Improvising With Light

I have been listening to jazz since I was twelve years old, and it was the improvisations that excited me, the ability to spontaneously move in and around the original theme with apparent effortless ease, or so it seemed! Henri Cartier-Bresson said “The camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity". At the heart of my work is the creation of an extensive archive of photographic sketches, but you could also start with a water colour, a drawing, oil painting or film based photograph.  Although my work starts with a photograph I think like a painter, my compositions are minimalist and use the visual language of shape, form, texture and colour.  They are created using a very fluid intuitive technique of image capture, improvising with the light on any given day, then making composites by painting and blending two or more images. Maintaining the integrity of the high resolution sketches throughout is paramount as they will be used at a later stage to create the large exhibition artworks. In essence this means retaining the file size of the original photographic sketch throughout the entire process. All this work is done on my iPad Pro using 6 apps.

So now I have a new set of well balanced composed photographic sketches in my archive. I call them sketches because none of the images at this stage would stand alone as an individual piece of work, they will only make sense when combined with other images. This is where I start to fundamentally change the sketches, intuitively bringing images together from my archive (around 1000 images) to try to create a finished piece of artwork, modifying shape, form, texture and colour. I usually start by changing the texture, and to this end I used a couple of my apps to create a series of textures to choose from. I will then add textures to both foreground and background images. Then I need to decide on the key foreground image, this is the one that will have the right compositional content, then blending and painting a number of background images on to the foreground image (composites), also introducing some colour changes.