Drawing, painting and sketching give me joy and take me to another world where I am able to lose myself observing, studying, reproducing, interpreting and narrating and giving full expression to a range of emotions. In my observations I try to break elements down to their simplest form especially when I paint outdoors. Sometimes these forms are recreated in my studio when I add my own personal interpretations and detail.
In terms of subject matter, it really depends on what draws my attention though in the main, I swing towards the figurative and landscape. It could be a bustling African market scene with bright colours and loads of energy or the cool tranquil colours of an English landscape. I am quite fortunate to have the span of two cultures and continents having grown up in Ghana and now living in the UK.
Currently (2018/19), I am working on a series of landscape paintings featuring the rugged terrain and wildlife of the British western isles following a visit to the outer Hebrides in August 2018. Many of these are available for sale directly from my studio. After a visit to Ghana in 2005, I was inspired to paint a series entitled ‘People at Work’ featuring the fisherfolk of the busy fishing village of Elmina on the Atlantic coast of Ghana. My paintings were rich, vibrant and energetic, reflecting the warm climate in which my observations were made.
There are three elements I try to bring to my work; composition to draw the viewers eye into the painting, colour to attract, and contrast to add depth. The more I develop as an artist, the more I find myself thinking consciously of these aspects and now start every painting with a thumbnail sketch, something akin to the bullet points you make before writing an essay.
I paint in oils though a lot of my underpainting is done in acrylic to speed up my process. I love the flexibility and versatility of oil paint as it allows me to work at my own pace without drying out too quickly. I carry a bag with me at all times with a sketchbook, marker pens and pencils along with my favourite drawing tool; my Fude Confucius Fountain Pen which is handy for quick sketches.
I have learnt that there is no right or wrong way in art as a form of expression even though this is subjective. This is the reason people appreciate art in different ways. I believe everyone inherently is an artist and you often see this uninhibited in the artwork of children. The purity develops with practice until one develops an individual style.