Viewing single post of blog Why Roadworks Gave Me a Change of Direction

One drenched, gloomy morning a few weeks ago, we found ourselves on a rural-lane-detour around major roadworks en-route to the studio.

As I sat in the passenger seat, snapping photos from the window on my phone (a favourite way of getting randomly interesting images to base my landscape work on), inspiration started forming in my mind, slowly coming together from a few morsels I had rattling around in there.

How to develop my work to the next level is something I’ve been considering deeply lately.

Every artist wants to bring something new and fresh to the world, and create work explicitly in their own voice—I’m no exception.

Finding that voice, however, is the difficult task and often takes years of work.

My love of landscapes is a given—from tatty, angular, industrial spaces with texture and history, to outdoor scenes with a quirk about them: big windswept skies, or some notable feature that sums up a moment in my experience of the world.

I’m realising the essence I want to bring to my current work, the thread connecting these (perhaps diverse?) paintings is the atmosphere: a sense of the 3-dimensional space in both physical and emotional (and historical) terms. Lightness or foreboding, joy or melancholia. The weight of centuries-old iron, of patinated glass and brick. The icy rain battering your face or the sun neon-lighting grass.

I recently had a break from oils: instead, working on a large, well-over-a-metre-high watercolour.

It was an investigation into subject matter that was a tangent from my current work, but I also wanted to use it as a way of experimenting with my technique: of freeing myself up from the ‘rules’ of watercolour painting, and doing my own thing.

The large scale made all the difference, allowing me to be more expressive and work—physically (and mentally perhaps?)—more openly, and I took away some valuable discoveries.

I also realised 2 things by the end of the two-week stint painting that piece:

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