I am currently working on a series of large-scale oil paintings of plants that live in the wild. The paintings are botanical, depicting a single plant in flower and revealing its leaf structure and roots. But where botanical paintings search for objective, scientific detail, I am seeking to capture a sense of the plant and its vulnerability. The plants appear as if just pulled from the ground with soil-encrusted roots. The exposed roots, for me are a reminder of the plant's fragility and our own relationship with plants and the natural world.
I recently went to see Lucian Freud's 'Flower Portraits' at the Garden Museum in London and was astonished by how characterful each of his plant paintings were. I think he was happy to draw his plants with dead leaves and from uncompromising angles. This is something I am striving to achieve, fighting against a compulsion to paint the plants not as they are but as I want them to be (at their best).
In 2022, I made three small oil paintings depicting cut weeds in vases. The weeds are common, often disregarded species, such as daisies, dandelions, nettle and bindweed. Painted as displays in valued vases I am interested the paradox of their beauty and value versus their overlooked status.