The two main reasons for this particular blog are as follows; the process of putting my thoughts into writing (a blog), plus providing images to illustrate my thought process, I hope to clarify my direction and goals. The purpose being to help with any submission I may make in the future with my current project.
Then the there is the plain and simple fact that you, the reader, have been given a direct insight into my method of working and the thinking behind it, getting to know me a little better.
The project I have been working on for the last year has been based on the local landscape of South Devon. The outcome I have been seeking is to capture a depiction of each of the seasons in this part of the world. The choice of subject has remained broadly the same over the year but metamorphosed taking new directions and growing in focus.
I initiated the project in early winter of 2021, so as I write a “false Autumn” has arrived but not the same time of year. The shock of pandemic, walks and a sense that the seasons were being missed and ignored in such a busy world, had a profound effect on me. I drew constantly in all weathers with site specific found materials and made small natural interventions on site occasionally. Retuning to the studio I rapidly built up a large amount of sketches some of which I worked from to make pastel drawings. I repeatedly returned to the same spots throughout the year, different colours and rhythms emerged as representational of each season.
Reviewing details of the drawings and sketches from each of the seasons, I selected nine details (squares in 3 x 3 grid) using an App called Diptic. I painted bold and gestural marks on some 14cm x 20cm paper using acrylic paint. Again reviewing and editing these “visual notes” allowed for the selection of four of each the details from the winter, spring and summer (which I had originally sketched and drawn). The ones I picked had a real sense of the season in question and I painted these as small 26cm x 17.5cm studies, landscape or portrait format as appealed at the time.
I still wanted to focus the viewer more on an aspect of the landscape,a captured moment, a transient point in time, a mood for the place. Using a mount with a 15cm x 16cm aperture, but cut to mimic the format of a Polaroid photo was the next big step. What if I could paint larger works to look like oversized old Polaroids of landscapes?
Polaroids capture the light in the moment with a distinct humanistic feel. I decided that I would paint some 42cm x 52cm testers, painting the “faux Polaroid” border too, hoping to convey the feeling of along forgotten image that had resurfaced. I have so far made 3 of these larger experiments and have to review the surface on which they have been painted.
I like the idea of Tela Fabriano to work on as the supplier has the right size. I am using up some old varnish in the studio for the glazed look of the photographs, I would like to compare satin versus gloss though. Then it will be a busy time making the 16 final pieces, which is a lot of paint. The works will be for a Christmas show at a gallery, not all the work would be shown. One thing I have learnt over the years is to keep making and then be selective in what you show.