In 2008, after completing the ‘Audience’ commission utterly exhausted, I decided to leave the portraits for a while, and bring some much needed spontaneity and freedom back into my painting. I embarked on a series of fairly large paintings of trees and flowers based on studies I had made over many years that were sat around the studio or in sketchbooks. I became much more interested and committed to exploring the language of abstract painting and applying some of these lessons into how I made things.
I made these paintings during a very difficult chapter in my life when my younger brother was dying from cancer. As his health deteriorated I would find that I would lock myself in the studio after returning from visiting him, unable to talk about my feelings or experiences to anybody. There are no words that can come close to communicating sometimes, and I’m grateful that I had my painting to do and the help and space it gave me to process some of these difficult feelings, for in the end, my painting is often not about what I have made, but about the process of making it.
Most of these paintings have not been exhibited.