I have been away from home, visiting family and being a Granny in Wales, for two months, as well as a ten day break in Portugal
So I’ve been away from my studio and not painting
During the last couple of weeks I have begun to crave paint and canvas. So I bought a few materials from local shops and made these two small works on the floor in my daughter’s spare bedroom. In between visits, and in between layers, they’ve been drying in the shed.
My bedroom at my daughter’s home has sliding doors out onto the garden, with views into the trees beyond. And a view out of the side windows to a stand of Scotch Pines. From my bed I can see both dawn and dusk through these trees.
The paintings are not at all a representation of these photos of views. In fact they have more of an essence of a walk in the woods. I even embedded a fern leaf in the paint, removed it the next day to leave its impression, then rolled over it again with more layers.
However, some of the colours are there. A friend of mine said of these two latest pieces that they were a return for me of a ‘confident enigma’. I like that
Here are 2 of my recent large works
The top one is ‘Evening walk, Cruit’
110 x 160cm
The bottom one is ‘Ruined gables, facing West’ , 120 x 160cm
They were both painted during the same short period of a few weeks, about 4 or 5 months ago, in Winter.
They were both inspired by, and had their starting point in an evening walk at sunset, with the Western light, on the tracks around our home on Cruit
They are both unusual for me as they were mostly painted using brushes. And also the paint mixture was more liquid and had a higher proportion of oil, so the surface us more glossy than usual
Both have some strong diagonal marks as central structures to the composition.
The top piece is more balanced, with a fairly traditional compositional structure, with the mountain and horizon quite central.
The lower piece has a distorted, unbalanced structure, with a weird sloping section to the horizon on the left, and strong diagonal marks ambiguously reaching down from the pyramidal forms into the foreground
The brush marks were applied very quickly in both works. And there are dribbles and splashes
The colours in the top piece are warm and strong, but mostly complimentary and /or harmonious. Whereas the colour in the lower piece are strong and sometimes clashing, even bilious.
For me the results are very different. The top painting is comfortable, even comforting. The lower piece is unsettling, maybe anxious making.
I have never analyzed my work like this before. I almost never write any sort of artist statement. I would be very interested to hear what other people might think. About these paintings. Or about me writing about my own work. No holds barred! Please be honest. A diogue would be great. Thanks
On a wet, closed in StPatrick’s Day, nothing for it but to get on with the mundane jobs in the studio
Painting the edges is a rather precarious job, with paintings balanced at odd angles in strange combinations, often upside down
I usually mix a colour in harmony with the painting, but not an exact match to any of the colours I used in the work itself
This blue and yellow pair of square canvases is an exception, as I used the same blue as in the paintings to try and emphasise the feeling of spaciousness I was trying to capture in relatively small works
I had already painted the edges of these, but have reworked them, so the bright turquoise edge seems too strong now, so I’ve mixed a pale olive green. However, it might be a bit dark, so I’ll probably try yet again!
This enormous painting continues to challenge me
It is 150cm x 240cm on primed canvas currently stapled to the wooden wall of my studio
The main debate with myself is about the horizon line. I am gradually settling to a decision to keep the horizon visible only on the left. On the right the orientation of the landscape becomes ambiguous.
Today I added a pink layer over the darker tones on the top right section and also some ochre areas. And then applied solvent and made some deep marks with a palette knife to reveal the dark blue underneath