My camera is never far from my side as everything and everybody is a potential subject. I do tend to work on the same type of subject for a while so the theme may be the Australian outback, African giraffes, Southern Highland cows, Mudgee wineries, Sydney Harbour yacht races, Designer shoes, bunches of freshly picked vegetables, bowls of fresh fruit, French windows and doors, farm animals like chickens and pigs – the list is endless. I often work on the same subject in a variety of ways either in pure watercolour or in mixed media. The subject on the other hand often dictates the style. For example, if I am painting a clove of garlic with its bulbous papery cloves, applying rough textures of gesso prior to the paint gives the painting a gorgeous three dimensional feel. If I am painting a busy New York avenue which is a riot of colour, noise and movement, I tend to use collage, drawing, ink, paper and paint to capture the life and excitement of the scene. Pure watercolour works wonderfully well when painting fresh fruit such as peaches and plums as the luminescent glow of the medium reflects the soft texture of the fruit. Once I have worked out my subject, medium and design, I work with bold strokes. As one of my early teachers said to me, “ plan what you are going to paint and how you are going to paint it carefully, then apply the paint quickly and boldly. This way your work will remain fresh and vibrant and you won’t produce mud!”
The final stage of the artwork is selecting the framing for the piece. I tend to use a limited range of frames which always have clean, elegant lines, As a rule I lean towards large mouldings and wide matt boards to enhance the dramatic nature of most of my artworks.