I was having trouble resolving one of the Downs Link paintings (image shown below) into the square format so decided to do another version, and I had a specific feeling that I wanted to capture, very different from the previous painting. Track Through Trees (first image) is the resulting painting.
The second painting was inspired by the wild and windy coastline of the Sussex Down and the charming and historic village of Rottingdean.
The old windmill (Beacon Mill) stands as a marker on the landscape with the village nestling in the valley below. I particularly liked the fact that the scene shows were the edge of the village, meets the sea, the brooding sky and the grass downloads.
I started walking and sketching around Shoreham in November and stumbled across the Downs Link path that connects the coast to Guilford. After walking a section and finding some interesting landscapes, I decided to set myself a project; to complete the 37 mile walk and create a series of paintings of key points along the route. Part of my reason for doing this is to further develop my landscape painting style. These are the first of the set, I plan to continue through 2017 and hope to exhibit them together at some point.
2 small landscapes working with a limited pallet on a bright ground. I plan to work this same process but on increasingly larger scales in the future.
As I strive to continually improve my art practice I have been exploring new methods of working. I started to do repeated sketches of one subject. In this case 2 trees. Focusing of different aspects of the place. The resulting work has become more layered, allowing more of the process to be evident on the canvas. I find that this gives the work additional life.
This landscape of trees was started at the beginning of the year, part of the 'Forgotten Spaces' series of sketches, but re painted many times as I tried to reconcile my tendency towards abstraction and the very figurative nature of the image. It was put aside while I worked on a commercial job. Finished later in the year.