All that glitters must surely be from Essex

All that glitters must surely be from Essex
Oil and glitter on canvas

Monday, 1 September 2014

The importance of a sky!

In the final days of my summer break before starting the new school year, I took myself off to the studio for a few hours today.  On the first day of September I found myself wondering how long it will be before I plug the heater back in for winter.  I love my studio space...but it is so cold in the winter, so I painted today in what I'm sure will be the last last of the summer light...and warmth!

Today my attention was on my St Botolph's painting.  Underpainting nice and dry, I began to add thin glazes of greys, blues and white to give depth.

Using linseed oil to make the colour more transparent
I ensured that the colour of the underpainting was still
visible underneath.

During the Reformation St Botolphs, like many reli-
gious buildings in Britain, was demolished.  The fires
of the Reformation destroyed buildings, purged heretics and swept away centuries of history, art, ceremony and belief.
Therefore the sky in this painting is so important as it is painted in a literal and symbolic sense.

To further reveal the underpainting, I used a cloth to rub into the wet paint - having mixed the paint with linseed oil, the paint comes off almost cleanly, showing the colour beneath.

Here I leave some of the cloth marks still showing, existing almost as a cut away to the colour beneath.

Using a fan brush I can blend the fresh layers of paint into the underpainting beneath to give a more subtle finish.

It is difficult to balance both a sense of serenity (to visit the ruins of the priory it is nothing if not a beautifully quiet and reflective place) with the recognition of the violent destruction that happened here.  That I suppose is the challenge of the whole painting.

To both convey a landscape's present and past in one painting.

I often find in my work, as used by landscape painters past and present;  that sky proves to be a very effective and emotive way of creating calm....but with a wicked sense of foreboading!!

 Like my other work in progress (Balkerne Gate, also in Colchester - which you can see photo's of in previous posts) I am attempting to capture the past, present and future of the landscape - to do this the sky has to be absolutely right on both!

Once I begin work on the painting of the ruins of the priory itself I'm sure that the sky will require more attention.

For today, this is where I left it, more photo's of it's progress to come in the following weeks......

1 comment:

  1. I really love the colours in your work - stunning. I'd be tempted to say the colouring is your identity and personality in the work. This looks like its coming along really well - I look forward to seeing the progress and final piece!