Tag Archives: aerial

Mindfulness

How do you practice mindfulness?

I’m currently reading Mindfulness: 25 Ways To Live In The Moment Through Art by Christophe Andre.  Hearing much about mindfulness and the buzz that surrounds it, I picked up this book in Birmingham Airport… it seemed perfect. Mindfulness AND Art?!

I had no expectations of this book, but it is truly beautifully crafted.  Andre uses paintings both modern and of the masters to illustrate his concepts and teachings.  He doesn’t overstate the benefits of mindfulness (which I believe is a trap that many authors have fallen into) instead he demonstrates that Mindfulness is not a way out of life’s problems – but a way of being present in a way which fosters self/other compassion, and a clear-eyed awareness of the miracle of being in the moment, existing.

Even reading it makes you become more mindful… absorbing the images and words, looking at details of paintings over and over again – it creates some kind of tangible awareness which is all too hard to find in this fast-living world.

I have not only come to love the paintings more, but understand them in a different and calm dimension.

I started to think about my own practice and when I have the chance to be mindful when I create.  This has led to a series of map pieces.  I don’t think about the colours or the lines or the composition really.  I simply paint and be.

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How are you Mindful when creating?

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Aerial Painting- The Landscape according to the Artist’s eye.

For me, the Aerial Landscape has always been an intrinsic part of my identity.  I find myself fighting others to have a window seat on a plane.  Looking down on the earth from above has always given me a comfortable perspective and I find that life becomes somewhat insignificant as it simplifies merely into shapes and forms.

When I paint, I try to translate some of these feelings of movement and depth into my work.  Although I am not as committed in the fashion of Lanyon and his paragliding or Turner supposedly attaching himself to a mast, I believe my inspiration is clearly recgonisable in the gestural, rhythmic and expressionate marks I apply to the canvas.

I first found this love for the Aerial Perspective by accidentally discovering a batch of Old R.A.F war photographs.  Even in black and white, I was captivated by the painterly nature of the land.  I began my own Pinterest board which contains a comprehensive list of Aerial Photos and Paintings. (including some of my own work, shameless plug)

This board is updated regularly, so feel free to check it out and follow! You can see regular progress of my own work via Instagram, following @radunlop

Richard Diebenkorn - CityScape 1, 1963, Oil on Canvas

Richard Diebenkorn, CityScape l, 1963, Oil on Canvas

By the Sea lll

Jenny Nelson, By the Sea lll, 2008, Oil on Canvas

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Sidonie Cardon, Down to Earth, 2006, Mixed Media on Canvas

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Landscape Aerial Photograph of the Longji area, China

John Evans

John Evans, Fields by the River, 2000, Oil on Canvas

Throwback, reminiscing on old works to help inspire the new.

When I come to a block in my current painting progress, I always look back at the old to try and use it as a way to free up some ideas. I decided to look back at some of the old aerial views that I was creating in 2012-late 2013. Although in this period of time there were inevitable stumbling blocks and problems I encountered, I found that it was a very encouraging and promising time for my painting progress. I developed so much as an artist and learned a lot about paint in a relatively short amount of time. Two of my favourite studies were two of the first small Aerial Views paintings I created. At this time, I was heavily inspired by Artist Anna Warsop and used her work as a foundation for my own. Her work is so beautiful and subtle, as well as painting she creates some striking prints too.

Check them out @ http://www.annawarsop.com/index.html

Aerial View l, acrylic on canvas, October 2012.
Aerial View l was a response to a flight experience of my own, memory, intuition and being inspired by the work of Warsop. This is a monumental piece in my practice, as it really marked the first move away from painting into maps, to creating direct aerial views.

Anna Warsop, Enclave, Acrylic on Canvas

Aerial View ll, acrylic on canvas. December 2012

Aerial View ll was a piece I created soon after, and was very much based on a flight from Ireland- Wales, hence all the more local colours. I learned to use accents of colours to represent buildings, structures etc. The idea is that the landscape was transient and fleeting worked very well. I tried to incorporate clouds to give a tangible sense of depth and add movement to the painting. I used layers of acrylic canvas with a glazing agent and worked quite slowly. I painted onto to the canvas in some areas, and in others I painted directly onto old maps I had torn up and glued on, furthering and adding an extra dimension to the ‘aerial view’ concept.

Aerial View ll, acrylic on canvas, December 2012

Departing from Aerial Views

Undegraduate Degree show, May 2013 Aerial View 1

These three Aerial View Paintings marked the peak of my Undergraduate degree in Fine Art Painting at Aberystwyth University. Throughout my Three years in Aberystwyth, I had been heavily inspired by the rugged Welsh landscape, and found a love for cartography in my second year of study. Moving away from Map work, the concept of the Aerial View stayed an important influence. Being from Ireland, I always loved flying back and forth to see the land from above. I was fixated with the natural forms, lines and colours of the land and how from above the earth looked like some kind of abstract painting. I began painting instinctive and gestural Aerial landscapes which were a direct response to my experience of flying and the earth from above.
However, at the end of my Undergraduate degree, and embarking on my Masters, I strived to move away from the Aerial View, with the idea of beginning to incorporate the skyline back into my works. I still was interested in forms, and experience of being in the landscape, but just didn’t have such a specific ‘category’ as such for my paintings. I was excited to begin experimenting in my Masters degree, unsure of the outcome, but relying on the process rather than the end product.