For me the act of painting is a kind of play, and a process that is quite mysterious. There are subjects that act as triggers, and I return to - like the luminous Becky Falls in Dartmoor, which I am presently engaged with, or the large view to the east of the City seen from the Shard, including Canary Wharf. Touch is important to me, the picture appears through a web of often minute strokes, and I feel the pressures of different parts as they bear on each other. I like light to trickle and percolate every part, from brilliance to the deepest shadow, and to sense a fluid movement over the surface. The painting is always moving as the subject gradually emerges.
I re-visit places I have known, locations that get under the skin. Sometimes I feel the loss of change, as in Postbridge, gateway to the moors, where a gathering of trees that figured majestically in a small study of two decades ago had completely disappeared. The studies of the moors or the South Downs Way in Sussex, or aspects of the City, become milestones in a personal journey, and my feeling for them intensifies over time.
Philip James ROI