Sunday, 31 May 2009
From valley floor to seascape...
oops... how did this happen? Unintentionally, my recent series of oil paintings, which started with a view of Elquí Valle in Northern Chile, turned into seascapes.
Let's backtrack for a bit. I haven't posted much here of late. Rather than marking water I have been back marking fields, woods and forests as subject for some printmaking. While I continue to visit Loch Lomond for some water sketches, it seems a bit distant at the moment.
But, anyhow: for the past couple of months I have been working on three oil paintings out of the impressions of sky, hillside and valley floor left by the magnificient Elquí Valle. Much of these developments were not about a particular place but about an exploration of palette (cobalt blue, two cadmium yellows and burnt siena) and markmaking.
And, in this process something happened. While I wasn't looking and my hand were busy with paint brush and palette knife, seascapes appeared out of the fog of various grey layers.
So suggestive is the palette of landscape references that they easily appear; attempts at undoing the land- and seascapes then got interspersed with working precisely on those connections. It's a process I've found utterly enjoyable - a couple of years ago I had begun to develop some landscapes out of incidental marks on paper. This - with the oil paint as medium and on a larger scale - was even more exciting.
So, I leave you with some seascapes, appropriately misnamed Elquí 1 and Elquí 2.
If you're interested in a bit more detail on the work process of making appear and disappear, here's a process post on my blog.