Before I begin a new series I usually take weeks or even months incubating a new idea.
I might fill sketchbooks, but more often than not I will collect objects or reference material from which I might make drawings or collages.
I also collate a music play list.
Books, films and poems also enter the melting-pot.
Then one day, quite suddenly (and a surprise to me), I am ready to paint.
Order and chaos
Many of my paintings begin on the floor.
There's a freedom this way. A freedom to build up layers of marks and textures.
Because my way of painting is to create chaos, and then look for beauty within that chaos.
I work in series of between 5 to 10 paintings.
I alternate chaos with control.
I build up layer after layer until each painting reveals its own personality.
Like bringing up a child, each painting needs to gain experience.
And like teenagers each one invariably rebels and becomes its own thing.
Eventually though, they are strong enough to stand on their own two feet.
Only then do I let them out into the world.