Tag Archives: oil painting

painting: cousins

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Some recent paintings

Two paintings, one, the single portrait, is finished, the other may not be. A friend sent me a text yesterday after he had been listening to the second of Grayson Perry’s Reith Lectures, where it was apparently suggested that a successful work of art will make you smile. Its a nice sounding test for what makes something a piece of art. I’m not sure either of these will make you smile though, so hopefully other criteria still apply.

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Plein air

For the first time in about two years I packed up my paints and brushes, easel and a canvas and went out into the open air to paint.

During a morning of generally pleasant if changeable weather, I painted in a field not far from Morpeth, in Northumberland. Here is the result

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And here’s a photo of the easel and painting standing in the field.

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It wasn’t a particularly compelling view and I didn’t stick too closely to what was in front of me. Instead, using the paint to capture the rhythm and physicality of the sky and landscape.
What did catch my eye though was the two chimneys. An interesting contrast with what’s otherwise a fairly plain rural scene. And it reminded of certain late Cezanne’s, always an inspiration.

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family portrait

I’m not sure if this is entirely done yet or not but it is substantially finished. It can be a bit ‘finger in the wind’ about when a painting or drawing is finished and there’s always the risk of fiddling on and on and ultimately ruining what you had. On the other hand greatness might just be waiting in those final brushstrokes. Apparently Arshile Gorky spent years working on a painting of himself and his mother, never completing it to his satisfaction.

I doubt that’s going to happen with this painting, so here it is in its current (probably final) state.

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And here’s how I got there…

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