What does your studio look like today?
I am making epic paintings on a huge scale on the hottest day of the year so far! I’m going through quite a roller-coaster of emotions as I think this is my bravest work to date. It’s a fourteen-metre painting covered with thick oil paint, so there are a lot of paint tubes everywhere! It’s hot and it’s full of colour.
What are you most excited by right now?
Building my new studio which will be an extraordinary sculptural building in my garden. The garden itself is a living piece of art and my life’s work. It has exploded into life this spring. Like Monet’s garden at Giverny it is both created and inspiring me to create. The studio will be a beautiful new way to view both the garden and the work. It’s been four years in the planning and seems to be on the cusp of actually happening!
What is your must-have when working?
I’m newly converted to coffee so my coffee maker is my big treat!
What would we find in your studio that is unexpected?
A goldfinch. Creatures come in from the garden that aren’t really supposed to be there, cute as they are. It took ages to help him find the way back outside!
What might people not know about your work?
Each painting can and often does take many years to complete.
What do you do to make yourself feel better when things don’t go according to plan?
Cry. And then listen to my wise daughters who tell me that it’s always the paintings I fight with the most that become my best works. That is happening quite a lot at the moment as I’m pushing my practice to the limits to what is physically possible.
What do you dream of at night?
My garden. Maybe it’s more akin to day-dreaming. In fact I spend hours wandering around the land in a dream-like state seeing it as it will be in the future, as it is in my mind.
What is the best thing someone has ever said about your work?
The gallerist Bernard Jacobson telling me that my work is truly beautiful and that it reminded him of why he became an art dealer in the first place.
What is your dream commission?
A large painting for a public space where as many people as possible will be able to enjoy it and stand back from it to allow themselves to be swept away and transported into another world.
Where would you like to be this time next year?
In my new studio – having champagne with Helen Chislett!