A Little about Myself
I am half Norwegian brought up in Spain. I had a solitary life as a child even though I have a sister. My sister and I were often put into different schools. I used to spend many hours wondering on our ‘Finca’ in Spain which stretched to the hills not seeing a soul riding my bicycle. I have a vivid moment watching the waves as a child sitting on a rock and finding it fascinating how the tide would rise so rapidly. When I finished school, I did work for an airline so that gave me lots of opportunities to visit galleries and be aware of my surrounds i.e. nature. I went to study sculpture at St Martin’s School of Art in the 80’s and after a brief spell of doing sculpture on my own decided to take up painting.
My work wants to describe nature not as a picture postcard but what really goes underneath those fleeting clouds as a result, I paint in many layers letting the paint dry in between to get the luminosity you get when you see light, this is done in the studio. My plein air work is more alla prima spontaneous and often it is a hit and miss as not only have such a vast space to choose from the weather can change within minutes. And often I must make a run for it as it starts to rain. Other aspects of plein air painting is balancing ones tools which can be often challenging as a gust for wind can easily blow my brushes, palate and end up in the river, which has happened on occasions!
Artistic success for me is to be able to look at my work and feel that I get something back. Being excited by it and that other people feel it too.
A typical day in my life.
My day usually starts by taking some form of exercise either swimming or gentle yoga followed by a 20 minutes meditation which I fine a great basis to shape my day.
I usually in my studio after breakfast go through my emails and then either get my kit ready to go out painting or work on several paintings in the studio.
My creative process, from the first spark of inspiration to the finished product.
My creative process can take place in many forms such as glancing out of my studio window and seeing a sky formation or looking at photographs from a recent walk along the river, combined with listening to music which can have a very powerful effect on my work. I often do a loose watercolour sketch or a quick pencil sketch and If I am really stuck, I often go to an exhibition or look at the work of my favourite artists such as Turner for inspiration. When out plein air I usually have done some research as to where I am going. I managed to get my kit light and work on panels usually 30x40 cm and take a couple, and when faced with deciding on what to include I start with the sky that really settles me, then I find that other elements just fall into place.
I enjoy engaging with people and sometimes I see other artists. People overall are very complimentary which does boast a low morale or if the painting is not going well!
Do you have a particular outlook that guides you?
Having gone through so many different styles and approaches as well as attended many courses and workshops I think it is true to say that your signature is very much ones own and it is best to stick to that as no one can ever replicate that. I have long been an admirer of Bomberg, Sargent, Edward Seago, Monet and Van Gogh for his lovely colours and Oskar Kokoschka for his wild colours of paintings which he did of the Thames. I think it’s important to observe these wonderful artists but remain true to oneself.
My accomplishments are you most proud of and why?
In 2006 that really was my year I have two big shows and in one there must have been 5/6 Royal Academicians present. Also, I feel proud that people still come up to me and say how much they still love the painting they purchased so many years ago. I have had people who have built special alcoves to house my large works. In some instances, I have had people who are visibly moved so that is an achievement in itself. Being artist in Residence at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley.