Being getting a portrait itch. That kind of feeling in your belly that says it time to start working again with you're own face. It started a month back and I egnored it. It came back and like a itch it needed scratching, so I made a few studies in pen. This made it worst and resulted in this little painting today
It's oil on canvas board starting with a peach background and putting in the darks then the mid tones.
I think I might have ago at some daily self portraits over the next few weeks, watch this space
70 X 70 cm cloudscape made on canvas over a resin base, the paints sit so well over resin when it's been given some tooth with course and paper. They level out and glide across the surface. The plants and subtle total changes are intermixed with patterns made as the different mediums collide and slowly mix over a period of many hours. This painting was made to go to the Battersea art fair London 2016
These large 3ft X 3ft canvases us oil paints and various different mediums to achieve a dramatic space, atmosphere and sensation. The paintings are created using wind and gravity to effect the paint. I set the painting is going and stand back, wait and watch as the paints move across the surface. I make great pools of paint on the surface each made with a different medium base each with a different recipe. A turpentine medium an alkyd medium, a linseed medium, a Dammar medium plus many more secrets. The difference in the mediums effects how they mix or blend together on the canvas. Once the paints are on the surface in there differing pools the painting is set, a multitude of possibilities and endless series of chance and exploration sits ahead of them (I find it veryexciting) to start I leave these works in the elements outside in windy places. The windy pulls and pushes at the liquids and sends them across the surface mixing into each other. These works sometimes take several sessions of this, each time I have learnt which kind of medium to use in different weathers and stages of the paintings. Sometimes the paintings are left on a slight angle so the paints will move ever so slowly across the canvas. I do these last thing before leaving the studio as they are quite odorous. It's exciting to come back to the studio and see how the paints have moved and slipped in the night. When I return The painting is so different and unexpected that I don't feel I have painted it just that I allowed it to evolve its own way, it's like it's not my hand that paints the begingings and then I can react to that and develop the patterns and forms. Some of the mediums take hours to set and dry others take 3-5 days each have qualities suited to different stages in the painting process. I use these processes and layers to capture a clouds beauty as it glides across the sky, but more than that I like to capture the moment when light breaks though a storm cloud, when a cloud lifts when it hits the shoreline and drops it heavy rains on the beach, or when a cloud just dissaperars in a matter of minutes as it hits a new warm front. Watching clouds goes right back to my childhood where a house my parents brought looked out over the sea from a high cliff. Watching the weather was a thing I did as a child, the excitement of seeing large ships gather in the bay meant that a storm was coming and they were seeking shelter. From inside my shelter I could watch the rolling clouds whip the sea into white horses and even see the storm pass and the sun beam out again marking the end.
3ft X 3 ft oil on canvas
These cloudscapes will be on display in March at the Battersea Affordable Art Fair from the 10th - 13th
Here some images from a new studio space I've got very close to my home. It's great to go up to late at night after the kids are in bed. It's a space were I can make bigger works. A whole wall just to hang a single painting on and have space to sit back and look at is great.
Coombe park studio is just outside of Ashprigton near Totnes. It's home to a wild life sculptor, a potter and a fabric designer among others. It's the first time I've had a space in which to really create with no boundaries. It's mine to use as I want and I actually really love having the space to be free
I'm very pleased to be working towards the Battersea art fair in the beginning of March. I'm working on large cloudscapes made with multiple layers of oil paint. The layering of paint use mediums, varnishes and linseed oils. Each layer is thinned with turpentine and the paint allowed to move under gravity.
I love coming into the studio in the morning after setting a painting in slow motion the paint moves so slowly that it's only after 6-12 hours that the paint reaches a equilibrium were it's still and allowed to dry. I will try and post some works in progress in the next few day to follow the progression of these highly experimental works.
Here is Gregory Mason working on his entry to this year's BP portrait award. I dropped in on Greg and Ken Cosgrove studio space that they share. It's a great space with double height Windows lots of space and basically a dream studio space. It's just outside the city centre and is just the two artist working from it. Ken Cosgrove has recently moved from California and has made Devon his home, now he's tapping into the local art scene which he tells me is pretty spread out and hard to connect with. But he's very proactive already Ken runs a painting course at the Phoenix centre and will be heading a new landscape painting course at Dartington Hall. All that and he has just become an associate member with the South West Academy of Art.
Both artist are figurative but produce landscapes as well. I plan to interview them at a later date when my idea for a podcast actually takes hold and starts to germinate.