When painting the sea, i often find i stick to the same kind of traditional compositions, where as when i paint other things such as portraits or other landscapes, i play around a lot more with the composition. On Sunday i was looking through my window, which had been egged on Halloween ( yes i still haven't cleaned it) Through the egg wash and the condensation and the rain, the image through my lounge window intrigued me, how things get distorted and blurred through this window,everything seemed to be in line for a painting and i thought why not try painting it. In second year my tutor once told me, to try and paint everything, imagine leaving art school with out painting a tree, well i though i have never painted a van, so why not try. Although this painting turned out fairly realistic, i started it from just shapes of the basic colours, and let the paint do the rest of the work. Pouring diluted white paint down the board and blending it with a big brush to get a sense of blurriness, and then applying small details where necessary. I always find that there is no one way to paint a painting, this painting could have been done with tiny brushes building up the layers, but when this took approximately half an hour to produce, why not let the paint do the work for you:?
In contrast, i went back to one of my Borth watercolour studies, and decided to try and tackle it using thick paint. This is just made of one layer or paint.not allowing any of the other layers to come through. The paint made all opaque so that each layers still built up, but in a different kind of way. interestingly this painting also came out more realistic than some of my other work. Which isn't necessarily what i enjoy about painting, For instance, i knew this painting required more detail on areas, but i became quickly bored of it, as the main intention for this painting was to purely represent, it doesn't have any of my personality, or my feelings towards it in the painting. However, is still a good excercize to do. I find at the moment im working in a lot of different ways, and hopefully there will come a point where these begin to crossover in one image rather than as if my paintings were made by multiple artists.
Thursday: With the idea of getting back to the coast, and looking more at the sources, i headed to the beach to start some studies. Packed a flask as i knew it was going to be a long day. Took my sketchbooks my paint, my boards. and realised id grabbed the pencil case which contained my printmaking tools, rather than brushes and pencils. I decided to get a little inventive and use my etching pen to draw on some stones. The chalk that comes out whilst drawing on is fun to work from, however when washed off, they are merely stones with a thin lines in, which perhaps may have been good to take a rubbing from and print, but i just placed them back on the beach. nevertheless, this was still a good exercise of looking and observing, light and shapes, which is all very helpful when it coems to painting in the studio.
I then returned after lunch to the beach and got my paint brushes, It was absolutely freezing, which in turn makes me paint a lot faster than i do in the studio, trying to resolve the image as much as possible on location. I feel this painting is a lot more about my experience, and less about the representation, although aspects of the painting are representational.
When returning to the studio, i played around with some of the drawings i made, and tried a different style composition. Letting the paint be paint, moving it around and allowing it to drip etc..
This image in turn is completely different to the other on location study, i don't feel you get the same sense of atmosphere in the work, but i feel that aspects of this painting will help me move forward in the paintings to come. Getting back to the idea of not forcing paint in to place, and enjoying the happy accidents.
This week i wanted to get back to painting the sea, after doing a lot of travelling back and forth on the train, this week i am finally put in Aberystwyth, which gives me the time to be able to get out in to the landscape and explore.
Wednesday afternoon. In the studio, looking out at the sea, and suddenly beautiful light started to appear, so i rushed out of the studio to grab some sketches and photos to work from. The light changes so quickly that to capture it in that moment i couldn't paint it there on the spot. Photos worked as a good reference point to bring back the memory, however a lot of the colours i tend to remember and then transfer in to the painting.
This is one of the small studies i made from the blue light, the photo makes some of the colours look black and a bit deadened, but it is just very deep blue.
I then began to make a larger study, using big 3 inch brushes, trying to remember the power of the sky and sea from my sketches. The sketches i make i tend to emphasise on aspects of the landscape which were stand out to me. For instance the clouds clustering in this heavy way. Then when painting i can work from those ideas, this painting required thick paint to get this point across, where in other occasions i will use thin layers built up. This painting is still a work in progress but i am enjoying how it is starting to take shape. I will probably leave it for a while and move on to something else for now. I tend to find sometimes when i come back to a painting in a few weeks, i will see it differently and know how to answer it.
When returning home i was looking at one of my older quick studies in oil, looking at what used to interest me about the sea, i think it used to be a lot more about the power and the forces of the waves and trying to get that across in the painting. i feel i have started to let go of this kind of energy in my work and i want to try and get back and include some of these marks in future work.