Here’s my current Ingleton waterfall oil painting with Monday’s reworking. I’m bringing in some more green tones as in the sketch I’m using that I’ve recently shared on this blog. I’m also mixing mid-grey tones for the band of ochre rocks on the ledge. I’m still working quite vigorously, but have to be careful not to lose it. It’s so easy to in the later stages of a painting. You’re always thinking about this and how to approach the next stage. It’s a kind of dialogue that goes on constantly in the background of your days. I’m always trying to work my time to get back to the easel in good light, and a calm open frame of mind so that the marks can flow. Really enjoying my new brush that I bought in Cambridge on a recent visit. It has a real spring to it. I take very special care of new brushes to try to keep that quality as long as possible. I photographed this on the easel so you can get a sense of scale. I’ll keep you updated as to progress!
Here’s an old sketch of Ingleton waterfall that I have been using this half term for a small oil painting. I wanted to explore the elemental qualities of water and stone,as I had been with the Lymeregis Cobb work. Again it doesn’t matter that this was made a long time ago, my attention was so complete when I made it, I find that the sketch is like a key to unlock the memory even down to the feel of wet spray on my face and the sensation of the wet cold stone. The veil of water falling over the ledge of ochre coloured stone provided the original stimulus from the waterfall at the end of the iconic walk. The resulting painting is underway but not finished. I bought a wonderful new brush which should help complete it on my recent visit to Cambridge. The plasticity of the oil paint is a joy to work with. It is nowhere near finished. I need to feel where it wants to go next. I’ll share the painting itself in the next post. I made this drawing standing up with important colour notes that help so much when it comes to the painting.
I shared the more recent reworking of this painting on my last blog post. I painted the waves mostly and when I stood back noticed there was what looked like a tiny figure hidden in the water. This was not painted consciously but if he is there then I accept him. It happened a bit like the drawing that I made in the summer called ‘Medea’s heart’. The little heart in the middle of the drawing appeared on it’s own, I didn’t deliberately make the marks. Here’s an image of that so you can see what I mean. My painting seems to take on a life of it’s own sometimes and become something ‘other’.
Here’s an image of the Chagall that I was talking about in my previous post. You can see the tiny figure Bella in the corner. Beautiful. It reminded me of some tiny Picasso sculptures that I saw in the Picasso Museum in Paris with tiny heads and giant bodies. It’s this contrast in scale that is masterful, here’s my sketch of those.
This is my new smaller painting of Lymeregis Cobb with more of the sea coming in. I wanted to show the waves crashing against the wall of the Cobb more clearly as in the original sketch which I’ve already shared on this blog. It’s still not finished but it’s getting there. The wall of the built structure formed a wonderful rigid resistance to the dynamic moving water that was very much part of the memory. The resistance of the oil paint as I apply it to the canvas parallels this in a rather wonderful way.
Another section of the ‘War’ painting from the bottom corner. I was drawn to these two figures. I made the pencil marks first, then got disturbed by a tour going round the exhibition. I came back and added the oil pastel colour. Some of the marks are quite thin and layered. You don’t get an impression of the colour from the catalogue that I bought. Drawing always brings the experience and moment back to me much more fully. I have a little sketchbook and a box of pastels that are quite big and chunky with particular slots for each one which makes responding easier in what was a very busy gallery. Chagall is hugely popular still and it was the last day of the show. A great experience that I will be processing for a long time.
Here’s my sketch made in oil pastel and soft pencil on the spot in front of Chagall’s large painting ‘War’ 1964-66 oil on canvas. It was wonderful to be stood responding to the colour and marks in front of this masterpiece. It really is time-travel I was responding to the actual brushstrokes the artist had made all those years ago. So much is going on in this painting. I bought the catalogue, but you don’t get a sense of the raised bumpy painting especially around the firey areas. Some of the paint is thin and looks almost rubbed on. This is the magic for me and the keys that unlock Chagall as I work. Just me and his painting.