These paintings are number nine and ten of the ten single objects series. Both of themI enjoyed and I’m pretty happy with them, but mostly I’minterested in what happened in the last one, the bottle. It’s my first sight-size painting,and I used a medium with the paint. Both these things together have got me pretty exited,I’m hoping that the next series of paintings will show why.
The bluebells came from the back garden, I’d forgotten we had any so it was nice to see themall come out. There was lots of choice, I picked some at a nice stage of growth with some fullyopened flowers and some still budding.
I suppose you could argue that this is more than one object since there’s a lot of flowers,and also that the bottle makes it two objects anyway, but I didn’t want the flowers dyingon me like theWilting Cherry Blossom.
I didn’t put too much detail in this painting. At the speed I currently work, (slow,)I can’t paint something complicated like this in any detail in a single sitting. This one tookabout six hours I think, everything seems to take me about six hours at the moment. What Idid want to get was a feeling of the light. I still believe that a painting can live withoutdetail if the light is caught right, and I don’t want to get tied up in details and high levels offinish at this stage. Basics first.
First painted back in November last year, this bottle was a thorn in my side which I neededto deal with. I did such a bad job of it last time I’d always meant to come back and give itanother go. I think this one came out better. It’s the right colour for a start.
Working sight-size with this one helped me to get (I think) the closest yet in terms of gettinga feeling of the light. It’s a washed out painting tonally, but the subject was washed out tonallytoo. The light was very diffuse and it was a grey day anyway, still, when I look at this painting,sometimes I can feel the light on the back wall. Sometimes I can’t and I think it’s too roughlypainted and the shadow doesn’t quite work. I think a little chink of light is starting toshow through in these paintings now, and I need to work at making it brighter, more real. Ithink that will come with more accuracy, I just need to paint what I see.
The next series is going to be, logically enough, ten pairs of objects. I’m going to continueworking sight-size, and intend to try out some home made medium, word is it’s best to make yourown. For the bottle painting, I used Michael Harding paint and Liquin medium, a bit likerunning a Rolls on vegetable oil. Actually I won’t actually know how good Liquin is until Icompare it to some others, so a feature of the next set of ten paintings is going to be mediumexperiments. Here at the Foxton atelier we believe in training our student in the materials ofhis craft.
This is the first update for about three weeks I think. There’s a bunch more stuff to post,Bargue drawings, portrait drawings and cafe sketches, which hopefully I’ll get round to soon. Butthe last weekor so I haven’t done much drawing or painting. The clouds are lifting though, and I’ve beenassessing where I’m up to, what’s working and what isn’t, and what’s coming next. Basically moreof the same. It’s nice to know where you’re headed.
Posted 19th May 2006
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