Monday, 24 February 2014

Milton Keynes Market.

I've had a voice whispering in my ear lately. It's very quiet but I can make out two words very clearly. "Comfort Zone"!! Hence this departure from my usual rural territory. I love the countryside and observing nature in all it's unspoiled beauty but, I have to say, I found this project intriguing with it's various tones, colours and forms. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge!
Because it is so different to what I normally do, this is on Bockingford but I wish I had done it on Saunders Waterford, I could then have used masking fluid. I was worried that it would rip the Bockingford, so there was a lot of negative painting with this one. I think I will certainly do more pictures of the market this year, it's a vibrant, lively and interesting subject with lots of opportunity to introduce narratives and characters.
I go into hospital for my big "Op" in a few days so this will be the last post till I'm out and hopefully all fixed. I live in hope!!
Bye for now.

Thursday, 13 February 2014


The two snow scenes here are little works from my imagination, based on Edgewick Farm, in order to try out some new paper. I love using Saunders Waterford but the fact is, it's simply too good and too expensive for experimenting and practising on.
This is Bockingford 140lb ROUGH. I've found it has it's limitations concerning durability and glazing (just my opinion), but I'm pleased to find a paper which I can mess around on without worrying too much about cost.
The third picture is titled "Ophelia". She has been in my mind, germinating like a seed for years, waiting for the right moment and the right style.
Style is a phenomenon I ponder constantly. Almost without exception, we, as artists of various genres and levels of ability, use basically the same things. We have at our disposal brushes, fingers, rollers, scrapers, knives, pens and pencils. We have paper, canvas, wood and walls, We have water or oil suspended colour, wax, chalk and graphite. This is a long list, but though these items are available to all, most of us simply use brushes to apply viscous colour to a flat surface. In terms of equipment, our similarities far outnumber our differences.
So what is it that makes every artist's work unique? How can it be that we can often tell who painted a picture just by looking at it and long before we examine that little scribble in the bottom corner? Any number of artists could be given identical paints, paper and brushes in order to execute an identical subject, yet each finished picture would be different, sometimes to a huge degree.
Our ability to do this, to express our individuality, to make unique statements, is a privilege to be treasured, even more so when this ability is celebrated. In some parts of the world you can be shot for it.
Ophelia has now gained her individuality. After such a long time thinking of this beautiful, romantic, tragic figure, I am so pleased to have realised her in paint. I think she will definitely appear again from time to time, to provide respite from my attempts to portray the real world, and to allow me to explore that subtle, mysterious region of Style.