My paintings are made from the direct observation of still lives. I make my set ups on a counter in my studio, under a north facing window. I use pots and ceramics made by local artists (Toni Losey, SeaStar Pottery, Katherine Highfield, Christine Waugh, to name a few favourites...) I use found glass vases, ink bottles, medicine bottles from thrifting and antiquing. I am most inspired by flowers that grow in my own garden, specifically spring branches such as magnolia or quince. I also purchase flowers when mine are not in season. Through the winter months I supplement my flower supply by forcing bulbs or using dried herbs, seaweeds shells and beach findings.
I make an underpainting in thinned raw umber on birchwood panels. I work out all the drawing and value relationships in this first layer. The second layer is colour. I work first in very greyed mid tones and gradually add more vibrant colour. I prefer subtle colour, and creating a relationship of a single colour to a neutral backdrop.
I try to keep my marks loose. I stay moving and work very quickly. I like things to look energetic. I detest staleness-I don't want anything to look laboured or overworked. The painting needs to look fresh and easy. if it does get overworked it gets thrown out immediately. I trust my eyes and not my brain. I rely very much on muscle memory; I make many studies and drawings, to teach myself about the objects I paint before undertaking a larger piece.