The first Operan is about 120×100 cm and as I was enjoing working on this large scale I did a couple more and found another photograph from the Stockholm archipelago that inspired me. Looking at this image it is almost too colourful – but I have not made any ‘improvements’ – it is the way light is falling on the microscopic pigment particles and the way they are reflecting the light that make it so vibrant. Photographing this using my phone was a challenge – either the light was bouncing off the surface or, as here, the colours look exaggerated and fake.
Staying in my comfort zone of graphite …. although most of these new works in this series are a slight deviation from my usual ‘fur’ works which seem to be hard to step a way from.
Having listened to a lot of artists’ interviews on the net it is clear that most of us make some initial marks, be it planned or experimental, and then we just follow the demands of the work. Beckett saw art as an act of translation and Barnett Newman said ‘one cannot really say it – one can only paint it’. I’ve also come across the view that art is a place for expression, and especially for the expression of that which we are less clear about. So this is what the images are – something that wants to be communicated in this way. Sharp edges and soft layers finding that they are part of the same unit.
What it says on the tin! Inspired by a photo taken in the archipelago on the east coast of Sweden, and trying not to think of Turner’s mastery, this what the end finished product looks like. The colours seem un-naturally bright but are actually somewhat toned down. I think I most like what I did with the sea, it sort of balances the activity going on above.
Oil on canvas.
So moving on from Wave, which was painted on a loose piece of canvas, this smaller work is on a stretched frame. Working by manipulating very runny acrylic paint and letting it dry between the application of different hues, I placed the stretcher on the floor by a window and, with the sun shining through, noticed that the mullions cast a lovely shadow which added depth to the painting. I quickly grabbed a brush and thinned Payne’s Grey and captured the shadow. Several layers later this is the end result.
Two examples of the left hand drawing excercises that I start the day with – using your non-dominant hand is supposed to engange the right (creative) side of your brain. It certainly makes you concentrate on looking and you realise that your left hand seems to have decision making capabilities of its own. Those wobbly lines were not what I wanted to draw!