My studio in Edinburgh is less than fifty metres from my house, across a pebble path, past a pond full of tadpoles and a wild area with Silver Birches. Gardening for me is a happy companion to painting. It is similar passion and process, albeit a slower one. My morning inspection of the garden leads to the door of my studio, the walls filled with drawings from my travels, the floor littered with collage material waiting for the Brown magpie to discover a gem that becomes a good starting point. Collage helps to structure a composition, moving the eye across the picture plane rather than creating three dimensional form or pictorial space.
For the pastel drawings I prepared a sketchbook of collaged pages. In front of the motif I selected the page best suited to the mood of that subject and this became my starting point. Unexpected relationships of colour and texture frequently appear as pastel and paper react together offering welcome ‘happy accidents’. Working intuitively like this often allows the painting to lead the artist.
In this exhibition my inspiration for the larger pieces is a multi-sourced rather than formed from a single and selected theme. Revisiting sketch books from Havana, Umbria, Cilento and Tuscany, I have enjoyed taking familiar images down a transitional path from representationalism towards abstraction.
John Brown, 2019.