Looking back to go forward


I saved some screenshots before the summer started of some directions I wanted to go in. Returning to these screenshots now is a wonderful way to pick things back up with a fresh, if not dazed perspective.

I want to do a painting where the viewer feels as if they are standing inside a structure. All my previous paintings have been looking across or up at the structure from the outside. Being inside would change the experience and perhaps the atmosphere of the painting – the painting as a space. This will be the first thing I do when I get a studio!


I screenshotted this image with the file name ‘did I really do that!?’ it feels like a long time ago that I was painting like this. Feeling removed from this work means there are things to be learnt from it.
I never liked this ink and acrylic painting at the time, but looking back at it now I think it’s got some interesting components. I really like the way I have layered washes of white acrylic to wash out some layers of ink. It means the ink marks placed on top pop out of the scene, and appear further forward.

My big oil paintings of the woodland have always had as much saturation at the bottom of the paint layers, as the last brushstrokes applied on top. What if I tried washing out marks that represent shapes further in the distance, and used more intense, saturated marks for the shapes further forward / in clearer view? It does appear to me that in woodlands the trees further away are softer more washes out (on overcast days) so perhaps I can apply that to the way I apply paint. It may add more depth to my paintings.

I want to return to this ink painting and others like it, because there may be elements of the more realistic depiction of woodlands that I can learn from or pick back up today.


This screenshot has been on my laptop FOREVER.

It makes sense to add this in here now. David Salle’s work uses the contrast of detailed painting with big gestural, energetic marks so successfully in this painting. Having both loose and tight elements makes each part more extreme and therefore more effective. This method of placing tight and loose painting on the same canvas is the same thing I am doing with my paintings of structures next to abstracted woodland. Perhaps looking at his work more would be useful.

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