Artist's Statement

The themes of my work concentrate on what I believe are very powerful cycles and interactions as observed in nature, human relationships and society. Recurring subjects include: animals, particularly with regard to human interactions with, and dependence on other species; sexuality, including explicit erotic imagery and the psychology of families. My work is informed by life in a rural setting in the North East of Scotland, and the plethora of examples of ways of life, which are ancient and traditional to this area, juxtaposed by sophisticated, modern methods of survival. The main aim of my painting is not only to express the difficulties involved in remaining an individual within a group oriented society, but also to point the way to some of the conceivable solutions of the problem.

My primary concern is with the interaction of individuals with each other and with the rest of the cosmos, the interface of self with other.

In order to achieve this I have attempted to develop a perception of the world, in particular of the human condition, as free as possible of the distortions of sentiment that can result from our cultural conditioning. I aim for the honest representation of my emotion and the direct un-selfcensored transmission of my response to the motif, I believe this to be a prerequisite of valid art.

With this in mind, I regard aesthetic dogmas as dangerous, in that they are liable to cause the artist to make works not as he sees but as he feels he should be seen to see resulting in stylistic rigidities that are incompatible with the process of genuine creativity.

Heads and Tails I, oil and cellulose on canvas

Heads and Tails I, oil and cellulose

I was born in Kilmarnock in South West Scotland in 1953. I spent my childhood in Ayrshire, Glasgow, Sussex and Gloucestershire, also staying for lengthy periods in Brittany. Since 1978 I have lived near New Pitsligo in Aberdeenshire with my family.

I have been painting most of my adult life. I have made a considerable effort to investigate all aspects of the visual arts and I have developed particular interests in: Pictish, Breton and other Celtic carvings, classical ballads and early epic literature, popular 'Kalighat' Indian paintings as well as the philosophies of modern figurative painting. I have tried to fuse these interests with my own knowledge of life, that of running a small holding for over fifteen years and the politics involved in raising a large family. I find my subject matter in my own experience and consciousness, as well as the literary, mythological, scientific and other cultural furnishings of my mind. I try to produce sincere work that looks good and informs the human condition.

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  • Ox Form, from the significant forms series, digital image
  • Lighthouse Spin, digital image
  • Hare, digital image

All images © D.W.Hood.

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