Work in progress
Acrylic on Canvas
Nearly complete a new Western Isles painting this one of two crofts in the outer Hebrides. Both crofts riding the winds above the grey Atlantic; with another rain shower bearing down from a leaden sky.
Its taken me a little while ( 18 months) to readjust to the northern light from the brightness of Andalusia and the sparkling light of France and South West England; in terms of mood, also of texture, tone and colour. Looking back across the A4 now battered, studio sketch book that I kept for 2010-2011 (3 pages left then a party) the questions that I asked myself are; How do you marry deep earth tones and greys with the sparkle of bright grasses or a lightening of the sky, how do I bring in colour to a shadow without it appearing plastic, gaudy or dreamt up...there was also the constant question of style verses what I would call poem ..and how much do you allow style to dictate the content/mood of what we paint? Do we discard something that's a beautiful poem because it wont fit a certain style. Trying to learn from past masters is always useful; Picasso abandoned landscape painting, Monet indulged in his colour studies, Mondrian abstracted into space, The fathers of modern western European painting, Cezanne just painted the way Cezanne painted, unaffected by others; Pissaro worked with a number of styles before finally giving them up finding them to restrictive and painting in the way he felt best suited his subject and poetry. Turner and Constable it could be said painted for the gallery and its to their sketches and outdoor studies that you turn to in awe aided by Ruskin's dictates. Neither does to abandon style mean get sloppy, do not abandon the constant pressure of producing pieces which show good composition, geometry, draughtsmanship and that you can mix colour or place them side by side