Good figurative artists strive to create equivalents to observed nature and not to illustrate surfaces. Most achieve this through direct observation of the real world but I find this comes between my work and nature, and obscures memory.
My paintings come from my memory and tap into layers of observed experience. For me, imagination and mystery have more licence when not reported directly in front of the motif. My images arise from practical working and re-working as I seek ultimate meaning.
Each picture becomes an adventure. The medium is paramount in this discovery process... as paint, colour, composition and space combine to mirror natural harmony in exciting new ways. And yes, nature is harmonious. Try putting a small, empty picture frame before your eye and in front of nature there will nearly always be total tonal harmony.
My head sculptures and paintings create presences, not portraits. I think of them as 'living' people who have never existed although some are composites of memories of those I have met. In the same way my apparently abstract sculptures all come from natural observation. I choose marble and bronze because they are the finest materials for sculpture... and the human head because it is the most enigmatic of forms.