The paintings in this exhibition have all evolved over the past 6 months. The subject matter covers the length and breadth of our island and most of you will be quick to recognise where I must have stood to see what I painted. As in recent exhibitions, I have tried to introduce a couple of ‘guest’ paintings, from faraway places. This time we have paintings from Virginia City, an old gold mining town in Montana, Tuscany and inevitably, Venice where I try to spend a few days each summer. Central to all the paintings here is ‘light’, as important to my art as ‘rhythm’ is to my music.
Those who know my work will recognise reoccurring subjects, Corkscrew Hill, Blockade Alley in St George’s, Front Street, Hamilton, and views from Harbour Road, my most favourite road in the world. Each location is split in half by dancing beams of sunlight at various times of the day.
As first and foremost a Menuhin Foundation violin teacher, I love the four days each week when I am out on the road visiting three primary schools each morning on my Vespa, red violin case on my back. Travel time is treated as ‘reconnaissance’ and I make mental notes of shadows on buildings and roads, and look for views that Winslow Homer or Ogden Pleissner might have wanted to paint. Oh… if only John Singer Sargent had made it to Bermuda.
There is something very satisfactory in seeing a large body of work by the same artist in one room. I remember with pride my first one man show in Bermuda at Masterworks in 2016. Ninety percent of my paintings are created from only 5 tubes of paint and it is for this reason that they appear to hang together harmoniously without trying to outdo each other. The dark colours are produced by adding a bit from each tube and the white areas are produced by doing nothing!
There are key people who need to be thanked for making our lives as ‘plein air’ artists in Bermuda so enriched and exciting. Heidi Cowen at The Arts Centre Dockyard organises our sunday painting sessions and even sends us a weather forecast at 6 am on the day. Unfortunately she has not yet found a way of steering the rain away. Either Chris Marson or Steven Masters generously guide us forward each week with thoughtful and encouraging ideas at the end of session critiques.
I would also like to acknowledge the huge support I receive from Frameworks in Paget Plaza. They are my first port of call and have supplied every frame I have ever needed. Watercolours must be presented in a frame and to keep costs down as much as possible, I tend to use ready made frames, and where appropriate, interesting frames made up by Frameworks, using their left over mouldings.
Finally, a huge thanks to the BSoA who have curated this exhibition so beautifully.