the inspiration for my painting

I draw inspiration for my painting from a number of sources. Light, of course, is really important in my work, as is water. Travel, particularly to sunny places, expands my horizons and feeds into my artwork.   Nature in general helps me to feel inspired. I find that I have to make contact with nature, get out of town and down to the sea or countryside in order to start feeling like painting.  It is very important to me to work out of doors on the spot. This brings vitality into my colour and brushwork.  The studio is also a magical place for me because it is here that I am free from any distractions and can concentrate on composition and expressive or imaginative interpretations that cannot be achieved working outside.   The mediums themselves also inspire. Watercolour for it’s elemental flowing quality and the fact that it will give 'free gifts’ by flowing in ways that cannot always be predicted. Also the radiance and clarity of watercolour is beautiful.  I find that oils encourage me to work large. I enjoy the physical, sensual quality of brushing and blending the paint.  Great painters and artists inspire me.  In particular JMW Turner stands out but many others too, across many centuries and cultures, not only contemporary artists. To mention a few I would have to include Constable, Matisse, Monet, Nolde, Corot.  Many many other, Titian, Velasquez, Gainsborough,  Cotman, Morandi, Rothko. So many, in fact, that they stretch back to cave painting. And then there are many other types of artists, sculptors, film makers, print-makers who inspire.

Artistially, my father, Sean Rice was very considerable influence on me. His work and attitude to art and creativity are still a guiding light for me.

I also have half an eye for abstraction.  This is the aspect to Turner’s painting that I adore. Having trained to draw exceptionally well Turner later on pushed his compositions in original directions, breaking through the stranglehold of topography, that creating unique impressions and exploring abstraction, pattern, colour, light, atmosphere and so on.

It is in pushing my artwork into new and sometimes quite uncomfortable areas that can sometimes be imagined as 'wasting time’, that is most exiting, because nothing genuinely new comes from playing it safe.

Some of my favorite subjects have included the sea and the relationships between architecture and water. My paintings of Venice and some of India (Udaipur Lake Pichola and the White lake Palace) reflect this, as well as paintings of the sea at Brighton.

I especially revel in the juxtaposition of extremely beautiful architecture with water in unexpected and outlandish or fairy-tale settings. The unlikely and crazily beautiful streets of Venice, always ending or melting into silent canals or into the glittering Adriatic…   Or then again, the Royal Pavilion over ice reflections Brighton, lit up at night.