Even when I was making works in other media–video, installations, audio, books and billboards–I was painting. Not always effectively, but always with the idea that painting could convey things that only painting can. Probably the most primal creative gesture, painting was also flexible and personal. You did it alone, and you could do it just about anywhere.
Around 2001 I decided to do the old artist stand-by, "re-learning" how to paint. For me, that meant how to manipulate paint that best depicted my intention. Often that was something to do with the physical world regardless of how literal I wanted it to be. A sort of craft, I suppose. To not be distracted by particular conceptual restraints that haunted my previous work, I devoted this new work to the simple idea of water.
Over the next 11 years I created a group of paintings that, with varying methods, attempted to depict aspects of water. In 2012, I made a small painting, "Two Drawings of a Lake", which triggered ideas about moving toward abstraction as a more liberating way of both creation and cognition. Not a particularly profound idea, and certainly not new, but for me a welcome signal for change.
Now, my work is primarily of simple arrangements of color and shape, energized by irregularities of gesture and free of intention or definitive interpretation. Though a dramatic shift from my previous work in both inspiration and form they continue towards the same end: conveying what only painting can.
Darryl Vance is an artist living near Oranmore, Ireland.