Monthly Archives: November 2016

Welcome

Hello and welcome to my blog.

After painting constantly for over 5 years I’ve decided to write about the process and share this. I have many questions in my mind when working on a piece, here are some of the main ones:

When creating a landscape, what makes it a good painting?
What makes people respond strongly to one piece and not another?
Where does a piece of art come from?

We are all unique and have our own personal experiences, things that inspire us, things that scare us and those that surprise us. So when we look at a piece of art we react to our associations and it either moves us on some level or doesn’t.

I’ve worked in a number of ways to create my art and one my favourites is to simply let the paint decide what it is going to be. This is a fairly hit and miss kind of approach and I have numerous examples of failed efforts which either went nowhere good or efforts where I reworked the piece to such an extent that I managed to salvage something pretty cool and perhaps unexpected by the time it was complete. Often these salvaged pieces can take weeks or even months and I’ve even had the occasional situation where I’ve stopped and given up, starting something new in a different direction to move forward and keep the journey going.

Fingerpainting on a three inch screen with a zoom aspect of up to 800% means it can be challenging to get the right result in a piece, and a large scale print of the work is significantly more impactful than what I see when working on the tiny screen.

Using a palette knife or brush with a one pixel width means very fine detail can be achieved and it can be painstaking to complete a painting where there is much detail as in rendering of trees and foliage (see below).

african-forest_500px

Despite this ability to create great detail fingerpainting as a technique makes it much harder to depict objects and people convincingly, and early on I chose to work within these limitations and allow the naive style of the paintings to become part of their charm, rather that treating it as a limiting factor.

When I start a painting using this approach I select the tube tool, choose the colours and squish the paint out onto the canvas.

mysteries_x3

I then grab the palette knife and work the colours together until I’ve smoothed the paint down to a textured finish.

I step back and see what the paint has to say, and it usually tells me what the piece is going to be, I start working close in on the detail of the focal point in the painting adding objects or people to give it a narrative and get the viewer asking questions like, what is going on in the scene? Who is that person what are they doing there? What is the mysterious shape in the distance? Is there danger? What will happen next?

Signatures are very important in these pieces and they give much needed depth to the landscape and engage the viewer to ask questions and wonder. The piece shown above is my first attempt at an undersea theme and I’ve produced a further seven pieces in this series and am working on a fifth as described in my next post.

Night seas

This is the 5th in my series of ocean themed pieces and is the first attempt at a night scene. It is proving to be a challenge as conveying the watery scene is more difficult, with richer dark hues of blue and blacks to convey the ocean floor and coral reefs. I’ve decided to include a moon and shafts of light to help give viewer the feeling of the murky depths as well as a few ocean dwellers to enhance the subterainian atmosphere depicted. See below early stages.