Thursday, 28 February 2008

Heath Grass

This is the completed painting I was working on in the brief video, posted a few days ago.

One of the inspirations for the painting was the contrast between the blue hills in the distance with the surrounding landscape of golden heath grass. The dry winter weather had amplified this effect.

The painting had started off as a 'midday' picture, but as it progressed I found myself working later and later into the afternoon each session. The light in the painting therefore changed to reflect this over the course of its development. The midday sun can be quite harsh to work in, particularly as I was facing partly towards it. But the finished painting, to me, captures the progression of time from that midday intensity to the mellower light of the afternoon.

It is the capturing of time, as well as place, that fascinates me so much. There is an analogy here with Euan Uglow's paintings frequently being completed over long periods of time. If his subject matter was an organic object, like a pear or a flower, it would move and decay throughout the time that he painted it. His finished painting would convey this.

I have been inspired by this methodology, but I employ it in the landscape. Here the changes are constant: weather, light, the position of the sun, changing foliage and so on.

Shown above is a detail of the canvas taken with my cameraphone. Because of the way I paint, grass, sand or whatever can end up on the canvas mixed with the paint. This is never a contrivance - and in this particular case I removed the grass before it had dried on to the painting, because it was incongruous.

The completed painting is also shown. I'll put another photograph of it on my website in the next few days after it has dried and I've re-stretched it.

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