Hibiscus Mutabilis_

Using Schminke pastels is not unlike using oil paint – the method of blending and overlaying  colours is similar.

What is different with pastel is the speed at which you can work.

The colours are subtle and nuanced in the Schminke range which allows a fast moving gestural process to happen without hesitation and pausing to over think application and  mixing of colour.

I have been working with gestural abstraction for the past 5 years but here

I have used botanical referrents and the result is less ambiguous than earlier work.


In my delving into the mechanics of abstraction I have been reading about the different roles of the two hemispheres of the brain in this context. The left hemisphere catagorises and identifies by labels rather than context.  It is also where abstraction takes place which I found strange initially, but it made sense of the universals that I have become aware of in the abstraction process : the « treeness » of the tree that Kandinsky talked about being the embodiment of all trees - the instantiation of all trees known up until that point.

I worked with this idea here.


My practice is currently tied up with preserving the freshness of paint , and to do this I worked in intense short periods,  leaving the marks to settle - both on the board and in my awareness of them.  The medium demands a light touch – so there is more thinking than actual doing.