Playing with texture

The Difficult Path Back to You

The Difficult Path Back to You

December was a busy month, so I didn’t get round to my regular update. Went well though, I sold 7 paintings over three weeks, including my first sale in to a US buyer – thank you Gabriele in Florida 🙂 I spent most of it concentrating on studio/gallery admin work, and looking for venues in Scotland for the Arctic Convoys exhibition. I did manage to complete two new paintings though, and in both pushed my technique further.

I have been doing a lot of paperworks recently, and the backboard I use to support the paper on the easel is far from smooth. This shows as the knife is far more affected by surface than a brush, and I noticed some interesting paint effects as a result. I decided to experiment with recreating these effects on canvas, and returning to techniques I first used in the 1980’s I added sawdust  to the base primer as I was preparing the canvas. I then built up the surface with carefully placed wood shavings, and created a card mosiac to give the feel of cracked pavement. Great fun to do, an interesting challenge to then build colour with a palette knive. The Difficult Path… also uses aluminium shavings to suggest barriers. Getting these to adhere to the canvas was a major challenge.

Difficult Path - detail

Difficult Path – detail

I liked the detail shot so much that I used it as the basis for another piece, Aftermath, so titled because of its post apocalytic feel.This also uses grass and small twigs to create texture, and an old shoe was an effective means of applying some of the paint. I really enjoyed the process, and will use it again – one of the great joys of art for me lies in its development, every work teaches me something new, and I try not to stay in my comfort zone as I push ever harder to express myself.

Aftermath

Aftermath

Both paintings reflect my concerns as the world becomes ever more uncertain and extreme, it is ironic that my main body of work for the coming year focuses on a time when people of all ethnicities came together and gave their lives in the fight against a political belief whose rhetoric features increasingly strongly in our current political climate. Both paintings have their first public outing this January, in a group show of Midlands and South Yorkshire artists at Rotherham’s Old Market Galley (opening event Saturday 21st Jan), I look forward to hearing what people think of them.

Cheers and thank you for reading 🙂

John

 

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