This is where my latest work can be seen including step-by-step progress reports, news and merchandising as well as features on artists, living and dead who I would like to draw people's attention to. Please note all my images are covered by International Copyright laws. Copyright to other artists images resides with the artist or their estate, their inclusion on this blog a result of my missionary zeal and to no profit for myself!

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Crossing

I wanted to get across the loneliness and isolation of a railroad crossing in New Mexico and decided on a dusk scene with the lightest part of the sky visually at the end of the railway tracks as they near the horizon. Although it is dusk I didn't want it to be too dark so I proceeded quite cautiously using glazes mainly of Ultramarine Violet on the landscape until I reached the right tonality for the sense of distance to work. I based the composition around The Rule of Thirds wanting a quite strong and dynamic design using the diagonals of the railway tracks etc but tempered by a soft and melancholy light. It is based around a yellow/violet colour complementary, the colours I used can be found in earlier posts of the painting on this blog.
I think I will develop this theme of signs of man on the landscape kind of left abandoned amidst these vast landscapes of the South West. I am now learning to slow down my bull in a china shop way of starting another painting immediately and am discovering that if I hold off for a day or two it gives the idea a chance to be examined in my head and refined or abandoned etc. It hopefully minimises the chance of painting a dud because it hadn't been thought through properly earlier on.
Oil on linen 30" x 20".
There is a step-by-step progress though this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Crossing - stage 4

Finished the sky and have moved on to roughing in the landscape. I don't want a large tonal difference between the crossing and the sky behind it as I don't want it to stand out too much so I'm proceeding quite cautiously at the moment. One dilemma is do I use thick or thin paint now? My usual mantra is "It's the painting not the place!" meaning that the painting and how it has been painted is more important than the subject/location but with this one it seems it should be "The feeling is more important than the painting".  Most current landscape painting is about thicker paint loosely applied but with a final result of disrupted realism. I feel that I have to go my own way on this one and be true to myself and paint it how it comes natural to me. The way I'm painting this one so far has been thin paint quite sketchily applied but when you move back to look at it from a few feet away the sketchy marks coalesce into something quite realistic, even photographic.
Colours used for the landscape are Permanent Sap Green, Chromium Green, Permanent Orange, Ultramarine Violet, Manganese Violet and Winsor Violet.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Crossing - stage 3

First colour pass on the sky. I have realised that what I was looking for for this one is something Tonalist so I worked out this morning over my breakfast coffee that it would suit a subtle yellow/violet colour complementary. Keeping to my new method of using only transparent colours for the sky I used mixes of Burnt Sienna, Winsor Violet, Zinc White, Lemon Yellow and a tiny amount of Yellow Lake Deep.
I then gave the landscape and crossing another layer of the Burnt Sienna/Winsor Violet glaze.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Crossing - stage 2

After dithering about how I wanted the sky to look for a couple of days I finally got my act together this morning and decided on a quiet evening sky with elongated clouds as I want this painting to have a peaceful, lonely atmosphere as a counterpoint to the strong composition. I have put the lightest part of the sky away from the railroad crossing as I don't want to over emphasise it against the sky and putting it nearer to the crossing makes it dominate the painting too much because of the contrast of dark against light.
This tonal underpainting stage used the same paint mix as yesterday thinned with Liquin and applied with a rag.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Crossing - stage 1

This one will have a quite dynamic composition (based on The Rule of Thirds) but tempered by a soft and melancholy lighting. The lonely railroad crossing in New Mexico will be set against a dusk sky so a quiet kind of atmosphere is what I'm after which I hope will emphasise the loneliness of the location. This is the Plan anyway, final decisions will be made tomorrow over my breakfast coffee as usual.
During the Lockdown I have slightly changed my working method in that normally as soon as a painting is finished I rush on to the next one which is why there is a certain hit and miss element to my work. But during the Lockdown because there is more time available to work with I am deliberately holding myself back from immediately starting another painting and making myself wait to see if the idea still stands up the next day. Usually by giving it more time there seems to be a chance to re evaluate what I am thinking about and refine the idea or indeed dump it too when I realise it wasn't good enough!
This stage was "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin.
Oil on linen 30" x 20".

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Valley of the Rocks

Valley of the Rocks is the translation of the Navajo name for Monument Valley in Utah/Arizona where this picture is located. This is the third painting I have done of this view from the road, a monochrome "Navajo" and "Desert Daybreak" being the others. I quite liked the ambiguous day/night lighting of the previous picture so I thought that I would try it again with this one. I think it gives the pictures a kind of magical dreamlike quality which is fine by me as these are not plein air paintings and are not trying to emulate the usual way of depicting these scenes, they are my take on these landscapes.
These paintings of American landscapes are really aimed at American collectors and now that I have enough pictures I'm happy with and the website is now revamped the time has come to see if I can get some American galleries interested to which end I will now start submitting them to my first eight target galleries...
As usual I generally used the Rule Of Thirds for the composition and like the last one it is based around a blue/orange colour complementary using the same colours pretty much. 
Oil on linen 30" x 20".
There is a step-by-step progress through this painting including the colours I used in previous posts on this blog.

Monday, 18 May 2020

Valley of the Rocks - stage 5

Pretty much finished the sky and made a start on the landscape. Taking it quite tentatively as I am looking for a sense of a lot of distance so I am trying to be not too heavy with the paint on the mesas and trying to keep them a bit light and sketchy. If the paint is too thick or dark the mesas will come too far forwards, the plan is to have quite a dark foreground to contrast with the middle and far distance as I am trying to get across the vast space of the landscape. For colour unity I am using the same colours in the landscape as the sky.