I am currently working on this painting and this was an early stage where it was a few months ago. I felt at the time that it could be finished at that early stage and I didn’t want to do much more with it. I put it aside for a few weeks, which is what I do when I am not sure about a work in progress.
In the above image is where it had come to in the beginning stages. In the first layer I used sand with PVA, which I haven’t used sense my previous trees series. I used the sand to start the beginnings of the composition and then when the PVA mixed with the sand dried I painted the next layer which was oils and colour with oil sticks to mark make. I painted loosely where the painting seemed to want to go toward. I left it for a few weeks and felt it needed to warmer and brighter. So far this is its progress.. it may be concluded but I’ll give it time to rest.
Trying to fix a painting.. inspired by thoughts and visual awareness from my hike today..well yesterday now.. terrains, tree felling, January sunset, tree stumps, wild winds over Lough Tay and spying on sparrow hawk trying to fly against the winds.. .
I am thrilled to be invited to exhibit at Wicklow Artist: A Gathering in aid of SVP in Greystones this year along with other great Wicklow artists. The pop up gallery is in La Touche Place around the corner from the Happy Pear. It opens this Saturday at 2pm and runs till the 17th of December. I have a number of paintings on sale including my very large to my little ones. All are welcome so come down and check it out!
I have been doing a lot of plein air drawings lately out in the open landscape. I want express through these drawings a sense of atmosphere in the landscape I have been surrounded by. I am abstracting what I see and also what I don’t see. I am really enjoying expression in an abstract way through these drawings.
Transferring this onto canvas is a very different experience and I see the drawings more of a study or observation for painting but in a non analytical way, similar to visual note taking of what I want to express on canvas. These drawings and sketches have surprisingly helped me push abstraction in a more free and loose way. Like gestures of the memory of a place or thing or sometimes neither a place or thing.. It just feels right and I am more excited than ever to be in my studio painting and painting, probably for the first time ever..
I am painting a lot of new work and I will share these here on my website in the near future. Come back again soon if you’d like to have a look.
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..