A month overseas. I gain a month travelling and being fed the beauty of England, Wales and Scotland. An easier travel load this time, not a new place each day, rather a new place every other day. Observing, walking, painting. Experiencing all weathers, clouds and trees… in the Peaks, along canals, by mills and over dales. They have fed me, enriched my senses and taught me skies and colours. I have painted in all sorts of nooks and crannies, window seats and tiny places. Trying even harder to not leave my mark anywhere… Christo-plastic all surfaces and myself, unpeeling at the end. I miss my big studio and large canvases! My big brushes and mottled spaces, time being my own and breaks for reflection. I have spent a twelfth of my working year on the road and in planes and cars and strange places… I see it in small studies and same styles… canvas is small, the strokes deliberate and intricate, the places pretty and neat. Be prepared for some big dramatic work when I come home!
Travelling gives time for reflection, contemplation and self evaluation. I learn more about myself as an artist and a fellow human being. Meeting so many different people, rubbing up against different cultures and living in confined spaces breaks off many bristles that we tend to grow when not moving so much. Learning about other people’s art story and practice rounds the edges of my practice too. I hope that I am more tolerant of myself through this. I also want to push myself to do better and more adventurous art.
The light in the UK is different. I always knew it but never so much as this time here. Especially in Cornwall. The tendency is to think artists who painted here romanticised the landscape. I think not so much. The light is different. I can see why people travelled to paint in Cornwall. European light is different! The greens are different. I found it challenging to paint the greens… never entirely confident with greens, I had to wrestle with the Aussie green reflex and adapt to another sort of greening of the landscape.
Be prepared to see a few more northern hemisphere paintings when I get home. I am not finished with it yet. I may have to delve back into the photo log and my memory to get a few more out here. With my Sydney exhibition looming, the focus will be on Sydney and more local scenes. I am excited about painting some large works and pushing my techniques further.
Here’s a selection of the 30 6X8” studies I painted on the road… some are still available.