Colour Mixing & Texture to encourage dynamic eye movement.
Inspiration and energy came from artists I respect; the bespoke palette and mixed media of Andy Dixon, the bright textures of the Impressionists and Van Gogh and the Fauvist’s wild use of colour.
There are many ways in which the pandemic came into these landscapes: close quarters, disruption, questioning the value of my shared time, holding space for studio time, working with uneven light.
As a true artist in (imperfect) residence, I then developed a self-tailored colour palette that I worked hard to create myself through long colour mixing theory research and colour mixing practice sessions.
Cohesion in the Collection
All this so the cohesion carries from canvas to canvas across the collection. Even as I make these pieces I’m thinking about how they speak to each other and how we are going to install it. I was thinking about the Art Base gallery where the solo show would take place and considered how the pieces will sit best in the space. The goal here is that the audience stands in the gallery and receives a fully peripheral experience. The movement in each painting will draw the audience from one travel experience across to another, with salon style smaller paintings grouped at the back and no boundaries between them. Finally, the way I painted over the frame creates a sculptural depth that lends itself to getting lost inside these views.
Light to Dark then Dark to Light Again
If you come to examine the artwork even closer you might note the light to dark and then dark to light again order in which the paint is layered. This is the first time I’m working on canvases spray-painted with solid colours. I’m very driven by the shaping in Ori Reisman’s landscapes.
Although I don’t explore a human form in the earth as Reisman does, I aim to work the shaping of the land in a similar way that inspires a similarly human interaction, even though it’s not intended to be a human-sized view.
This is me trying to expand my skillset, widening my canvas, practicing grander sweeps, expanding what I can do and bringing you to the precipice with me and you can extrapolate from that what it means to you to stand in immense spaces.
Childlike Innocence in Mixed Media
Due to the close quarters, I’ve been painting next to my 3 year old. She has influenced me. I mixed my use of acrylic paints and oil pastel to create a dynamic forward and backward motion of the viewer’s eye: from the background acrylic to the foreground pastel, we move through the scene.
Thanks to my daughter, I was inspired to replicate form with a childlike sense in the brushstrokes. For example, I thought very deeply about the innocence I wanted to convey in the form of the Temple on Sounio. There is an innocence in one’s experience of wonder when one encounters ancient monuments. It makes you feel small to see the history. I hope that textural peculiarity, the quirkiness in the lines and colours I chose, wakes up the dull feelings of ordinary scenes and gets the viewer excited about the unique vision we get when standing in the inspiring spiritual locations ancient people appreciated for the same reason.
Tidal & Air Movement in Space & Paint Speed
I thought a lot about texture because it offers something we don’t get from our screens. Paintings need to offer something more than what we get in the visual world of our screens. I asked: What do paintings do that screens cannot? I answered: The texture of the paint and the peripheral size of the canvas can outsize our peripheral experience and let us step outside ourselves, deeply experience the movement of the wind and air and leaves and water and receive that specificity of human perspective in a vast space.
Even if you are not familiar with these locations, from our travels in Greece and Belgium, even if you have not stood in the same spaces, I hope you agree, you feel a sense of space, feel their particular quality of light and catch a breath of the same air.
The gloss varnish was also an important element. Products made by machines can make a smooth perfect flat surface. An impeccable glossy flat surface cam be made by the digital world. I asked: What can paintings do that cannot be done by photography or a computer or a machine? I answered: Dynamic texture that follows the shapes of the image and brings an overall sense of sculptural harmony to the piece. This is unique to painting and that’s why I do NOT try to apply the varnish as flat as possible across the surface of the canvas, but instead follow the movements of the painting’s forms and express the speed of emotive brushstrokes even with the varnish itself.
By shaping the solid forms with the paint texture, using mixed media to bring in a dynamic movement forward and backwards from the surface of the canvas, flowing the brush strokes to mimic tidal or hot air shafts away and around the nearly fish-eye lens enlargements of the horizon, I am working to enlarge one’s sense of space.