Artist of the Month: June 2018
1. How long have you been at Phoenix?
I have been at Phoenix 20 years, since 1998.
2. What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I am planning two new pieces for my book launch at Phoenix Brighton on the 28th June. The book is ''Life Drawing on the iPad' which was published on May 29 by Crowood Press. It's an instructional guide to drawing and painting the figure using primarily the Procreate app. I continue to work from the figure on my iPad each week at my Saturday drop-in session at Sussex County Arts Club in Brighton.
In addition I am working on a series of paintings of the Catalan landscape. Catalonia is a region I am very connected with as I am half Catalan. It is an incredible area with a great variety of landscapes from the top to the bottom and I find the spirit of Catalonia very strong. The landscape offers so many great visual opportunities to the painter. And of course, the weather's quite good too usually.
3. Which media do you like to use?
I like to use almost all media. Each has its own unique qualities. My favourite media has always been oil paint. It is for me, the most dramatic and versatile of mediums, if used well. I agree with James Elkins, the art historian and art critic who wrote...
'To a nonpainter, oil paint is uninteresting and faintly unpleasant. To a painter, it is the life's blood: a substance so utterly entrancing, infuriating, and ravishingly beautiful that it makes it worthwhile to go back into the studio every morning, year after year, for an entire lifetime.'
4. Which other artists do you admire?
So many, it remains constant and others get added in as I discover new artists. The list is enormous. Contemporary artists I have admired recently would include Chris Huen Sin Kan, Michael Armitage and Miguel Barcelo.
5. What would you recommend to go see?
I'd recommend you to see so many things it's difficult to be selective. It depends on your interests. But go and see art. That is crucial. Get off the screen and have a real experience. See things in their intended context. You will feel inspired and you will learn about yourself.
Right now specifically I would go to Paris to see Delacroix at the Louvre and London for the Picasso at Tate Modern. I love to bask around the contemporary galleries in London seeing what is going on. If I have time I revisit some old favourites at the major galleries. I'm always glad to see Titian's Bacchus and Ariadne, Piero della Francesca and Seurat again.
6. What work are you most proud of?
I'm proud of any work that makes it to the wall and is on view.