After I came back from teaching my painting holiday, I knew I only had 2 weeks to produce the next painting for the autumn season of exhibition submissions, I knew roughly what I had wanted to paint, as I had been totally inspired by the work and studio of a sculptor living nearby who's open studio I visited in the summer, and also happens to be a friend of one of my learners.
His name is John Mcgill, and he lives and works in a 3 storey barn, which is crammed full inside and outside with sculptures, I came away with my brain fizzing with ideas for paintings as every direction I looked there were amazing shapes and colours.......
So, I invited myself back there to do some basic compositional thumbnails to get some ideas of how to place what, where and how, I filled a couple of pages with ideas, and I could have gone on and on, but being mindful that I was a guest, I curtailed my drawing activities and sat with John and spent a very enjoyable afternoon chatting about his life and drinking strong coffee, jitter jitter!
From these conversations, I came to decide on the painting I wanted to produce, and I chose the casts of faces he had hanging outside on his barn door, although I had found them incredibly compelling on my first visit, I found them even more so upon knowing John's relationships with the people who he took the casts from.
The thumbnail below was primarily an exercise to flex my composition muscles after teaching it at Flatford Mill, it is basically the same armature as a still life I did earlier on this summer, I was intrigued by the idea of one armature to fit with more than one painting, and whilst I don't think this is necessarily a good idea in terms of composition to reflect the mood of the painting, the urge to experiment won out.
This was my pencil trace sketched directly from my computer screen and my thumbnails.
These are the stages of wash using salt resist and masking fluid.
I had intended the colours to be limited and neutral, but with a richness of texture to accent the long and colourfull life of John, who is featured in the painting.
As the painting wore on I wanted to balance the elements up to make sure that John was of primary interest, and the 2 white casts would be of secondary focus, but having completed it, I now feel the painting would have benefitted from losing the far top right cast and cropping just to the left of it, however this would have chopped the face below in half, and I didn't want to do that.
Alas! I am now out of time for painting any more, as I must prepare for my trip to liverpool to be filmed by ART TUTOR, as I will be filmed over 2 days teaching a beginners tutorial to be made into a teaching dvd.
I am already on there teaching how to paint a persian cat, if you would like to see me in action, here's the link! Erk! From these conversations, I came to decide on the painting I wanted to produce, and I chose the casts of faces he had hanging outside on his barn door, although I had found them incredibly compelling on my first visit, I found them even more so upon knowing John's relationships with the people who he took the casts from. http://www.arttutor.com/artists