Thursday, December 3, 2015

germinating an idea

Polytunnel 122x152cm oil on canvas

I have finally finished ‘Polytunnel’. A large canvas 122x152cm in oil.  This is the first of a new series of paintings, that I hope, will culminate in a solo show in a year or so.  I wanted to explore an outdoor/indoor theme and the garden or allotment, as subject matter is, so far, proving fruitful.  I have  just sent  this first painting off to The Doorway Gallery for Christmas . I am hoping to paint a few more large paintings before my next show, so I feel I can release this one for now.
I thought I would share a few words about this particular painting and to elaborate on some of processes that I used in creating it. 

I usually start out with a feeling of an idea that I muse over in my head, pondering whether it will be right for translating into a painting. Therefore, the seeds for this composition started to germinate this time last year.   In our polytunnel we always seems to have an abundance of very happy wild strawberry plants, that, and the odd cabbage. Here  I had my drawing material and conveniently undercover from the inclement weather, so  by early summer I had an outline of what I wanted to paint.

In studio working on final painting 
I had several versions that came and went, but I knew I wanted a centrally placed female figure either picking strawberries or harvesting fruit within the polytunnel with a dress based on my re-interpretation of the   William Morris’s Strawberry thief pattern.    I always work from my internal visual memory when it comes to the figures in my work, but I prefer to work from life for everything else, this is not always possible but either way the problem solving exercise to build up the composition takes many forms and references sources to get to the end point before I can start on the painting itself.  When It comes to painting I let the paint and colour lead and tell me how to proceed, as for me it is all about the tactile quality of the oil paint and the emotional response to colour, that is my main concern.  The illusional and story telling of the painting is for me its starting point and just a spring board to launch myself into the language and sensory magic of paint itself.