I work in oil mixed with cold wax medium. Cold wax medium is a combination of beeswax, odorless mineral spirits and a small amount of alkyd resin. It's melted and mixed into a paste that is available in art supply stores. I mix the cold wax medium one to one with oil paints to produce a beautiful impasto mixture and then I add a medium called Galkyd which increases the fluidity of the mixture. I spreadthis mixture onto wooden panels using various tools, such as wall painting rollers, brayers, foam rollers and silicone scrapers in many thin, transparent layers that overlap each other like panes of glass. The surface is gradually built up layer by layer, creating fields of colour that appear to vibrate.
I've always had a fascination for light. It's what brought me to painting in the first place when I started to paint in watercolour over 30 years ago. Later on, I moved into painting with oil and then as I transitioned into abstraction, I began working with cold wax medium mixed with oil paint.
My work has been deeply influenced by my travels to sacred places in various parts of the world such as the island of Iona in Scotland where St. Columba brought Celtic Christianity, the Callanish Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis, and the Stones of Stenness in the Orkneys (amongst others). The ancient people who built these structures knew about light. They oriented their stone circles and passage graves to the sunlight or moonlight at solstices and equinoxes. Light was sacred to them.
I've gone on pilgrimage to South India to see temples sacred to Shiva, to Turkey to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the poet Rumi whose followers, the Whirling Dervishes, aim to bring down light into the world through their turning, and to Mexico to photograph the holy parades of light during Semana Santa.
I've also visited northern countries in or near the Arctic Circle. I did a month-long artist residency last May in Southern Lapland, Sweden where the days were 20 hours long and the the world changed colour from blues and whites in the day, to orange sunsets to pink in the late night. I've also travelled with other artists to Baffin Island in Canada's Arctic; once in the dead of winter when there was no daylight at all, and twice in the summer, when there was 24 hours of light. I wanted to have that physical experience in these northern countries of complete darkness or full-on daylight.
I'm interested in expressing a minimal, meditative quality in my work that speaks of the outer light of those northern places and the inner light of the sacred sites. I reference a meeting place between the spiritual and the physical in describing my sense of light both felt and remembered.