Friday, 14 August 2009

Still carrying a Knife

The last post had me wielding a painting knife for the first time in anger, trying out block exercises in the hope of improving my colour seeing. However the real test for me is applying new techniques to my usual subject matter, that is the landscape. So I would have a go at a small piece at one of my favourite little spots, a quarry not far from home.

This was a very testing exercise, trying to remember a whole new set of processes (outlined in the last post) and at the same time practising my full colour seeing and remembering to balance my values. As you can imagine I feel that the result is something of a curate's egg, good in places and weaker in others. What is not a disappointment is the vibrancy of colour that this approach creates. There are passages that shout light in a way that much of my work does not. This gives me great encouragement to persist with the approach and continue to work at my skill level with the knife. Do you think I'm right?

I've posted a photograph of the scene that is painted.



Wingate Quarry - Oil on canvas board 12" x 10"


5 comments:

Shari said...

Hi Mick

This is beautiful... it has the feel of a Monet, with the broken colour and the palette. Wonderful work

Maggie Latham said...

Hello Mick,
I am following your new process and paintings with wonderment. This is a completely different approach to ‘the Norfolk School’ of thought…. isn’t it?
I like the knife effect and the colours are a complete shift to your Norfolk paintings. Way to go…as they say in the States!
I don’t have enough experience in oil to even contemplate critiquing…but wanted to say that the only thing that bothers me a little is that the water seems like it is going ever so slightly down hill. Not sure why it appears to me that way, only p’haps because of the reflection or the angle of the middle ground bank…not sure. It will be interesting what others have to say if you are posting this on WC. Shari is right…it does have the feel of a Monet….lovely colours.
Maggie

Mick Carney said...

Shari - Thank you so much for your kind comment. I think that the colours are what makes you think of Monet, or is it the bush that looks like a haystack. I took the approach from a teacher who specialises in impressionism so it's little surprise that it comes out in the work.

Maggie - Thanks for calling by again. First of all your comment about flowing downhill - I think you have a point. It could be that having to stand very close to the subject I have not achieved the appropraite perspective to make the pond look flat. I must confess that my main preoccupation was faliliarising myself with the knife and the sequence of applying paint.

Yes the approach is very different to how I'm making pictures in the studio. In my Norfolk pictures I am building the effect in glazes that lie on top of each other, consequently the process has to take into account the drying time between layers. As you can imagine this is not the best approach for plein air work. I'm experimenting with this approach to sharpen up my plein air work and also my sensitivity to colour. As a learning artist, working on these different approaches, I hope will give me the tools to grow into my own style. There's so much to learn.

michelleFRANTOM said...

I really like your paintings with the palette knife. They are vibrant as you say and much more alive. There is more emotion I think, a more subjective view maybe.

Mick Carney said...

Michelle - Thanks. I think the colour work is getting better but I still need to improve my value relationships to get the best out of it. I agree with you about the emotional impact.