The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines decadence as a ‘Luxurious self - indulgence'.
Oscar Wilde had his own definition:
‘Classicism is the subordination of the parts to the whole.
Decadence is the subordination of the whole to the parts.'
Travel is important in providing the inspiration for my work, it is an inspirational activity for any creative person, but the anticipation of travel and the contemplation (before and after travel) of the culture and history of the places visited, is equally as important.
While I am travelling I enjoy recording impressions of the place in sketchbooks, notepads and visual diaries. It could be depicting a puppet shop in Mandalay or cats in Istanbul. It doesn't have to be glamorous, something can strike a chord, or sometimes there are noticeable differences in lifestyle.
The creativity of the people in Burma (Myanmar) and in Asia in general always makes a huge impression on me. Where everyone is engaged in making crafts by hand, weaving, making gold leaf, bronze casting, ceramic villages, lacquer work and the amazing colours of natural dyes on silk.
Then trying to decipher and distil all of the impressions and psychological states experienced during travel and before in the anticipation of travel, and to describe all this in line and tone.
Finally, on returning home to paint in oils on canvas - what a wonderful way of reliving the experiences!
If Burma was flashes of gold and lavender mixed with saffron and angels carved into teak on the sides of temples then Paris was the perfectly preserved Haussmann buildings and the interiors of restaurants unchanged since 1880 or 1900 and where the artists and writers still seem to be walking the street from the turn of the century.