Sunday, 31 May 2009

From valley floor to seascape...

Elqui 2, oil on canvas, 50x50cm

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.

Elqui 3, oil on canvas, 50x50cm

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.

Elqui 3, Detail, oil on canvas, 50x50cm

10 comments:

vivien said...

quite definitely seascapes! and very beautiful :>)

I love these happy journeys into the unknown with large canvasses - overpainting a painting you hate, ready to restart, can in a very few strokes evolve into something wildly different that you are really happy with and can develop :>)

Jeanette said...

I love the colour combinations and how they let you to what appeared on the canvas. Often our heads and hands produce beautiful pieces without us even realizing it.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Gosh - how amazing. Great pictures though - I love the "look" of them

Gesa said...

Katherine, your 'though' made me laugh :) - the diversity of approaches and making them a bit more explicit is so interesting and very useful in this group. Jeanette - yes, that 'letting the paint' carry me along works very well for me, I have found. And, ditto to Vivien.

Thank you!!!

Katherine Tyrrell said...

That comes of writing blog comments before the second cup of tea!

I think I just meant that I was amazed at how a process - which seems very foreign to me - could produce such great looking pictures

Gesa said...

Katherine :) - yes, that's how I read it... I didn't at all take it as anything against my paintings :) Have a good day...

Lindsay said...

These are lovely and what I like best is the almost reckless way you are applying paint. Your passion comes through in all the strokes.

Laureline said...

Magic transformations! This is the way art happens when we move our selves with a small 's' aside and let the big Self take over! These are exciting paintings!

africantapestry said...

I LOVE these pieces Gesa! Especially the first one grabs my attention with its expressive gestures and strokes. Me too, I like the way you allow the "paint to carry you along the canvas".
PS: congratulations on a successful exhibit; selling a piece or two makes all the hard work worthwhile, no?
Ronell

black and white said...

amazing.....