"Oriental poppies are flamboyant early summer flowers and the sight of the sunlight on the delicate petals elicits such a strong emotional response that I am compelled to record them. A recurring theme in my work and usually viewed from an unexpected angle I love to reveal their character when the sun shines through their petals, enhancing their colour, form and surface texture, all hugely fascinating to paint.
Oriental poppies are perennial flowering plants native to the Caucasus, northeastern Turkey, and northern Iran. In spring they throw up a mound of finely cut, hairy foliage; after flowering the foliage dies away entirely, a property that allows their survival in the summer drought of Central Asia. They usually thrive in light calcareous soil and in full sun or part shade and their seeds are sown after the potential of frost has passed."