So a new series begins! I’m very excited to be working on new subject matter and as usual, my plan is to explore the theme for as long as it holds my interest. I’m currently experimenting with size, format, composition and also different times of the day.
All of a sudden I’m feeling much more free with the brush and colour, it’s as though I have worked through a problem and now enjoying the fruits of my labour. I’m sure this won’t last for long so I must enjoy it while I can, before I hit another wall!
You can see in this piece that I have painted from the same position but chose to move the horizon higher, giving more space for the small stream. As I mentioned in my previous post about working in a series, there’s so many advantages to it. I find that I start to get ‘tuned’ in to my surrounds, I start to understand more and more about the colours and why the colours are there. For me, this is what painting is all about. It’s not just about copying what you can see, it’s about the balance of looking, investigating, understanding and making a tangible picture which somehow sums up your feelings and interests in a place/still life/portrait.
I’m very happy to see on reflection of the pieces I have already made that each piece is particular to the moment/s. Each one has a certain feeling, colour scheme and composition. This is a sign that I am really trying to observe and respond in the moment. It’s easy to paint what you think you can see, but much harder to paint what you can actually see. They seem to be really drilling this into the contestants on BBC’s ‘The big painting challenge’. By the way, are any of you watching this series? If so, what do you think? I’d love to hear your opinions so please feel free to add your comments below this blog entry.
This one is probably one of my favourites so far from the new series. The surface is so richly textured due to this piece being painted on top of 2 old paintings that I wasn’t happy with. It’s very interesting painting on such a textural surface, I love the way the loaded brush drags across bumps and leaves hints of previous layers of paint and colour showing through. It really helps to soften edges and is something I am probably going to explore more in this series.
Finally, here’s 2 photographs of a new painting in progress, ‘Evening shadows’. This is the largest canvas that I have ever produced outdoors to this date. Working larger comes packed with it’s own unique problems and challenges, the main one is adapting your approach to mix larger quantities of pigment. I am using a single brush on this large piece and also a very limited palette of a single yellow, blue and red (plus titanium white). I’m looking forward to working on the 3rd session to try and resolve some of the problems visible in the painting’s current state, most importantly, getting the shadows to read as though they really are moving into the distance.