I like to capture the power of the natural world in my painting.
The Australian land that I paint from my studio is vivid, menacing and compelling and ever-shifting. I watch the changing weather and seasons surrounded by the mountains of Kangaroo Valley, where I live. I work from photographs, then accentuate the light and contrast. To me, it is like painting poetry. I emphasise the contrast between darkness and the light. The Australian land is very similar to Morocco, where I was born. But the light here is different, more luminous and brilliant. I feel the ancient forces of the land and sky.
I do not sketch. I paint on canvas and paper. I prefer oils, but I also use all various materials and techniques – I am at ease with acrylic and powdered pigments. My style shifts from the classical to the modern.
I paint moments that excite my artistic sensibility. But I am meticulous and demanding. It could be the shape of a lonely cloud, perhaps a heavy fog moving around the Valley … I also distort what I see and change it into something more ethereal and mysterious.
I am always experimenting. I am very pleased with the oil monotypes on canvas board in this exhibition, like “East Coast Low.” This was a new technique for me that worked, and I am very excited about its potential.
For “I Walk Through The Valley of Shadow”, I used drawing materials, dry pastels and charcoal, with an acrylic medium. It was very challenging, but I love the result.
My vision, palettes and techniques are inspired by the French poet Victor Hugo, and the work of the 19th-century artists Gustave Courbet, William Turner and John Constable. Other important influences are Australian masters Fred Williams, Lloyd Rees, Rick Amor, Bill Henson and Brett Whiteley.