My paintings derive from the joy of being outdoors, my passion for graffiti and from my concerns for ecological decline.
I paint plein-air using acrylics, often in driving rain, mist or hail. By layering water-resistant and water-soluble materials together I playfully ‘collaborate with nature’ encouraging the weather conditions to direct my work. It is humbling to be subject to unpredictable and immense forces and I find that the aesthetic and conceptual dynamics of my work are enriched from this partnership.
Contrasting with a reverence for nature, I employ industrial language and graffiti media, toxic and lasting, to examine the broader tensions and contrasts of our contemporary landscape.
Simultaneously beautiful and ugly, graffiti, for me, touches at the heart of what it is to be human. It can be synonymous to pollution, representing mankind’s blasé impulse to mark the environment. Equally, graffiti can be joyously elegant, a vehicle for the hopes, dreams and fears of marginalised communities.
My landscape-graffiti paintings aspire to find harmonies between wild places and city-centres to covey the love and need for nature whilst celebrating our creations and communities.
“I learned so much every week from Joe’s online art course. He has an engaging and enthusiastic approach, an infectious love of painting and he is a natural teacher. The videos were bursting with information – I needed to make notes each week in order to retain everything. I have been painting for three or four years and have a fairly confident grasp of colour theory, but never have I advanced so much in terms of my knowledge of composition, the application of paint and the building up of layers. I loved learning more about the tricks the artist can use to gain specific effects and being reminded that the artist’s canvas is whatever they want it to be – that rules are there to be broken. The most valuable thing for me was the feedback; Joe’s critique of your work is positive and encouraging. He suggests, but he never controls. He helps you to use your eyes differently and to think in new ways. In my observation of landscape, I now know what to seek out, what to notice, what to emphasise and, theoretically at least, how to incorporate my observations into my work. I’ve been inspired anew to go out and practise, to take risks and not to look for perfection.”
“Joe was truly inspirational, kind and so willing to share his expertise. He spent a long time preparing videos which were so good and made me take up the pencil and brushes again. He is such an accomplished artist and I truly love his work. It really is down to me now to just DO IT and not be afraid. I would thoroughly recommend doing a course with Joe.”