Friday, January 29, 2010

Here's an indication of the kind of work I do on location. " En la Tarde " is a 14 x 18in. oil on panel which was started en plein air. I start all paintings up to 18 x 24in. on location and work for up to 3 hours at the first go. It is very rare that I can actually finish one of this size in one session, given the sort of " finish " I like to put on them. It's not that I don't like the look of a " broader " approach but this is not my personal preference. So, I have to work hard and fast. A lot of energy goes into these things on the first go. Later I may return to the location more than once and finish the piece but it's more usual that I will refer to a photo I will hopefully remember to have taken at the outset. This is not to say that the main " bones " of the painting change much beyond that first few hours. In fact I try to keep it looking more or less the same in spite of the addition of a lot more detail. This is a bigger challenge than might be expected. As is sometimes pointed out, " more is often less " and it has taken me much experience to arrive at a point where a satisfying balance seems to be at hand. I find this method of working to be most satisfying, ...................... you initially soak up all the color, action and atmosphere of a location and any studio work you have to do later feels like you're still there, where you started the picture. I don't think I could work exclusively from photos. I would feel totally trapped in the studio.

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