Saturday, September 27, 2014

Testing the Water
24 x 30   Oil on Linen

I create my paintings from nature and observation, memory and imagination. Early on in my painting career I took a 6 week painting trip to England, staying a fortnight each in the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and Northumbria. Hoping to bring home a large number of paintings I spent no more than one sitting on each oil study. I was a bit fearful though that I might not have enough information to either finish those studies or create larger works from them so at the end of each session I took a photograph of the scene I had painted. This was before the age of digital photography so when I returned home I took my film to be developed. When I picked up my photographs I was shocked and horrified to find they bore no relation to what I was painting. They were, in fact, records of the scenes I had painted, but were a universe away from what I observed and felt and wanted to express in my painting. They might have been useful to recall a detail of the scene but I knew the more I looked at them the more they would become my memory of each scene. So I threw them all in the trash and decided to trust my oil studies and my memories. Over the years I've painted larger works from those studies and finished others that I thought worked better as small paintings. I've recently reworked one of the larger pieces and am now considering completing the study for that painting from memory, nearly 30 years after it was begun.....