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What Do I Want To Paint Next?

I am often asked how I go about choosing the next subject to paint. The selection process can be likened to that of a young child being offered a jar full of candy. It is very exciting to start a new painting, as it is to finish one. As an artist there are no limits on subject material, just a jar full of choices.

As most of my work to date is related to nature, I will start with looking though my photos, taken during my travels over the last 25 years. I am so grateful for the ability to store thousands of my images from various parts of the world.

Exerting some discipline, I have managed to store my photos by location and subject matter. Perusing those online folders, a location or subject matter folder might grab my intention. Diving into the folder of photos quickly transports me back in time and location with the sounds, smells and emotions tied to that. One or several photos will speak and say- “Paint me”.

It is not a case of slavishly replicating the image, rather looking for the elements that are special. Some elements will be entirely deleted, the time of day may be changed impacting on light, colour, and shadows. Other elements maybe added from other reference material or my memory. If you compare the following image taken the Singapore Botanical Gardens with the painting ’The Queen Alone’ you will hopefully see how I have taken inspiration from the source and applied my artistic interpretation.


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