I have just returned from a month in Taiwan, visiting relatives and travelling around this interesting country, including a few days in Hong Kong. Artists love travelling, it provides a different perspective on their usual day-to-day lives and helps to inspire new paintings. Taiwan is a very unique and colourful country, it is situated on the Tropic of Cancer which means summers are very hot and winters are mild. In March and April, it is perfect for sightseeing. I travelled to the centre of the island and spent a day in the mountains looking at wild monkeys and beautiful views.
Taiwan has many interesting sights including ancient temples, lively street markets and everywhere there is colour. One of the places I had been looking forward to visit was Rainbow Village on the outskirts of Taichung. It was created by former soldier, Huang Yung-Fu. He began painting houses here to save them from demolition. Over the years his colourful houses have spread to cover all the remaining houses in the village.
I was lucky enough to meet Huang, who is now 95. He is still painting and showing his vision of colourful birds and animals to the world. As an artist, the explosion of colour in Taiwan is bound to affect your own painting. I returned to Liverpool with a
different colour palette and with those hot colours waiting to be released into paintings. Trees now took on the tropical colours of Taiwan and reds, oranges and pinks began to creep in and change my work. That is why travelling, for me, is a necessary part of being an artist. Colour combinations and compositions emerge that are totally unexpected.