Sunday, 12 April 2009


In between dog walking and gruelling hospital visits ( 5 hour drive) yesterday, I did at least manage to do some sketching, which I am much relieved about. It doesn't do to go to long without painting lest one lose the habit.

These peices are acrylics and chalks on paper, and are a bit experimental for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I'm not using reference photos for them, but rather painting 'out of my head'. I think I've mentioned previously that's not something that comes easy to me, but with these subjects the basic ideas behind them have been rolling about in my head for years, so it's not been too hard.


I've always been fascinated with the linear aspect of the french countryside, whether it be stands of poplar trees, rows of vines, the way the countryside is criscrossed with irrigation ditches, or even just the plough lines in the field. This juxtaposition of the geometric and the organic has been subject matter for me - in my head, if not always on paper - since I arrived here in 2002, when the highly detailed watercolour below was done.


Secondly, the medium is new. I could only bring very thin cartridge paper with me, which has its own challenges - it buckles over the slightest application of water, so paint has to be built up in thin, sponged on layers. It's always fun to try and get around a technical limitation like that, but also one musn't expect brilliant results on the first go - or even the second or third. So I'm calling these experiments, and hoping that I can improve upon them in the next few days using the same methods.


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