Inspiration for my work comes from many places; not least from the printmaking technique itself. The majority of my prints are etchings, either using acid to eat into the surface of a copper printing plate to create a design, or drawing directly from life onto the plate using a sharp needle. This technique is called drypoint etching. These approaches create different effects; the first results clean crisp lines and sharp images; the latter creates soft smudgy lines and moody, dark images. I have recently started incorporating chine-colle into my work. In this process paper stained with vegetable ink is bonded onto the surface of the print, at the same time the image is printed. I am also embossing the paper of the print using textured but un-inked printing plates.
Living and working on the edge of the Lakes, and overlooking Morecambe Bay informs my work. Perhaps not the grand picturesque views we associate with the Lake District, but the less formal and everyday corners of the countryside that we encounter when we walk the dog, for example. I also love to focus on the details of the landscape - from a bee collecting nectar to a bird in a bush.
I'm a keen gardener and I've become fascinated by the energy of the seasons; the slow explosion of growth as seeds germinate and develop to full maturity. The allotment and the energy of growth has become the subject of my work, and I have tried to incorporate stains and inks made from allotment veg in some of the work.
During a recent visit to Wiltshire I was awed by the magnificent Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in the county. They are now the subject of new prints, including work inspired by the standing stones to be found in the north of England and Scotland.