"Amid Greenness"

- 1998 -

"We all sleep at last on the field. Sleep? Aye, and rust amid greenness as last year's scythes flung down in the half-cut swaths"

Captain Ahab in Herman Melville's "Moby Dick"

The artist sees these works as the first real expression of a mature style, previously paintings tended to be small and, though fairly abstract, dependent on landscape elements (such as the horizon line and perspective). Late on in 1997 the need was strongly felt to push the work on into more ambitious territory. The scale was enlarged (at first to Imperial 30x22" or 76 x 56cm), the horizon line was lost and the image developed as a portrait shape. The landscape was still the source but now the imagery seemed to derive from a close-in perspective - a human sized fragment of earth, and forms were developed from vaguely figurative shapes discovered in the Yorkshire hills, and from other sources, such as jagged windows in ruined Irish churches and bizarrely eroded wooden sea defences at Spurn Head, Humberside.

The "Amid Greenness" works arose from the above changes - vertical structures enclosing sinuous semi-organic forms.

The title came late on, Captain Ahab's statement seemed to perfectly sum up the intentions of the work, whether the painting had green in it or not.

Later in 1998 the artist felt that the vertical structures were becoming too rigid, the colours too artificial, the overall image too far removed from the landscape. Hence the idea for "The Ingleborough Series" emerged - a return to the colours and a more direct experience of the landscape.