_A R T I S T ' S_ S T A T E M E N T
My paintings are very personal responses to what I choose to look at. Often, what I choose to look at are landscapes that have been touched by human hands over the millennia.
Certain rather inexplicable, and perhaps mysterious, emotions are aroused by these buildings, gardens and countrysides where people have walked. Many writers have reflected on the notion of collecting emotional remembrances sparked by sights, sounds, and smells. I create works of art that reflect my love of travel, and the nostalgias I've collected, evoked by the different places I've lived in and visited over many years.
Sometimes, when I open the back door of my studio in Canada, the smell of the air reminds me of an autumn day in Northern Greece. Sometimes the nostalgia is more intangible: a fragment of landscape I glimpse from a train window brings on a sudden feeling of recognition. These visceral responses are what I want to evoke on canvas.
The Normandy series came about after three years of visiting relatives at St. Sauveur le Vicomte. At first I didn't see anything I wanted to paint; most certainly not the 10th century castle opposite the house I was staying in: castles, of course, can be clichés. But it grew on me, as did the somber charms of Normandy. The villages and small towns retain an architectural cohesiveness in spite of the ravages of many wars over many generations. Buttressed farmhouses repel the centuries. Tall trimmed hedges line the roads. Nights are very dark in these shuttered places.
I have also been lured by southern climes. I have lived in Greece, and its strong light and colours have influenced my work.
As an adjunct, and not an afterthought, I turn to the genre of still life and interiors. I enjoy fruit and vegetables, flowers and man-made objects. I set them up to paint as a contrast to the landscapes. They present different shapes and colours, and reflect my delight in food, gardens and drawing!