This is a follow up to my blog entry a few weeks ago, Painting and Gardening, posted 5 June. It’s the development from the underpainting of Rhossili. As you can see the square format is no more! To my eyes the composition wasn’t working so I decided on the rather drastic (and irreversible!) step of cropping the painting down to a rectangular format. There’s something about taking a saw to a painting that feels a bit like an act of vandalism that grates against my gut instinct, but I feel it is good for my soul – accepting that no individual painting is that precious, but part of the flow of a continuous learning process.
I’ve been studying the work of American contemporary painters: Martin Campos, Douglas Fryer and Sangram Majumdar, amongst others. I love their boldness and liberal use of paint, the way they allow the paint to do the work and incorporate accidental effects into their work. I am experimenting with the use of tools other than brushes – trowels, knives, rollers and silicon paint shaping tools – in order to relinquish some control. I am feeling this is now the way forward for me.
This is a detail from another painting I’m currently working on. The roughness of the edges and general mark making, which may not look unusual to most, are nevertheless a bold departure for me.
The paintings above are still clearly recognisable and controlled, but at least I have resisted my strong compulsion to tidy it up, put in more detail and tighten up aspects of the work. It’s a start. Onwards and upwards!
Looking back, Rhossili village from the clifftops. Oil on canvas board, 16 x 10.5 inches.
The Great Tor, Gower. 10.5 x 9.5 inches detail from a larger oil painting currently in progress.
It’s a liberating act to reshape your work! Good for you, Les.
Thank you Emma. You’re right, it is liberating – and I’m loving it!