I’ve seen other artists writing about the various processes they go through to make a painting and then showing the finished piece for sale.
I’ve always found it quite interesting so thought I would give it a go and show you here just what it is I do.
There will be a few blow-by-blow posts with images to illustrate the development of the work as I go along.
By the end of this week you will see it complete and then have the opportunity to buy it if you wish.
Ready to begin then…
...take a wooden panel
...edges covered in tape to keep them clean
...three or four layers of sanded gesso to provide a smooth surface.
Nothing much to see so far then...
But the title is decided already - “happed in sky” - so now I can set up my palette and how I love setting up my palette!
The joy of choosing which colours of oil paint to squeeze silkily out of tubes onto the glass is huge and significant.
There will nearly always be Indigo, Payne’s grey, Terre Verte, Indian Yellow, Dioxazine Purple and Zi…
More and more paint.
Mark and mark again.
Always, especially when I feel there is a resolution approaching, I will turn the piece I’m working on round - 90 degrees, then another until I’m back where it started.
I’m looking for something better than I’ve got already.
And this is what happened this time.
Suddenly it all made sense.
A quarter turn and I sighed.
More work to do but...yes.
A bit more paint.
And a scratch here and there…
It feels a bit odd to sum up what I do in so few words…
“Well I put on the paint with a few tools and mark into it a bit until it is finished”
It can take me days, weeks, (months?)...
Sometimes I experience a freedom and lightness.
Most often it is intense.
It is abstract and I feel like my head is turned outside in trying to reach that itch.
And still I love it.
The newness of every single painting I make.
And then the fighting with it.
Chasing whatever it is.
My artistic world is currently dominated by thoughts of sky and a…
The Solway sky was the first sky that I looked up and saw as a tiny infant.
A sky big and open and I was imprinted on it.
All last year, I had been dreaming of spending time on my own in some isolated bothy somewhere off the west coast of Scotland in order to feed my work, but then I visited the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust site at Caerlaverock here in South-West Scotland.
And so it was, that just over a year ago, with breathless revelation, I started mulling over the possibility of making an artist’s residency for myself, down there on the Solway coast, no more than a couple of miles from where I first lived as a child.
Why had this certainty not occurred to me sooner?
I must have been seduced by romantic ideas of rugged west coast wildness, transforming soft graphite lines into dramatic Hebridean mark making.
But when at last the relevance of the sense of this place slotted into my vision for my practice, there could be no more reckoning.