18 October 2011


The frustrating thing about painting huge, powerful, survived since the year dot buildings is having to capture them in tiny size, confined on a canvas, tamed. The more I paint them the more I am frustrated that my canvas is not a roll nailed to the wall, endless.

It has set me thinking about what kind of painter I am. I have told myself and others that my passion is watercolour painting, and it is, when all is right in my world. But I have to admit there is something great about the large brush and a well used palette.

I am a tonal painter, these days more figurative than I would like to be, but always a colourist with my palette firmly fixed on the primary colours, warm and cold versions of each.

Yet, oddly enough, the paintings I am drawn to most are those painted with an extremely limited palette. So, here goes:

I have set myself a challenge. This time I am painting with a really really limited palette. Maimeri's Golden Ochre (really almost a burnt Sienna), Ultramarine blue, Ivory (Maimeri), a strong mid yellow, and Raw Umber. A slightly strange mix, but that's what I see along the mountainside when I look out into our burnt landscape.

Not only that, but it is to be achieved using powerful strokes, lots of paint, and in a short time. It will be in sharp contrast to the rather more sweet version I hope to paint next. This one I am hoping will be full of power and drama.

I had the outline sketched in, ready to go. I started this morning, not too early. First I had to make the huge pot of soup that will sustain me through this.

Today I am grateful for large tubs of paint.

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