In 2014 Brian returned to his county of birth, setting up his home and studio in Derbyshire. Having become established living in the High Peak, he reached a point where he felt a strong urge to reflect something of the local environment in his work.
I was ready for a change of focus. A change from making larger abstract paintings which didn’t necessarily signify particular places. Though I was rather uncertain about exactly what this might be and for how long this need might endure.
Brian started by making a range of quick line drawings based on vistas seen from Spring Bank Road along his route from home into town, and back again. These were completed in ink and aimed to capture a sense of feeling about the elements impacting upon his walk: stiff breezes, moving trees and branches, solid and unyielding stone buildings, mists and hazes in the folds of the hills stretching out towards Kinder Scout. And the prevailing chill one always feels at this height above sea level. These sketches found their way into a dozen medium-sized paintings.
In common with most of my work, these paintings were layers rendered wet on dry using squeegees, spatulas and large painting knives: thick pastes of paint placed in relatively experimental ways but also mindful of the original sketch starting point.