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 is another in my series of local views though this one is less stylised than the previous two, but I have pushed the colours again. I posted a plein air version back in July last year and when I found it in my sketchbook to do this version, I was quite pleased with the watercolour I had done out in the fields.
So in some way I have taken a backward step with this painting by not pushing it graphically but I am pleased with the summery vibrancy and the looseness.
In the meantime I have been reworking the first two. I’ll post them soon when all the changes have been made.
Second in the series of the graphic and colour-centric landscapes I am completing. Not sure if there is too much detail in the foreground here and that a further paring down could prove beneficial. I am already reworking the foreground of the first in the series I presented earlier, and painting a third.
I did a watercolour of this farm a long time ago and there isnt a lot going on though I love the outline of the buildings and the wind sculpted trees. This time I added the storm and am very pleased with some of the outcome.
This image was developed from a plien air painting I posted at the start of June.
I wanted a bit more colour and punch and also thought that a graphic style could enhance the saturated colours so I gessoed over an old painting on canvas and set to work. I had been influenced by work by Fred Ingrams amongst others and although I havent achieved his brave use of colour it is an early step.
It might be worth producing a small set of paintings in this style and see if they develop. I have plenty of raw material both photos and sketches to draw from.
The main square in San Pedro de Atacama and in the afternoon heat everyone heads for the shade. We had come down from the Bolivian Altiplano descending thousands of feet onto the desert plateau and still this place is nearly 2500 metres above sea level.
The other thing I couldnt get my head around was the small river that runs through the town – in the driest place on earth. I thought it was some man-made confection designed to impress the visitors. We walked a few miles out of town, along the river valley and on the sides of a steep hill, by the river, were the remains of an Inca settlement. So it seems that it was entirely natural.
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.
Back in June 2014 I did a couple of pastels on the isolation of the individual. I was never happy with the outcome. These first two took a high viewpoint and recently when playing around I decided that a low angle might be more effective. But it wasnt plain sailing, as I found the detail I required was difficult in pastel.
So I changed to acrylic and am happier with the result. Though it may not be the final resolution, I feel I have made progress – and that is all that one can hope for, I guess. I may even revisit the first two paintings I did and see if acrylics would also suit them.
Despite obviously skipping their medication they are almost putting a sentence together, though the punctuation needs more work – perhaps when kindergarten resumes it will be a subject that will be covered.
As for the non-art: this is my Grande Jatte painting but without the monkeys. I loved the way the figures were lolling around by the side of the river, obviously taken by some action upstream. I added a fourth figure and have been fiddling around with the painting for a while and will probably continue to do so.
I was going to show something else I had done in pastels, but have been struggling with, probably because I am working too small. Anyway, here it is as I should show the problems as well as the other stuff.
Because of copyright I had to make alterations to the image and the painting hit the buffers. Maybe one to reprise in the future.
The final life session finished last week, so here are my last live figurative paintings for a while.
I have been alternating between pastel and acrylic of late rather than sticking to one medium and have ground to a halt developmentally. This imposed hiatus might give me time to work up some of these images.
Developing images I have produced at these sessions is something I have always meant to do, but never got around to doing. It might also allow me to explore some different styles as the fast pace at these sessions doesnt leave much time to ponder and I would like to try other approaches to figure painting.
The closing down of these sessions will also leave many of the models without this source of income and some are quite economically vulnerable. There are a number of life groups around where I live so the good models can do two or three sessions a week. The girl depicted in the first sketch, Eve, even runs a group herself, as well as modelling.
I havent been doing much life drawing of late, but last week I turned up to a session taking my acrylics and square brushes.
These sketches were done fairly rapidly. I was after a loose blocky style.
I am still uncertain as to how I proceed with life drawing. As you can see here the poses are very stilted and the subjects flooded with light from all angles.
I do like the pressure and demands these sessions provide, though they give little time for consideration and development. There’s too much focus on speed and I wonder the effect it has on some of the attendees including myself.