Recently I have been painting mountains in oil on large scale canvases, inspired mainly by my exploration of the Black Cuilin range on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. I have developed new methods and a more imaginative approach whilst retaining a concern for realism and also balancing that with the aesthetics of the paint surface itself. The new methods, involve the building of a digital model of locations using real topographical data. It offers me the opportunity to step away from the usual viewpoints and perspectives and enables me to finely tune composition, atmosphere and lighting. The resulting images seem to me adrift in time, maybe prehistoric, or far in the future. The land I have re-created is as geographically accurate as I can make it but there is one important difference; it is all intended to be common land. Go ahead and sustain yourself, fish, forage, camp where you like, graze your beasts. There are no walls, fences, hedges, status symbols or tokens of ownership nor any recognisable objects beyond the forms of landscape. This makes them almost abstract with only a minimal suggestion of a narrative. What that might be I intend to leave to the viewer to imagine.
In this way I made some big paintings of the Chatsworth estate last year two of which were bought by the estate itself. I am proud to say my work now hangs among the masters in one of the biggest private art collections in the world. This was enough to persuade me to explore the method further.