSE student) :-) 

Where do you get your ideas and inspirations from? Do you just get them from your surroundings or is there a story behind each piece?  It is difficult to give a straight forward answer to this. When I was younger I used to think art had to be really complex to be good, but with time I have realised that keeping things simple / paring things down can be a bigger statement. The materials I use are old - oil paint, canvas, etching - and come from my interest in History of Art and wanting to connect with the past and see if I can use old materials in new ways. History of Art shows us that putting something in a painting gives it significance. In my work I take conventionally insignificant, value-less things from my surroundings and through painting draw attention to them. I like the idea that the painting invests them with importance, because for me the things I choose to paint have greater importance than for most people, who might overlook them. I think there is a great beauty in tangled weeds / the overgrown especially in contrast with the man-made forms around us. I like looking at their complicated shapes and painting them with a very fine brush. The act of painting like this feels almost like stitching / weaving, and slowly with each brush-mark the work comes together.