My beliefs about art

  • The business of the artist consists of a continuing process of searching, finding and forming. Searching involves observing, recording, researching, remembering, wondering. Finding involves testing, selecting and rejecting, recognising, committing. Forming is the process of, in Paul Klee’s words, 'making the invisible visible': the translation into coherent visual language of the artist’s thinking, feeling, responding, visualising. Forming is, or should be, followed by critical review by the artist of the work produced.
  • Sensation becomes form, through mental composition and physical craft. Conception may initiate the process, but it is the artist’s command of and involvement in the craft, the use of materials and methods, that determines the outcome.
  • Art seeks to convert quantity — that which can be observed, recorded, measured, manipulated — into quality.
  • Art requires both rational and irrational thinking; methodical planning and execution, and leaps of intuition, the taking of risks and the willingness to change direction.
  • During the forming process, the artist should work in a state of passive awareness, the better to see reflected in the work the forms, patterns and forces of the natural world. It is essential to allow some things to happen, rather than always being in control.
  • The artist seeks to bring together the objective or outer reality, and the subjective, or inner reality. To fuse these contrasting realities in the form of art is the goal of the artist.
  • The social role of art is a limited but real one: it cannot, and should not hope to, influence a mass audience, but it can provide true stimulus, interest, pleasure, comfort to people on an individual level.
  • A work of art should not need the support of words. It should communicate to a viewer through its inherent aesthetic qualities, and the associations, connections of various kinds it makes with that person through its form and content. This is not to say that art should not generate discussion, as shared experience always does, but that discussion should spring from personal experience, free of the distortion of theory, current fashion or other distractions.