Early figurative work was rooted in realism and had a strong narrative based on interpretations of body language and the placing of figures in relation to each other in carefully constructed contexts.

For some years now I have had an underlying influence that stems from research into Freud’s theories about the human psyche and its tripartite structure made up of the Id, the Ego and the Super - Ego.
The Id is impulsive, demands satisfaction and responds immediately to our instincts. It is not affected by logic, reality or the everyday world. The personality of the newborn child is all Id and only later does it develop an Ego and Super - Ego.
The Ego mediates between the unrealistic Id and the external real world. it is the decision making component of personality and works by reason whereas the Id is chaotic and totally unreasonable. The Ego considers social realities and norms, etiquette and rules in deciding how to behave.
The Super - Ego incorporates the values and morals of society which are learned from one;s parents and others. It’s function is to control the Id’s impulses, especially those which society forbids, such as sex or aggression.
These portraits relate to this Freudian theory in that they normally start with a fairly complex unsighted line drawing which is then refined through discarding the superfluous line, and further developed and simplified in colour, sometimes with additional collage.
At each stage the works take on a different aspect of the same personality and often, the final work bears little resemblance to the initial first drawing. These portraits are not about “likenesses” in the sense of realism, they are about the personality of the subject and how I see them. This approach to portrait painting also begs the question of how much the artist brings his own Id, Ego and Super - Ego to the process.