For me, nothing equals being out in the wild, windswept world. I paint outdoors, translating experiences directly onto canvas. After intensely observing a site, seeing and responding to nuances of light, wind and weather I intimately know that place with an intensified awareness of its forms, colours and behaviour.
I find painting outdoors exhilarating and joyful. Balancing that fragile crux between success or failure is breath-taking. The paint can dry at just the right moment or slip beyond and lose it’s coherence. I have had many times when a beautiful piece has been suddenly soaked and lost. Some have even been totally washed out of existence back to bare canvas. To enhance this dynamic I often seek challenging situations or time-scales, falling sunsets, turning tides, an approaching storm or being buffeted in demanding environments such as mist, hail, ice or snow. Within these adrenaline-charged situations there is a beautiful space, the eye of the storm, outside time, temperature or self, caught between energy and poise, where I am balancing precise and expressive mark-making or realism with abstraction. At the core of my work is the viscosity of paint, all different forms of weather uniquely transform the behaviour or quality of paint; drips, bleeds, washes, splatters, it is the perfect medium to directly and intimately record and reflect the dynamics of the great outdoors. The partnership between my marks and the action of water in the environment creates the textures and language of my painting.
I paint because it fundamentally challenges my being. It’s invigorating, sometimes elating, sometimes unbearable, but it always connects me directly to something much larger and much more important than myself.
My work reflects the different places I have lived. Sometimes I paint the expansive moorland or seascape vistas from the South West of England or sometimes intimate, close-up studies of floral textures. Time spent living and painting the light in the semi-tropical climates of the Algarve and Western Australia has also significantly influenced my palette, most consciously when in the flickering patches of brilliant sunlight and dark shadows of dappled woodland. I often find myself mapping seasonal cycles and changes, for example returning annually to work with springtime Hawthorn, Blackthorn or Bluebells or with autumnal changes in species such as Beech, Rowan or Ash.
Joe has work in private collections in the UK, Spain, Portugal, France, Sweden, Germany, Prague, USA, Canada, Brazil, Australia and Malaysia.