These are the titles of the three paintings I’ve completed since my last newsletter / blog post. Two of the paintings are referenced from photographs and one from a sketch. I used to hold the opinion that painting from a photo was somehow cheating… though I have occasionally used photos before. When using a photo you have to rely on the information the camera has recorded, (which tends to be quite different to what I see and put into my sketches). The advantages that the camera offers me is exposure, with built in tonal value, which I tend to bypass in the process sketching. With a sketch, however, I feel I’ve done some of the work already; studied the subject and sat or stood in an often breezy or chilly place for half an hour or so. Whether this adds to the quality of the painting is something I’m still considering (apart from the feeling of worthiness ;-))
You will have noticed I haven’t said which are the two paintings from photos… and I expect you will be able to tell which are which. Just to be sure, I will put the answer at the end of this post.
Nature and my surrounding landscape are still my main subjects. Something I really like about the mountains is the depth which they give a landscape. I think I’ve become so used to seeing mountains and hills all around me, that when I’m in a flat landscape I feel there is something missing and that it’s uninteresting visually.
Ever since admiring Damien Hirst’s blossom paintings of 2020 I’ve been studying my plum and almond trees in blossom, and wondering how to go about painting them blossoming without emulating Hirst ( I heard he cribbed the idea from an artist called Joe Machine: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2022/feb/06/damien-hirst-stole-my-cherry-blossom-artist-faces-plagiarism-claim-number-16-joe-machine. Personally, I don’t think they are that similar apart from the fact they are both paintings of trees in blossom.)
Photos also help me to introduce a certain amount of improvisation, the opportunity for which doesn’t tend to present itself when working from drawings. This is due to the camera recording less of the kind of detail which I would perceive visually and put into my sketch… therefore the photo giving an opportunity to improvise.
The answer to which paintings are from photos is: Tall Trees at Peso and Plum Blossom are referenced from photos. Let me know your comments below!
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Until next time… stay well and enjoy the Spring time.
PS, Winter Walk and Plum Blossom are now sold!
One thought on “Tall Trees at Peso, A Winter Walk in the Mountains and Plum Blossom”
I like all of them, beautiful mastery of a tricky medium.
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