When out sketching in the open landscape today I met a sheep farmer who was walking up the hill towards where I was stood doing some sketches. He stopped to ask what I was painting and I told him I was just doing some abstracted sketches of what I’m seeing. He wondered if there was a market for that and the conversation went on to his days in school and how he hated it.. I responded with the same feeling and said how I loved the art class though. He was out walking up the hills looking for his sheep and asked if I’d seen any on my trail. That’s was it really..Its the small things..
This is my new painting ‘The Sheep Farmer’
and today’s experience prompted me to title my new series of paintings
This is where my painting is taking me right now.. It may look like an entirely different artist’s work but if you really look at it, it’s not.. I’m letting go of order and expectation. That being entirely from my own expectation and criticism within my own institution..
Abstraction is very hard but it’s also very freeing. It requires trust and inner connection, but to let go of question and fear..
I find myself painting over abandoned paintings lately and it comes with no hesitation when I’m returning to it.. Even the harshest of endings..
This painting although previously thought finished, had been sticking out from the rest here in my studio the past few months looking to rework its ending.. So today I gave in.. there is a fear in reworking an old painting but it’s a fear that drives me sometimes also..I hope I made the right decision.. I’ll know in a few months maybe..
My most recent painting entitled ‘Entering The Dream’. A visual description of being immersed in my surroundings deep in the forest.
A recall of flickering light through movement, of fast changing seasonal colours, of mood and atmosphere, of sounds and scents and of the euphoric warmth that it brings to me.
The piece is painted in oils mixed with bees wax, otherwise known as ‘cold wax technique’ where I melted the wax and mix with turpentine to make a thick paste when cooled down. This is then mixed in with my oil paints to a consistency that is thick but vibrant in colour giving a mat finish and dries quicker. I surfaced the canvas with pine needles and sand letting it dry before applying the paint and wax, something I do in most of my painting.
August.. The most violet of months out in the open landscape of Ireland. Mountains covered in heather of all shades of violets. It is a magical place to walk, up there in the mountains around this time of year. Those reddened violets and purples, all about to wither into golden browns and yellows and soon to be gone until next year, when the cycle begins again..