As part of the 'Seeing Potential' exhibition I gave a series of illustrated talks about how I paint, some comments on how we identify objects as being three-dimensional, and the importance of cultural influences on what we expect to see.
The following is an extract regarding how I chose my images;-
I first started looking for things to paint for this exhibition in 2001. I was conscious that I wanted to find things that would in some way draw people into the painting and engage them, not to stick to the more illustrative paintings that I did before.
In the end I drew upon my own experiences of growing plants, the most exciting point is when I first notice a plant in bud because I know then it is going to flower. I enjoy the anticipation, my mind imagines how it will develop and open. It's in a bud that I see potential.
One thing that developed as I chose the images was their ambiguity. A consequence of enlarging them and taking them out of context is that we have no easy reference points for them in our brain - we can't identify them straight away. So the brain projects ideas of what they might be onto the image to try and get a best fit from our past experiences. It's this that leads to the feeling that they remind you of something else. This has been the most interesting aspect for me as everyone seems to see them differently and often in ways I could never have anticipated.
Passion Flower, watercolour, image size 37cm by 19cm