years ago these sentinels appeared a number of times in my work - and here they are again. This painting, 'Troth, with maidens and angels' is part of my Borde Hill project and has reference in part to weddings, this then is a response to that influence. There is more to do on this painting but in the main it is established.
The frieze like arrangement of six figures encompass seen and unseen realms with minimum disruption, making it natural, not unlike the way Samuel Palmer worked on his glowing pastoral pieces in the late 19th Century.
This is second stage, on a coloured canvas. I have now established roughly where things are and what its about. Everything here is connected to the earth, and the earth is warm to touch. The trees almost work like skewers, the figures have weight and conect with pleasure to the soil under them. It radiates summer warmth.
There is no hurry here, nothing to unsettle the harmony, how old fashioned is that.
This is a distinct place to be with a picture, much is established and yet it is still only a series of coloured patches. I have spent most of the day appliying colour, starting in the middle and then moving left, then from the middle againworking to the right. It is methodical. Before that, I stood for a while and thought about colour and mixed six piles of colour from my delicious Harding oils.
This gives me a platform from where to work next, subsequent colour will become looser but within the set bounds of what is established. The next layer will allow much of this layer to show, it will code it more using this foundation as a launching cradle, chance and invention are good, but too much leads to mayhem and failure for me.
I draw many thumbnails, a repeating series of scribbles to grow an idea then when something gels - I stop I look for a dynamic, a narrative, a pattern or something to spark life beyond the norm.
I saw it in that tiny 6cm drawing - and moved on the 60cm canvas
Saturday I had washed and dashed some colour on the white primer. Today I mix and apply colour with Coltrane as a soundtrack Realism is allowed while judging its worth in abstract values, parallel values that complement each other and merge their personalities into a single voice.
The next session when dry will seek to progress the 'life spark' forward not dissimilar to walking with a candle in the dark.
The cycle begins again, a thought, a few little drawings, a possibility occurs, I contemplate colour, brushes move, I watch it happen, sometimes I cheer, sometimes I boo, the picture bumps along, the music plays, the sun shines, shall I stop or shall I do more, I do a little more, I read a bit, I look at Klee, I look at Giorgio de Chirico, the moment passes, I clean the palette, and the brushes, I wander though the garden back to the house, I have tea and cake in the sun. Perhaps more another day.