I’ve always painted with a firm ‘realism’ approach. Maybe it was something ingrained from school art lessons — with the most realistic work considered the best. I have an eye for detail and love painting intricacies. Even when starting out with simple intentions, my pieces tend to run away and become a lot more complex than perhaps they need to be.
When I’m driving, especially in the winter, I often see moments of simple beauty that I want to capture. Usually nothing expansive — sometimes is just the way low sunlight falls on silver birches, making them shine white against ominous skies. Other times it can be isolated golden patches of sunlight across the Brecon Beacons. It’s these sort of aspects that I want to capture and preserve in my painting — probably because they contain something that a photograph would miss.
I still see things very much as a photographer. I see scenes in terms of whether they’d make a good photograph, but reading through art books it’s clear that a finished painting supersedes the reference photo it was taken from. I want to loosen up. I want to work better with colour. It’s about distilling down the elements of the photograph that make it special, that give it a vibe.
With my recent 7×5 acrylic landscape pieces taking in excess of two hours each, despite being very pleased with them, I’m sometimes frustrated with how much time my work is taking to complete. I’d like to create more paintings more often. I want to let go of being meticulous sometimes and paint with more feeling.
So that’s one of my things for 2019: Speed up, loosen up, let go of perfection, and start racking up finished pieces.