Distance and proximity    Acrylic & sawdust on canvas 100 x 100 cm

LOST HORIZONS: MALLAIG BHEAG

These paintings are site specific in as much as they respond to particular light and atmospheric conditions experienced from around my studio on the shore of Loch Nevis. The work may be a response to the current light and weather conditions, but they are more often an expression of something I have seen recently; a relationship of colours or textures in the atmosphere that has stayed in my mind. The title, Lost Horizons, refers to those conditions where the sea and the sky and the land merge together and their boundaries become elusive. I am drawn to the idea of exploring the point where this becomes that, and that the closer one looks the harder it is to define that point. Within all of these paintings there is the suggestion of a horizon giving compositional structure, but those horizons are ill-defined, or lost.

I begin a work by applying a layer of paint all over the canvas. It will usually be quite a strong colour that I feel reflects something of the mood I am looking for. It may be a strong yellow, red, or even dark grey. The aim is that the painting will emerge out of process and evolution rather than through planned application. In that sense it might be seen to reflect the atmospheric conditions it is considering. Like the ever-changing weather and light over the loch, the work develops through a slow, iterative process of adding layer upon layer of paint, sometimes in broad gestural strokes, sometimes in ordered horizontal bands. Each successive layer will suggest what comes next. There is never any knowing at the start how a painting will end up looking. The paintings are the result of a long slow evolution.

The way I would like a viewer to approach my work is as one would approach the landscape itself. We know that all is not revealed on first glance, but gradually things come into view and are noticed. Nuances and relationships come to light that can be uplifting, intriguing, satisfying or even disturbing.

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