"Great art is that pure expression of our imperfection on the path to truth." I might never make great art, but I am seeking truth.
Not everything in the world is nice. It's a horrible place and we're daily surrounded by death and destruction, wars and cruelty. We have people being beheaded and shot for daring to speak out loud, and being mutilated, abandoned, and bombed by invading armies. Even if we leave war out of it for a moment,I'm frequently reduced to tears at the treatment of children. Some things make a raw hole in your heart, like the child who was force fed salt as a punishment and died.
You cannot forget these things, and they form part of who you are. For me that means bringing my pain and that rawness into the work I do. It could be cathartic, but isn't. It's about how I feel, about my emotional response to something I've heard or seen and is my own personal truth. I don't sit and think how can I make this powerful, or more intense, I just allow whatever is there to come out and temper it into a story.
A lot of people would prefer to forget the grotty things of life and certainly not put them into their work. There are more cheerful things in the world after all and much that is good and heartening, and whilst emotional response to a picture can be anything from it's subject matter to the colours it uses,a play of light on a face or a flower, my own work is about my personal response to life I lead, and things I can't get away from. They do also contain a bit or irrepressible humour sometimes, that sneaks in without me putting it there. I have no idea how it does that.
Life Stories - a funny old mixture of rawness, and sometimes humour, and an effort at truth.