Ryōjin, keeper of the tide jewels


The energy in this piece has been intoxicating for us. The richness of forms and colour has inspired an intense response to the legend of this sea dragon.

We had prepared a very complex surface of watercolour, charcoal and ink in this case and unusually for us, decided very early on that we would paint Ryōjin, as a follow on to the tale of Tamatori. I began to work into the dragon’s head and neck which in turn, gave Stephen the opportunity to unleash his powerful marks in ink around the body of the creature. We alternated several times, as is our norm, to adjust and respond to each other’s marks.

Again we have aimed to build complexity into the completed work; seeking the ambiguous, the surreal perhaps whilst maintaining the importance of the narrative. We want to be gripped, surprised and always inspired. We are both a little braver as a result of working this way too.

Ryojin will be showing at Ashdown Gallery in June 2018, as part of our ‘solo’ exhibition.

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