I am a contemporary multi-disciplinary abstract artist based in North-East Scotland. Born in Curacao, N. Antilles and brought up in Kenya and Holland, I have travelled extensively throughout my life but settled here with my family 10 years ago, where my father was raised.
I am a self-taught artist, having had a varied career as a media lawyer, film-maker, anthropologist, expert on international environment and sustainable development negotiations and as a coach/counsellor, working through trauma-informed therapy and meditation.
Creativity has always been part of my life; photography, music, writing, poetry, interior design - and I have been fascinated by the creative process for as long as I can remember… what allows us to be open to creative flow. I have brought this into my work over the years, through 1-1 work with clients, groups and running workshops on creativity at Woodend Barn Banchory, the Fife Arms, Braemar, in London and online.
Active self-inquiry and curiosity are at the core of my artistic process, providing a gateway to a deeper connection, and through this to that field of pure awareness that lies below the surface of stories, conditioning, patterns and emotions. In 2018, the urge to paint became urgent.
I use a variety of materials such as acrylic paint, inks, oil pastels, Artgraf, charcoal, natural pigments, and am constantly expanding this range and experimenting. In some pieces I lay a foundation of collage such as old sheet music which creates texture and a subtle sense of the history of the piece.
I work with layers and layers of paint and then wash, sand, rub back, painting gesturally, what I am feeling, from the liminal space of not knowing, no words. applying paint and marks and then peeling back the layers to reveal the stories that make up patterns and perceptions.
This process of layering on and then taking away is a core part of my process, leading to a sense of my inner landscape, sometimes in response to the outer, often inspired by music and poetry. I am constantly absorbing the world around me and my abstract landscapes emerge from this or from memories of places I have been or long to go to and often have a sense of something beyond the horizon.
My approach is deliberately instinctive. My painting is a kind of meditation, stepping out of the analytical world of thinking into the liminal space of not knowing and the joy of playing with colour and marks and brush strokes. I follow my body - surrendering to my curiosity and flow. This is the key for me, the process, of being present, playing, not trying to get anywhere and seeing what emerges.
Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled –
to cast aside the weight of facts
and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking
into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing –
that the light is everything –
that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.
THE PONDS by Mary Oliver