I find I am working with less and less information. Where I used to work from sketches and notes that I jotted down, I now start a painting with no idea where it will go. I find out what's really on my mind by seeing what I have created at the end of a couple of days. Sometimes I might be subconsciously focusing on a moment I had, a place where I was, that I want very badly to get back to. But often I have no idea where a painting is going and more times than not, even if I want to convey a place I have in mind, the painting goes it's own way.
For some time, I traveled to Morocco yearly and that influenced my work. I am drawn to the raw beauty and mystery of the place and as a country of abstract shapes, everything from the land, the buildings, the people and their dress to the few vehicles carrying goods. It was a perfect place for me. Now I find I prefer to travel without thinking about making a painting and it's when I'm in the studio alone that the paintings start to evolve.
I continue to sketch where I go, rough sketches concentrating on shapes and composition, but I seldom use these sketches. I make them because it's fun and a nice way to record a place and time. But when I am in the studio and removed from the emotions, distractions and complications of a place, I start putting down paint and I expect, though don't know for sure, that it's color that leads me along, color being the most important ingredient in a painting, or at least the component that I find most exciting. I paint, scrape, cover again, allowing the history of the painting to show through.
I think too, my many hours of bike riding contribute to the abstract quality of my work. When I'm on a bike I feel disconnected from what I am seeing. The ground becomes a flat plain even when I'm climbing and things become two dimensional and abstract, having little meaning. It puts things into an unconscious state.