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An Empty Studio... An Exciting Time...

I have spent the last few weeks getting paintings ready to be exhibited for the Ming Art Gallery venue in Artists Open Houses, Brighton.  This means the 10 paintings that I have been working on for the last 9 months or more are finished.  All I have in the studio are 8 paintings that now need to be created for next May.  These paintings have their grounds painted, but otherwise their “subjects” remain elusive.

This is my most favourite time in the studio.  I thankfully have never suffered from creative block, this is mainly because of my process, which I have mentioned in previous blogs.  I set aside time each week to draw from life and to experiment with new ideas in my sketchbook.  This means I always have a wealth of ideas that need developing into final paintings.  I am currently spending a lot of time refining ideas in my sketchbook and embarking on my new paintings. 

I am not a designer, and although I work and develop ideas in a sketchbook, I am always cautious not to create a small exact image of the final painting.  I believe the process of painting should not be designed, but rather the painting evolves and has a life of its own.  I react to what the paint is doing on the board/canvas and continue to work with it, rather than imposing a final design onto the board.  I have an idea of what I want the final painting might look like, but the colours are rarely decided.  I often deliberately paint from memory so that this process can take place, this often means that I am pleasantly surprised by the outcome of the painting.  This is not always the case of course, I have been working on some ideas for over 10 years because they have not been perfected yet. One example of this is “In Between” series, I first got the idea of painting a picture between 2 Irises years ago.  The first attempt at this on the left has been sold, and although I like the painting, I felt that there is not enough depth within the picture.  So, after some experimentation of ideas, I finally feel this has been achieved in “In Between #3”, this is shown on the right:

iris oil painting iris landscape oil painting

The painting I am currently working on is part of the Miniscule series.  I have been long fascinated by the miniature lives unfolding around us, which we are pretty much oblivious of.  My recent work has had a lot of space in them looking at far away landscapes.  I want this new painting to have a similar sense of space, but not at a distant landscape, rather the infinitesimally small landscape beneath our feet.  If we were an ant trundling through the grass, our horizon line would only be 1cm off the ground and grass would look like a forest does to a human.  Clover would tower above us, and an Ox-Eye Daisy would become a skyscraper. This is the inspiration for this painting, taking the Exploring Miniscule series to a new direction because I am no longer looking at a close subject.  In the painting shown below, you can see the clover has been painted and the Ox-Eye Daisy towering above the scene.  The colours are inspired by the deep hues just before dusk that dramatically change the colour of the landscape.  There may be one or many creatures camouflaged into this work – I’m not sure what or how many yet…

daisy clover flower oil painting

I support and mentor fellow artists through creative block which enables them to create consistently and confidently.  If you would like any of the paintings shown in this blog, or want to know more about mentoring contact me on as my work recently is being sold before it is finished.

November 2018


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