‘Usually painters paint water just as the camera captures it recording how it looks in a single fraction of a second. The image is frozen . The person looking at the pictures probably recognises the image as one of a sequence they have themselves have seen, whether a slow swirl reflected on a swimming pool bottom, or the spitting spray on the crest of a wave. Their memory fills in the blanks either side of that frozen moment.
Recently I have have been watching the sparkle on the Pang, a fast-flowing stream, as it joined the slow-moving Thames. Each time I stared long and hard at the watersmeet and tried to single out one particular moment to record in paint but I found my eye darted about the waters surface without stopping, distracted from one flash of the sun to another even more inviting. My eyes were led a merry dance across a myriad of attractions and my brain found it increasingly difficult to try and assimilate exactly what I was looking at.
My usual method of painting a subject is to analyse what is before me and then set about recording my findings on paper. This time the constant change before my eyes defied analysis. Then I suddenly realised there was an alternative way to describe the subject without choosing to freeze a particular second as would the camera.’