A R T
My creation process as a visual artist is so much more private and intimate than my experience as a performing artist. Each has its own intrinsic beauty. Decades of touring the world as a recording artist/singer-songwriter, forever in the public eye, have given me such a great appreciation of that difference.
The pull of a blank canvas, perfectly stretched and prepared, is almost more than I can bear. It holds a potential that inextricably draws me in. I come to it with an idea of what might lie within and I begin to sketch that idea, and paint it, at first tentatively, not wanting to spoil the perfection of what is not yet there. Then there is a moment when the painting stirs and that spark that is life in all that surrounds us, enters the piece and begins to direct me toward who it will become. My paintbrush flies and I am no longer in charge but simply the instrument through which the gift may flow. Just as singing requires that I get out of the way of the force that flows through me and let the music speak for itself, so indeed does the painting have its own voice.
Why do I paint portraits? When studying in art school I saw hundreds upon hundreds of portraits of the wealthy painted by the Masters. These portraits told me only of their wealth by birthright, not their wealth in lives well lived. And so I became drawn to paint those who, in my mind, are the real aristocracy – those who are rich in life and most often, poor in material things. For our faces are maps of our time here. And most often the faces with the most wisdom burning through their eyes are those with many miles and years traveled. The faces that speak to me and teach me are usually those of us who are almost finished with our time here and closer to going home or those who have just come here, the sublime serenity of the place from which we all come shining through their radiant innocence.
'I feel privileged to be rich in time to be creative, and blessed with a box full of tubes of exquisite colour to play with. I live in absolute gratitude.'