I have a habit, one that I love and find extremely beneficial. Also, it has resulted in an enormous ‘body of work’ being produced. The habit is my daily walk in the neighbourhood!
I have never been particularly attracted to the colours orange and green. First of all I’ve always found it impossible paint with green (that is why I mix French Ultramarine and Ochre for my particular ‘brand’ of green) and secondly, orange simply ‘disagreed’ with me in a way I cannot find a reasonable explanation for.
A few years ago on one of these walks, I noticed some Nasturtiums growing on the sidewalk. They were on the outside of someone’s garden wall and unexpectedly, I was flooded with pleasant memories. My mother’s garden always overflowed with Nasturtiums and many years ago, my garden also boasted these happy little flowers, until I realised that they were attracting snails. They would sow themselves and every six weeks new batches of flowers and snails would appear and reluctantly I decided to permanently rid my garden of them.
Obviously rediscovering them on the sidewalk catapulted me to the bygone period of my youth. The different shades of orange surrounded by round green leaves on thin stems, gradually impressed upon my subconscious to such an extent, that orange and all the related hues (from yellow through to red) contrasting with the bright green, mysteriously became very attractive to me.
The Nasturtium suite was born from this experience.