Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Seductively messy

Finally started work on a larger painting today. There is always a stage where you quite like some of the marks you've made and then are reluctant to let them go - which you must. It's that sort of seductively messy stage..before you have to lose it and then hope to get it back


Still, this little painting has come together pretty fast - maybe too fast - view from my studio painted a couple of days ago and 'tweaked' today.




Early evening observations as I was cleaning up - outside the studio the world was dissolving as mist descended - the rain drifting in and out and then in again - couldn't see across the voe. 

Monday, 20 July 2015

Shetland studio work goes on

Another day at the paint face.. slight panic as I couldn't find any white oil paint - fortunately found an unused tube, but not before I had ordered a large quantity of it from several art supplies; will wait to see which arrives here first.  

So here is a painting that I have been working on for the last week - it's gone through various transformations and I think that it's sort of okay… but maybe not… so any comments… thought…suggestions? Of course you can't see the surface so it's more difficult to judge.



I've also started to rework another painting… despite Steve Poole saying how much he liked it as it was .. sometimes you just know that its just not quite right and you either have to leave it alone and not look at it (probably a better idea) or take the plunge and attack it - which is what I have done…  
Of course you don't know what it looked like yesterday.

Working here the weather, the sounds, and the view from my studio get's into my head and affects the way I paint. I look out and recognise the images - the shape of the hills, the light reflected on the voe, the colours, and the movement of the clouds - even if I'm working from a drawing made elsewhere on Shetland. 

The end of the day… 

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Progress on Shetland

Have been working in my studio since I got back to Shetland, and have several paintings on the go… not working very large since I have to get them back home and then framed fast, ready for a solo show at the Stour Gallery, Warwickshire. 

Here's one that is just about finished:
Untitled  oil in board


Friday 17th Awoke to the sound of strong wind (well not that strong for Shetland), and having consulted first the magic seaweed website and deciding that I was still useless at reading weather maps, I then phoned an friend for expert advise (thanks Kristi), who said - go south to the end of the island.  Sumburgh - where the roar of the modern world meets the rawness of nature - the sound of planes soar into the sky above my head while beside me waves roll and pound the shoreline. Waiting in the queue of cars while the planes taxi along the airstrip I could see the sea breaking over the walls of the runway.

Walked out past Grutness harbour, where the boat to Fair Isles docks - a trip that most passengers emerge from shaking and a bad shade of green - I trekked down to the end of the spit of land, gulls and terns wheeling and screaming overhead, along with the occasional plane. Found a spot to sit and paint, but having left it late in the day, the threatened rain soon appeared and although persisting for a while, I finally had to admit defeat and instead went in search of puffins. 

Grutness, oil on board
So I only managed to paint one board, which, by the time I left ,was covered in rain and sea water. I guess it was worth getting so wet. 

The puffins were more accommodating..