Desert Ambience

I grew up in the port city of Southampton, developed as an artist in Sydney and now have my studio in the coastal town of Peregian Beach, part of the Noosa region of Australia. I am most happy when I live in walking distance to the ocean, but my secret love is the desert.

There wasn’t a lot of desert in my childhood. I grew up exploring the shoreline of Southampton and Sunday hiking trips to the New Forest. Holidays were spent camping in the coastal towns of France or gallery hopping our way across Europe. My life was filled with dark blues, deep greys and vibrant green tones, the traditional colour palette of northern Europe.

However, that changed in my mid 20s. I left my job in London, sold the few possessions I owned and travelled to Australia via the Americas. My goal was to see the turtles of Akumal in Mexico, which I had read about in the Sunday Times. I had a wonderful trip but never got to see a turtle. Instead, I fell in love with the deserts of Arizona and California.

For me, the desert landscape is all about the evocative nature of light. The sun almost delights in its ability to reflect the innumerable tones of the desert. From the deep blue sky to the purple and red hues of the rocks and the golden ochre of the sands, the desert has it all. It is a perfect canvas for an artist with a desire to reveal the underlying nature of light.

When I arrived in Australia, I was delighted to explore the red sands of the outback and the deserts of Uluru. These vast sandy expanses have slowly revealed themselves in my art, with an increasing number of paintings reflecting the ochres tones of inland Australia. As that has happened, I am finding more American collectors connecting to my work and our shared experience of the mystical nature of desert landscapes.

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