digital images

I've been playing with digital variations on the paintings in the series so far. I find this often gives me ideas on ways forward in paint. The paintings won't be the same as the digital images but serve as ways of thinking ideas through and providing a new starting point.

With the abstracted paintings I have no definite idea of the finished result - it's a matter of putting down marks and aiming to create a feeling/mood/colour vibration/sense of movement etc Once the first marks are down then others relate to them - constant changes are made, colours and areas can change dramatically and the works take much longer to evolve than an observational study.

With a painting from direct observation so many things are 'given'. With an abstract there are so many decisions to make on the wing. I think it's like the difference between classical music and jazz.

Layers may be almost totally covered, leaving just scratches and fragments flickering through overpainting of shining through thin glazes of paint creating colours and effects that don't happen simply by putting down one layer of colour in an alla prima work.

Though the Impressionists claimed that their work was alla prima, subsequent analysis has shown that they worked further on their paintings in the studio finishing them often in this way.

I love the immediacy and speed of working plein air but in the studio it's possible to use layers in this way, adding to the visual language available. It's also possible to work on a much larger scale and with mixed media, which I really enjoy.


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