I’ve been revisiting this painting the past few days and as each time I looked at it, I felt it needed a different conclusion , especially because of the direction my work is going. I am more at ease with its development so I think this painting has come to a better place now…
Some close up detail included in the images and a small video below.
Photos are only from iPhone for now and the lighting is not good in the studio today. .
New Stitches, 2007 An oil collage on canvas in 70cm x 70cm x 4cm
I’ve been clearing out and reorganising my studio space and I came across this old painting from ‘Urban Trail’ series from 2007, when I lived in Limerick city for a few years. I was surprised to see some old techniques that I seem to be using again but in a different way in my current work. It’s amazing how old tricks sneak back into the work in small ways.. inspired..
The beginnings of a new work. Quick rough sketching and mark making with pencil. The drawing is an opportunity to be expressive and free. They are inspired by my walks and trails I map as I walk. I am also inspired by the rocks and boulders that I come across scattered in the landscape of the Wicklow mountains. Through line and shape I try to bring a certain order to the drawings with layers of thickened oil paint mixed with coldwax or with thin washes of transparent colour. I love the element of surprise when I peel back some of the thickened layers, where the drawing is revealed or washes of colour. .
This is one of the fun parts of making the painting. One of the expressive parts for colour, as the values form from lights into darks. It’s almost like the colour is dancing along with the under drawing’s lead.
Current times made me re-look at this painting that I painted a small few weeks back. Art and music are more than ever so important right now. I don’t want to mention the, what I think is now the new ‘C’ word. There is too much negativity out there right now and these times are really hard to comprehend for most. I’m an optimist and to push back anxieties and that, art and nature have always been the only way for me. So anyway..
I still don’t know what to think of this painting.. I had this urge to paint something large scale one evening and I had no large canvases left in my studio. I wanted to paint something larger than me, so I stapled a canvas roll I had, to the highest reach of the studio wall. Then I began to paint with some very energetic music on in the background and up very loud. This is what I came up with.
Apologies for poor photo quality, its only done on my phone at this stage of the process.
A new delivery of R&F oil-sticks with new colours arrived that day and I fell in love with the phthalo pale green oil-stick! I loved how it worked with the cadmium orange and yellow oil-sticks. The whole painting is done in oil-sticks and it was a great way to paint freely and non objectively.
I might come back to this painting again at a later time to rework it and solve some of the chaos to pull some elements and aesthetic together. This is what I find myself doing in the beginning of most of my paintings when I start with the charcoal and pencil.