Two under-cooked paintings

Oil on stretched canvas, 24 x 16 inches

Oil on canvas on board, 24 x 12.5 inches

I have ‘let go’ of both these paintings sooner than I normally would. This follows on from the point I was making in my earlier blog entry, Painting and Gardening (5 June 2021), where I talked about trying to avoid diving in with a small brush, putting in too much detail, and generally tidying everything up… and at the same time tightening everything up, thus losing the initial spontaneity/directness/raw vitality – all qualities that I like and admire in other painters’ work. Like my steaks, I prefer my paintings to be medium rare rather than well done, though, in truth, I think I must do some more work on the first painting, without getting bogged down in detail – I reckon another five minutes or so under the grill! The wide panoramic painting I think can stand as it is.

The other thing that both these paintings share is a warm, brightly coloured ground. In both paintings fragments of this underpainting are left to show through. Below are two earlier stages of the first painting showing the hot, pinky-red ground. A bright underpainting influences subsequent layers of paint, and can result in an overall warm glow to the work if the paint is not applied so thickly as to obliterate the underpainting.

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