Millennium Bridge (Oil on canvas, 16 x 16 ins)
I guess that about does it. Like every picture, there are always touches and tickles that need to be done after a short while (for instance I want to take down the brightness of the St George's crest), but basically I'm done with this. The Prospective Buyer is going to bring his wife into the studio to have a look at it.
I felt like I was on a roll yesterday. I've not felt that way for some time and I think this may, in part, be put down to the pressure of getting things - expected things, done in an expected way - completed on time. One of the inevitable problems of having to earn a crust, I suppose.
Anyway, having put the Wobbly Bridge to bed, I pulled out a little landscape I've been performing surgery on. I made this landscape for a show a couple of years ago and ever since I've been unhappy with it. It showed a grassy foreground with a typically dark ploughed Scottish field beyond, and misty hills disappearing into a foggy sky. The hills and sky didn't convince me at all.
As an experiment, I thought I'd replace them with a sky I'd photographed from the window of Stately Zip Mansion. The initial knocking in was promising and the field, because of the change in surrounding colouration, took on the aspect of water. Yesterday I let myself go with the paint (mixed with Spectrum Matt Spectragel) and had fun producing this:
It needs a bit more work, especially at the point where hills and clouds meet, but I think this one will work out. As my Old Tutor used to say, "Do ten more!"
My last bit of work - more thinking than painting - was to try out a possible rescue of another painting gone out of favour with its creator.
One of the realisations I've come to in the past few weeks is that I have to break out of the topographically-inspired work I've been working away at ...well, more or less since I began painting. It's limiting my ability to show elsewhere. Although I feel the paintings I produce should be appreciated for themselves, I find that the punters want to recognise the place. I don't much care about the place; it's the painting, the composition, how it's painted, the texture etc, that makes it for me.
Following the punters' likes and dislikes has led me into Bad Ways. There are only so many places in NewcastleGateshead that people are interested in as places to be painted and I'm bored with them. I started a series of other places to try to make them of interest to the public, but to be honest, my heart's not in them. So I decided to Cease and Desist.
The one below is one I started and abandoned as part of the Cease & Desist project.. What I'm trying out here is an experiment to see if I might finally get into some of the figure painting I've talked about before. Yes, I know the figure is a cartoon; in fact he's appeared here before shortly after I met him. Doesn't bother me. I recorded him as a cartoon because it was the quickest way I knew to get him down after I'd got home, but also because he was, in himself, pretty much a caricature anyway.
Not only do I have to decide whether to proceed with this next week, but I also have to decide before then on his scale against the background. There are three possibilities:
I'd be interested in your views, even if I reserve the right to ignore them in a cavalier fashion.