Oil paint can be a very evocative and sensual medium; just the feel, smell and the intensity of colours remind you of the history oils hold which adds to the stimulation of the senses when working. I begin the background by pushing the paint into the canvas with my fingers, this allows me to feel part of the piece at a very basic level and the movement of the oil beneath your fingers is very therapeutic giving a degree of speed and allowing spontaneous decisions to occur. I then start to work my way through brushes getting smaller until the detail starts to appear. The staining effect is created using transparent glazes of colour and copious amounts of scrunched cling-film which creates a fantastic texture. Sponges, rags and brushes are used to tidy up any areas and to add interest.
For the impossibly crisp edges a thin layer of linseed oil is rubbed onto the canvas then wiped off to help with the movement of the brush across the surface, this allows me to work on the smooth sharp curves without any drag on the brushes, glazes are applied and tonal transitions are smoothed and deepened - it's this process that has taken so long to master.