A painter’s truest statement is a painting. But something can be said, even if a certain awkwardness results from resorting to words: I love the spareness of the painter’s means, some paper or canvas, half a dozen brushes and a few tubes of pigment. But complexity soon arises in the play of invention and chance that is the making of a painting; for play is the faculty of the possible, and painting is play in a deep sense.
All things being equal, I think that the power of invention is the hallmark of a painter, and that after a certain point the realm of clear ideas must be abandoned. I feel that if the mystery of a painting can be fathomed, either by myself or another, that painting has in some sense failed.
My objective is a painterly language that is capacious, open-ended and born of what is latent and elemental, a mode of expression that can invoke new insights, meet its difficulties and gain muscle in the process. It seems to me that drawing is the genus of which painting is a species, and that abstraction and figuration form a seamless unity.
My work is the consequence of an emotion that causes to express, but which is not, itself, for expression. I believe that the range of possibilities open to the art of painting remains virtually limitless. In the end, of course, the viewer completes the work, not simply by looking, but by the labour of seeing.
Shakespeare, as usual, said it best:
“Let every eye negotiate for itself . . . “