As I mentioned in my last blog, I will be mostly be featuring works from my back catalogue whilst undergoing treatment. The idea is to both introduce the work and show its progression as I have grappled with the Industrial theme that has dominated my output since 2012.
Out of the smoke and off the rails is the first of the industrial series, and was painted in early January 2012, when I still worked from my back bedroom. It nearly got scrapped after the first day, as it wasn’t what I had been aiming for, but as I came into the room that evening I caught it from a different angle, and saw the possibilities offered by the initial underpainting. Intended as a deliberate comment on the lack of a manufacturing base to the economy of the north, it is drawn (almost) entirely from my imagination, though this has not stopped more than one ex engineering worker insisting that they know the works depicted.
The majority of the pieces I had completed previously to this, after taking up my palette knife again in 2009, were based on the moorlands and peaks around Sheffield. Out of the smoke is the first urban/industrial landscape I completed, and I deliberately used the earth colours that I had used to depict nature, seeing a strong relationship between the colours of the moors and the city, and I was very happy with the result.
Out of the smoke has featured in several exhibitions since completion, and provided the compositional elements of my largest painting to date (which will feature in a later post). It has been much admired, and will be one of the works available through the SEAT 214 online gallery when in launches (on July 6th I understand 🙂 ). I still view it as one of my more important pieces, given what has followed on from it. Oh, and the one bit that isn’t entirely from my imagination? It’s the locomotive, a Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Class 8 superheater, aesthetically a long time favourite of mine, though a nearly but not quite in terms of both engineering and thermal efficiency, and I’m happy to be regarded as an anorak in this (and a number of other) areas. Hope you enjoy the work 🙂