Thursday, 14 July 2011

Chambers Street, Edinburgh

Chambers Street, Edinburgh (Oil on canvas, 12 x 12 ins)

I am not interested in 'copying' what is in front of me. I find copying pictures very useful and enjoyable up to a point, but copying nature is a different affair. It is, at best, a dull occupation, though I much enjoy using a camera, and find photographs of people and places a good jog to the memory and they can see and record things in a fresh light, or an aspect that had not struck you before.

John Piper (The Artist and the Public, published in Current Affairs No. 96, 2 June 1945)

I quote this for a number of reasons, the first being simply that I admire John Piper's work a great deal and am always interested to read something he said. I suppose another reason is that - justified or not - this painting reminds me a little of Piper. More than anything else, however, is that although I use photographs as source material, this is not what Chambers Street looked like on the day I took this photograph. The details of the structure are more or less accurate, but the whole thing has been filtered through my imagination (and the filters of Photoshop) to bring me closer to what I felt said something to me about the place (and in passing, about colour).

The same process was applied to all of the Edinburgh paintings.

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