Thursday 26 January 2012

Private View

Here's the invitation to Figure 8's new show at the Biscuit Factory. I'll be showing eight of the Rock & Tree series paintings, including the two new Auchterarder Hedgerow pictures.

If you can make it to the opening, I'd be delighted to see you there. Come and say hello! If you can't get there, maybe you can get to the Biscuit Factory before it ends on 4 March.

Failing that, you'll find all of the paintings on my website.

Friday 20 January 2012

Auchterarder Hedgerow No.1

Auchterarder Hedgerow No.1 (Oil on canvas, 61 x 61 cms)

Auchterarder Hedgerow No.2

Auchterarder Hedgerow No.2 (Oil on canvas, 61 x 61 cms)

I'd rather have taken my time finishing this off, but the images were needed by the gallery today, so ....

Still, I think I'm satisfied with this and the companion piece. If not, I can tinker next week before I hand them in.

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Hedgerows again

Hedgerow No.1 ((work in progress)

Hedgerow No 2 (work in progress)

I'm still feeling my way with these, but I'm happy with the progress so far. Not a lot more to do, actually, unless I make some major mistakes.

Saturday 14 January 2012

Sutherland Through the Hedge

Hedgerow No.1 (Work in progress)

Last night I set about quickly adding an horizon and a blue sky to the first of the Hedgerow paintings. Reviewing the result this morning, I realised how much my love of Graham Sutherland was becoming evident in this painting. There was no conscious decision to make that happen, but I can see it's there, I have no problem with it and in fact I was quite pleased when the influence was immediately commented upon at today's meeting of the Painters' Group.

The meeting was interesting in that I felt my work wasn't universally liked but that reinforced a renewed determination to plough my own furrow. I generally do that anyway, but in the last few years I think I may have drifted into market-driven thought patterns for understandable but unhelpful reasons.

Thursday 12 January 2012

Through the Hedge

Hedgerow No.1 (work in progress)

Hedgerow No.2 (work in progress)

I'm working under pressure again. I have about ten days to provide the images of all the paintings I intend to hang in the Figure8 show at the Biscuit Factory in February (details for you nearer the time) and so far I have only four completed. I probably need two or three more and recently have found ideas in short supply.

To clarify: I have lots of ideas for paintings, but having chosen a particular theme (Rock & Tree) for this show, I need to make some new paintings that fit that theme and ideas for such have not been readily forthcoming.

What I thought I would try, therefore, is see what I might be able to do with some hedgerows I found by the side of the road at Auchterarder when I was there in 2009 on one of my annual painting trips. I'm in two minds about how these are going; certainly I'm happier with the first than the second, but as I've put in more time on the first, that's to be expected. I'm very much feeling my way with these and intend to keep looking for more ideas in case they don't work out.

Meanwhile, if you have any thoughts on these paintings, I'd be interested to hear them, but do bear in mind they're very far from completion.

Monday 9 January 2012

Edward Burra

To be accurate, he didn't knock this morning. He rang the doorbell.

As I struggled into my dressing gown and rushed downstairs, I ignored the cries from Pat of "There is no bug! The doorbell didn't ring! Don't go outside with no clothes on!" I leave you to decide which of us was the more awake.

I admit I 'm prone to hearing phantom doorbells which have more or less replaced the catalogue of nightmares I've listed before, but this time I knew there was a book on it's way from Amazon and I was anxious to avoid having to go to the depot to collect it tomorrow.

The book in question was the volume published by Palant House in connection with their exhibition of Edward Burra's work. Although my interests in painting extend well beyond these shores, I have an abiding fascination for the work of British painters of the 20th century, and there was a distinct gap in my knowledge of Burra.

Never in good health, he chose to work mainly in watercolour on a large scale and the book captures the remarkably vivid colours he was able to achieve with his chosen medium by constantly overlaying with thicker and thicker paint. I was familiar with the paintings of bars and Harlem low-life (see the cover above) and the Surrealist tendencies (he was a friend of Paul Nash and showed with the Englsih Surrealists in the 1930s) but the landscapes were a real revelation in their pared down simplicity.

Valley and River, Northumberland, 1972
(Pencil and watercolour on paper, 40 x 27 ins)

A lovely book. I'd love to have seen the exhibition.