Observation of the Welsh Landscape begins to take form into a Painting that balances somewhere between the realms of figuration and abstraction.
I start off with small thumbnail sketches through direct observation and then work them into a composition. What happens from there is a response process. I begin to layer paint and just respond to the colours, marks and forms that have went before. The way I paint relies heavily on intuition, and there are times that I have to just trust in my process. This then creates a kind of constructed experimental landscape, that’s organic and natural. I try to keep things gestural and expressive, to convey and essence of the landscape as well as translate the transient, fleeting nature of creation.
Untitled ll, acrylic on canvas, 6ft x 3.2ft, £210
(see Paintings section for more info as well as other works)
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” -Vincent Van Gogh
When Painting doesn’t come so easily, and you feel that you’ve really hit a block with it, something that always frees me up again is changing my colour palette. With less than a month to my first Postgraduate Exhibition at Aberystwyth School of Art, this is exactly what I had to do. I introduced a darker colour palette, and eliminated most blues, purples and greens that I usually rely heavily on.
This is my take on some snowy hills that I have witnessed while travelling in a bus from Wales. They fly by in a short, transient moment and appear insignificant. Truth is, it’s these small moments that have a way of unravelling from my sub-conscious and find themselves compositions or themes of my paintings. It’s not until I’ve almost finished works, or see a photograph, or have a distinct memory that I recall where I’ve seen it. To me, that’s amazing. One small snapshot you took with your eyes, reveals itself in such a powerful way years later.
The power of observation has never been so tangible.
I feel so blessed that us artists can work in this way, it’s a great and underestimated gift.
During the Winter Months, my colour palette began to naturally change to more Winter-esque colours and this was a reaction to a trip to Snowdon that I encountered. I was really happy with this painting as it was very quick, gestural and expressive. I used thin layers of acrylic paint and then use a spray gun to spray it off in certain areas which allows the ‘dripping’ effect of the paint.
Although this is quite a time consuming and laborious process, I have found this way of painting really enjoyable. I then worked in on some areas with a glazing agent, pearl spray paint (isn’t visible in photographs) to give a different kind of finish. I used a palette knife to apply the orange accents of paint, which I feel finishes the painting.
The rugged nature of the Welsh Landscape I feel is adequately achieved!