Since I began painting many years ago I have been drawn to the New Zealand landscape, particularly the Northland landscape, with it's distinctive quality of light and lush many-hued shades of green in the native bush. I have always manipulated my landscapes, moving a building or hill, placing subjects where they work best, and using photographs as references to accurately capture the realistic detail that is so important in my work. This is not unlike our attempts in life to shape our surroundings to suit our purposes. In my landscapes I don't focus on the majestic and obvious, but on the ordinary and everyday. I concentrate on the variations and subtleties in my subjects to bring out the inherent beauty in often overlooked objects: a gnarly old tree-trunk or patterns in the sand. Once over that initial “wow” factor of a spectacular landscape, what is there left for the viewer to explore? By concentrating on the “little things” that make up the big picture, I hope that my work can be looked at again and again.
I prefer to use the abstract structures of colour, composition and form to create a sense of drama and balance in my paintings, rather than the romantic use of light prevalent in traditional landscapes. This freedom to manipulate and control all of the elements in my work is what sets my work apart from photographs and traditional landscape paintings which simply record and enhance what is already there.