Over the past week I have added 3 more coloured pencil paintings to my list for selection in my exhibition next March. The theme is ‘landscape cleansing’, where each landscape has had a certain amount of detail/information removed. I want these subjects to be seen in as pure a form as possible, a new way, a fresh way, a different way. Fences, power poles, even houses have been ‘removed’. In some cases, roads, even animals. It’s a very simple, humble approach. For contrast I have mad exceptions; some detailed landscape areas have been included as well as some ‘busy’ skies. I have used a broad range of photos for my references, several for single paintings. I’ve not only employed observation, but I’ve relied upon my imagination on several occasions. Fortunately I have a broad range of resources in the form of photos, sketches, diary notes and past paintings.
One resource that I find very useful is to ‘collect’ certain subjects, backgrounds and foregrounds. Art isn’t about faithfully copying a photo, it’s about an idea, a feeling, even a comment. I like to combine some photos for the effect I want. That’s why for example, I have a collection of ‘skies’ – a sky file. This enables me to pick a certain sky to assist in defining the particular feeling that i want for each painting, if the ‘existing’ sky is deemed unsuitable, or too plain.
Painting is an illusion, and we don’t have to ‘paint what we see’ all the time. It’s fun to combine various images to get the result you want. Today’s featured paintings are from Tasmania’s Southern Midlands to which I’ve added 2 skies as seen from Clifton Beach near Cairns in Far North Queensland. You will notice ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos. I felt that the paintings needed interesting skies as they were way too ‘quiet’. As long as the paintings are believable, does it matter where the ‘parts’ come from?