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..
My first art swop with fellow artist Michael Gemmell.. and Limerick School of Art and Design graduate.. I am truly honored to swop with such a talented artist who was tutored by John Shinnors and both of whom I’ve admired since discovering their work during my early years as an artist. I am completely inspired with this abstraction titled ‘The Burren in Autumn’ Oil on Canvas, 40x50cm
Swooped with my ‘Unfolding Autumn’ Oil and mixed media on canvas, 30x30cm
Now I am going to paint something new just to mark the moment.. More artists should be doing this.. it’s a phenomenal experience!..
Going in and not thinking too deeply as I had been with me last series of paintings. I feel an immense sense of freedom, something I’ve been striving for before. I think too much there fore I tried to control too much. Now I am releasing all that energy into my new work and I don’t think I’ll ever go back.
The act of making a painting is about freedom and expression. My memory of light, colour, form, and aspects of the landscape that stays in my subconscious are what’s important with the will to let go and let it happen without thought or consequence. .
A short video of my recent experience in my studio. I am feeling very much alive with this new work I am making..