These first two are small oil studies,
exploratory paintings in a new series
called "Tunnel Visions",
hinting at the preciousness of sight,
again exploring boundaries between landscape,
aerial perspective techniques and abstraction.
As James Elkins has described so beautifully in "What Painting Is",
oil paint actively encourages this kind of thing -
a sense of depth and the wallowing in atmospheric effects!
Largely the marks are made with the thumb and fingertips
and occasionally rags.
Painting medium or solvent dissolves and blurs edges and allows for subtle skeins of pigment to criss cross one another and blend.
In the above example, alizarin crimson makes a dramatic note
which could possibly be seen as jarring, but that's the point
really - experimentation.
Below, sap green, white and raw umber are applied more
loosely, but with a similar end in view; that of suggesting a heavily
circumscribed glimpse upon some new realm.
Above are two from the "Minotaur Dreams" series,
where similar techniques are used with warm raw burnt and red umber,
deep orange oxides, indian yellow and smoky transparent blacks.
Solvent is sprayed on gently to make the paint more diffuse
and give detailed drip effects in some areas.
Rags are used to expose paler golden staining from the Indian yellow.
White and naples yellow are opaque additions that immediately create
a fog like area - sometimes this gives a sense of far distance
and a blurring of any hinted-at horizon.
Below, a Bull of the Woods, with an initial improvised drawing layer
using piped black acylic from a plastic bottle with nozzle
(the type you get in haircolouring kits).
This dries very fast and it's very satisfying to rub oil paint over
and around these contour lines.
That eye keeps recurring. Slightly unnerving...
but aiming for a slightly different look, darker and more loose with less clearly defined shapes.
I don't normally post such large closeups at full size but in this case I think it's necessary as my camera doesn't capture the effect of looking at the complete painting well at all! I suppose that's only to be expected as it only has one lens for a start- like listening to an elaborate stereo track in mono!
Violets and mauves are notoriously elusive, a camera really can never properly replicate the optical blending effects within our visual systems. The experience of standing in front of a painting is so much more of a rich, multisensory experience. I hope one day to be able to have short video clips (in 3d?! hmm...) ranging over the painting, rather than static shots only.
Fellow artist Rachael Pinks has a great little studio in a historic building in our local village, Cromford, Derbyshire. She has set up a rewards-based initiative on the UK-based Crowdfunding site We Did This in order to extend the lease on the studio and expand its uses to serve arts and crafts activities in the local area, including a regular affordable life drawing class, arts and crafts workshops, regular "open studio" selling events and low-cost work/exhibition space for individual artists, all based on a self-supporting, non-profit making collective ethos:
Below, some photos of the recent Open Studios Christmas event- (the first of many, we hope!) :
The rewards: This is a unique opportunity for art lovers to buy affordable original works from an exciting emerging British painter. Then there is the lasting sense of achievement from having contributed towards developing the studio into a thriving, independent rural arts hub - nurturing creativity in people of all ages and ultimately enriching the culture of the area - all from an individual contribution of as little as £10. Quite something if you compare that to the ephemeral nature of most everyday spending!
Framed works and prints by Rachael Pinks on display at the Apple Day art event, Scarthin Promenade, Cromford, last autumn.