Months of work-in-progress images — that’s what my blog seems to have become. Long hours in the studio. Enough time spent that I actually run out of podcasts to listen to. It’s time to make a trip to the library for some audio books.
The truth is, if you’re painting, it will always be a work in progress.
This is a closer look at the red lantern I’ve been working on. I shared a larger photo of the entire composition a few weeks ago. My technique for painting is several layers of glazes, applied slowly, closely looking at the subjects. But I do try to find a balance by keeping the brushwork delicately painterly. Daubs of paint, visible brush work — something that obviously does not translate to tiny jpeg images viewed on the screen on your phone.
Couples — they highlight similarities and differences. Simple groupings like this add that ingredient in to the paintings helps push them a little further along. These paintings are 14 x 18 inches, the objects are roughly life-sized and I’m putting layers of details in to them. The cameras are in their second stage, and as I was working on them today I heard the voice that I always hear in the early stages of a painting — this is going to take much more concentration and time than you first thought.
It’s not purely a cerulean blue, I’ve muddied it up, added some more blues, a dash of some greens, earthy tones, to get the colour more accurate to the objects. But there’s enough cerulean blue in it to call it so.
This painting has several objects, all from an antique shop near my home. The only thing the objects have in common is their colour. I’ve arranged them in a way that makes the painting pretty much immediately recognisable as one of mine.
So I spend a great deal of time focussing on the tiny little details of the painting. I look at the painting inch by inch. By the end of the day, after I’ve worked my way across the entire surface, I leave the studio and come back and glimpse the paintings with fresh eyes. And the boldness of these colourful paintings is striking. I like the direction.
I post these in-progress images to Instagram. If you have an account, check out my work. I think a well-curated Instagram account is a great way to get inspiration.
Perhaps my paintings are more about the composition rather than the subject. Perhaps the paintings are about the simple satisfaction of organised thoughts and ideas — straight forward, made easy to understand. Represented as well as I possibly can.
I use these old objects because these things have character built-in. Maybe the object doesn’t matter at all. Maybe the subject is the colour, the shapes, the design of the painting, the coupling of objects, the lines – all these other elements. Perhaps these are more about design principles than painting principles.
I painted a toy truck eight years ago. I sold the painting on eBay to a collector in Spain.