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The network of concrete and tarmac, which spreads across the country is a universal experience in our lives today. My paintings make a comment about the Britain of today. They are like a documentary film with a personal narrative. There is something poetic about a view of the open road, it can be used like a stage in which things take place. This makes it a particularly good subject matter because one can move pictorial elements around like the scenery in a theatre set, in order to adjust the compositions of the pictures. Using a theme, which at first glance may seem as mundane as roads, allows one to play around with the imagery without feeling irresponsible for focusing on the sensitivities of the paint rather than the representation of the subject. The weightiness of this urban subject matter also lends itself well to the way I handle paint. These recent paintings have helped me to come closer to the freedom that I want to make work about anything.
I have imposed a set of boundaries on my paintings in order to restrict myself. This seems to give me more freedom in which to paint within these boundaries and makes it easier for me to recognize good and bad painting.
The criteria which I keep in mind when I am making a piece of work are involved with the interaction between the colours mixing on the surface, a sense of rhythm, how the surface is constructed from the brushstrokes, the movement involved in making the painting, the balance of the composition and the homogeneity of the piece. During the making of each painting certain elements arise which inform the conception of the next piece. These elements help to keep the paintings fresh.
I want the paint in my pictures to be playful on the surfaces, acting as paint in itself, as well as being able to discuss the subjects. Richard Dobson