Saturday, 21 November 2020

The Far Field

oil on canvas, 60 x 80cms, 2020
I spent some time in the late afternoon cleaning up all my brushes after what has been an intense few weeks continuing to work on these paintings based on nearby fields between the town and the motorway. I’ve now made thirteen, of various sizes, with some more larger recent ones.  I see them very much as works in progress as each one I make often has me going back to a previous painting to re-think and re-paint different areas. 
oil on canvas, 120 x 164cms, 2020
I’m enjoying making them but I realised last night as I finished the latest one (above), exhausted, that I feel like I’m creating them with a lot of nervous energy- I mean it seems a bit crazy to have made thirteen in about four weeks- and I seem even more driven than usual. There is also something rather unexpected and a bit unsettling about them that seems to have emerged and that is when I look at the pylons in the paintings I just feel that I am looking at myself and I’m not sure what that’s all about. 
oil on canvas, 75 x 50cms, 2020
I was watching a video lecture by painter Wolf Kahn the other day, who has been a bit of an influence on my approach to painting the trees and hedgerows, where he stated as a painter that 'to know what you are doing is wrong. It's much better to not know what you are doing'. I have to agree and it was a point of view that really chimed with me the other day and a reminder of certain values that come in and out of focus.
oil on canvas, 80 x 100cms, 2020
Kahn was influenced by his teachings by Abstract Expressionist Hans Hoffman and this movement’s interest in working from the subconscious mind. Although I have spent years working to avoid psychological readings of my work, when it comes to my landscape work I think there’s no running away from it. 

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