on painting, something in passing [part three]

Monday 9 September 2013

something in passing, in the studio… [continued from part two, and previously part one]

nearly there…

river seasons painting in progress - artist studio

river seasons painting in progress - artist studio

river seasons painting in progress - artist studio

river seasons painting in progress - artist studio

river seasons painting in progress - artist studio

something in passing… a bird’s eye view (acrylic on panel, 6ft x 4ft)

this large three-panel painting was painted from memory and imagination, arising out of numerous sketchbook drawings and studies of wood bark, trees and water

recalling the elements of air, earth and water in momentary unison one day, in the dappled patterns of spring foliage, overhanging tree branches and the flittering light of a blue sky reflected in the river’s surface, inspired an intuitive painterly response to fleeting sensations of movement, rhythm and flow.

i live near a river, and there are fishing lakes nearby surrounded by many trees, shrubs and grasses. this painting alludes to memories of these watery landscapes through the seasons.

the challenge (or dilemma) was to paint something (one thing) without any direct visual sources, not primary (traditional plein air, out in the landscape, with an easel, etc) nor the use of any secondary sources (photographs). the small sketches and drawings (and some small water paintings) i had done had begun to concentrate my interest and memory of things, so i did not need or want to refer to these things. they signalled a departure from realism.

i had a strong memory/idea of pale greens and strong yellows (this may not be true to reality, but it is what i wanted to remember), and the transient reflections and patterns of willow branches, leaves, grasses and reeds at the water’s edge, and vibrant patches of blue sky or white cloud. but then, it seemed the perspective was always shifting as i painted, diving into the water, under the surface, and then looking up at shafts of sunlight filtered through airy, breezy treetops, the flow of the river refracting light, altering shapes and colours, as if high up in a tree like a bird looking down on the water .

there was no single viewpoint, this was an imaginary scene, a flight of fancy, being high above in the trees and then into the water, going along with the natural flow of things, and feeling a sense of freedom. the blank white walls of a room had a part in this process. the three panels contributed to the general idea of movement and change, something in passing, in time flying by, nature, the turn of the seasons. sometimes i am unsure why i painted something like this, but i will (or have to) keep on trying…

[continued from part two, and previously part one]

maybe it is also something of a self-portrait (but only in passing)…

7 – 29 September 2013
Blackthorpe Barn
Bury St Edmunds
IP30 9HZ

[exhibition is open daily 10am – 5pm]

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