Example of how your statement would appear in the catalogue
Red Reflection 2005
Twenty years ago I started visiting West Cork. I wanted to reflect its transformation from the rural to the suburban. During this time there has been a resurgence in landscape painting. It has regained critical and academic approval, on the condition that it is eerie, uncanny or abject. These strategies are attempts to avoid the 'picturesque', which is regarded as romantic and rhetorical. I embrace the picturesque for these very reasons.
I regard my painting as synthetic and figuration as reflection (like fiction). The subject of my paintings is shadow and reflection. These 'elements', although intangible, are visually ubiquitous.
Before Vermeer's Clouds 2006
It's a perfectly levelling thing to do, exploring landscape both real, as on a walk, or by completely inventing it - exploring the illusion of landscape made by the tactile breadth of oil paint. The first instance is about absorption, meditation, analysis, the second about realisation, connection, revelation - a show of things more or less understood.
Completely inventing is an obsession but not a chore. It may seem futile to make the works seem as though they have been observed or taken from photographs, but inventing gives the work reason for existence - what is shown exists only in this painted illusion. It's a deeply satisfying thing to do and oil on canvas is still the broadest, most perfect vehicle for this.
'Before Vermeer's Clouds' is unusual in that it contains necessarily a copied element, namely the sky from 'A View of Delft', a work that has fascinated me for thirty years. Originally to be titled 'A Vision of Heaven', my painting had to have the same appearance of stability and unhurried peace as Vermeer's, and incorporate as many elements of the stable or perpetual as could be organised. For me it should be an embodiment of stability but also intrigue.