Language is a wonderful invention, the moment we are presented with a new word, meanings shift and change, conjuring a world of ideas and thoughts. This painting is a patchwork of shapes inspired by the work of the Swiss artist Paul Klee. It uses geometric shapes, intense tonal contrast and iridescent highlights. There is a suggestion of land enclosures, rivers, lakes and isolated dwellings. There is also a strong sense of rhythm and chord like sequences of colour. It is designed to be warm, uplifting and meditative. I loved the process of creating it.
The geometric forms in Paul Klee’s compositions have always fascinated me. There is a natural rhythm to his paintings and a disarming simplicity. They look like brightly coloured patchwork quilts. A love of music influenced him, and the recurring motifs and shapes are reminiscent of chordal and harmonic structures. This is a work in progress and I am continuing to experiment with tonal contrast and scale.
As Winter relentlessly approaches I return to the world of fully saturated colour to reprise the warmth and light of the sun. Colour applied with rollers offers liberation from the tyranny and constraint of a hand/brush-based approach to the manipulation of paint. The speed and flow associated with the use of rollers accelerate execution and thinking, qualities that are often missing from a carefully controlled ‘painterly’ style.
The man who created the Statue of Liberty in New York also created this powerful sculpture in the centre of the city of Lyon. This is just one of the horses sculpted by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and is part of La Fontaine Bartholdi. I have photographed this fountain from every conceivable angle and there is always a new configuration of shapes to record. This shot is vignetted to draw attention to the overwhelming sense of drama and emovement.
This is an acrylic painting on a 100 x 100 x 4 cm canvas. I based it on the landscape of Roswell Pits, an 8-hectare nature reserve near the city of Ely in the Cambridgeshire Fenlands. It may surprise you to see me working with acrylics as I normally use a range of media including oil paints and cold wax, which I find more expressive. The inherent ‘flatness’ of acrylic paint can be an obstacle to more creative explorations of the natural landscape, but the medium has definitely improved dramatically in terms of versatility and range.
I have applied the paint here with a variety of hog hair brushes in an impressionistic style with many quick strokes of translucent colour. Some of you may feel that it is closer to pointillism in technique. I made the layering and depth of colour possible with the addition of various Liquitex acrylic gels, both gloss and matt. Slow drying additives were also used to ensure the soft blending and subtle gradations of tone achieved in the lower part of the painting.
To unify the surface and protect the painting from dust, UV rays and yellowing, a last layer of acrylic varnish was applied with a large flat brush.
The dominant feature of the work is the reflection on the lake and how the trees and sky have been transformed by the breeze blowing intermittently across the surface.