I didnt have a clue what I was doing when I started this except the notion of attempting a figurative piece. I had a photo of the top part of the figure and I liked the compact pose; the rest just sprung from there.
Playing with washes and colour, with a bit of drawing, and who knows where I have landed. Out of the proverbial and into the fire. Well, having said that, there are aspects I could take and use to better effect. You build up this thing intuitively and then you stand back and think that would be better there, and if only I had used a redder blue here, or lost that line there.
I do miss the life sessions I used to go to, as it was painting on the fly – no time to really think things through – just crash on, and this painting was similar in that respect. I do have sketchbooks full of figures that might be worth developing and applying some of these approaches to. We’ll see. I did have plans to do some life drawing at the start of this shutdown and apart from some sketches this is only the second figurative painting I have managed – I get sidetracked too easily.
I had previously mentioned a number of paintings I have been struggling with of late and this is one of them. It started out as an evocation to lush swaying grassland but the final result left me unsatisfied. Instead of getting the gesso out and starting again I thought I could use the movement I had created and so pressed on to bring it to this, its latest manifestation. It’s taken on a topographical feel – like the view you might get moments before impact. So here it rests in my studio – at least I feel more satisfied now.
And whilst on the subject of reworking here are a couple more paintings I’ve shown of late having undergone further tweaking. Firstly, Early Crops Under Clieves Hills:
This has been through a number of iterations and may go through a few more yet. I just cant get the saturation of colour I was after in the reds and purples. I am considering going over it in oil paint though I will leave it for a while now and reflect.
I made the frame a while ago and love the shape. I have done a number of these non-standard shapes and may make some more in the future.
I have worked on this piece for a long time, playing around with preparatory sketches – then putting them aside. I was looking through my sketchbooks recently and decided it was time to reach for a conclusion and set about pulling them all together. The blocks are only 6″ square (15cm) so it wasnt a massive undertaking, but I had been uncertain as to the interaction of the parts.
So here it is – the conclusion – at least for now.
A few years ago I reroofed my garage which entailed reboarding it. I had a lot of off-cuts and, being naturally parsimonious, I stored them, despite having no idea of what to do with them. A couple of months ago an idea trickled into my head and after a few sketches and a pretty useless maquette, I came up with this. I still need to do a bit more filling and then paint it to give it some weather proofing.
Yesterday it came out of the workshop and I thought I would try it out on the centre of the lawn – the wife didnt complain too loudly, so that was some kind of victory.
With the sun shining, the facets were accentauted, so I thought I might as well photo it and post the images. I am quite pleased with the outcome – so long as those pigeons dont use it as a perch…
I need thirty paintings for a show in a couple of weeks and started getting things together before I left for holiday. The exhibition is based on paintings of the area around where I live. Most are in a realist or naturalist style but I have one abstract work and although I have some expressionistic works I wanted another abstract to complement it. It then takes the viewer on both a topographic and a stylistic journey. On the plane home I had an idea for something reflecting the canal where I live and do a lot of my plein air painting.
This was the result and may get further tweaked in the next weeks. I did do a couple of pastel sketches, but felt that they were a little busy.
This was the first one and on the second I decided to kill some of the blue
I liked the idea of building up the complexity in the middle, but keeping the outsides open and airy and decided to emphasise that on my acrylic piece. Perhaps I have gone too far now. I will leave it alone and make a decision later.
As I worked on the acrylic piece I started to think of the Nile – a little distance from the Lancashire plain where I started out.
This was another response to to the forest walks we went on, described in previous blogs. In fact I completed this one before the last blog I posted. I tried some sketches first in pastel and in the end decided to combine them all for the final piece.
Any resemblence to Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie is coincidental and I did get increasingly aware of it as I built up the painting, with its lines and small blocks of colour particularly as he did some very inspiring trees as well – well worth a look at.
A rather rich confection on this post as I show you some of the poured acrylics I’ve done. I bought some Floetrol and silicone oil and started pouring rather than the spreading I did with ‘Drop in the Ocean’ I posted on 30th October. Despite the Floetrol I am struggling with getting the paints to flow in the way I feel they should, but I think I now know the answer.
The two above are small, 6 inches square and I tried a bigger one about 20×14 inches, see below, but it was when I was struggling with the flowing issue, so I ended up holding the canvas and spun it sharply in the air to get the paint to cover the surface. I suppose in the same vein as one of Damien Hirst’s pizza paintings – though he got someone to do his on a turntable and, unfortunately, it wont command the same price.
Having just watched a programme on the making of the Sergeant Pepper album this has that rich psychedelic feel of the sixties era. I was wondering about putting a face on it – maybe for later.
Talking of later, I put out a post called the Archaeology of Paint in October. Since then I have added to it, so here is the latest version. I think it is more satisfying, but is it the finished article?
Anyway, I wont be adding to it anytime soon as am off to Namibia and then on to Cape Town and the southern coast. Hopefully I’ll get some time to paint and post some images.