I spent an idyllic childhood living by the sea, scratching out giant pictures in the sand and gazing into rockpools. It offered a reality far more pleasing than anything I could find in conventional life. I became a daydreamer, influenced by beautiful landscape all around. Memories of tall grasses, seed heads, bracken and birdsong became part of that inner world. Despite now living in an urban setting, I seek out nearby landscapes in which to daydream. Working in layers, I begin a painting with childlike spontaneity, allowing bright colours to dominate. With little care for outcome at this stage. Scratching back into wet paint feels like being back on that beach with stick in hand exploring what lies below the surface of the sand, hopeful of revealing a little bit of magic. Gestural marks feel comforting to make as I allow a painting to evolve and rest for several days before working on the next layers. Abbreviated versions of remembered landscapes dear to me start to appear, whether it’s the silhouette of seedheads in a hedgerow or garden, the pattern made by a clump of grasses in autumn or the fast-flowing ripples on an estuary tide. Dots, dashes, gouges. Patterns. And in enjoying these characteristics, I then try to find a further shorthand for them, carving up a canvas into minimal elements of colour, line and careful placing of lights and darks. Working with large brushes laden with paint, allows me to move across the canvas in bold sweeps that are either kept or lost in the subsequent layer. The element of ‘chance’ makes this process exciting and scary, as I search for a type of order amongst the chaos until a painting feels finished and I stop. This process feels like a metaphor for life. The older I get, the more comfortable I feel with the uncertainty of outcome, focusing more on enjoying the process.