Last week I talked about my using this year to try and develop my work. This short blog is about the painting I’ve been working on for many weeks and finally finished yesterday. The painting has gone through many stages and has changed dramatically since I first started working on it. The only thing that stayed the same throughout its making was the fact that I wanted to do a painting that was about an afternoon a few years ago when Nita and I got a little lost in the hills above Glen Shee. We’d started walking in reasonable weather, blue skies and broken cloud and a forecast of a reasonable day before a weather front would move in from the west in the evening. As this was early December, we were confident that we’d be long off the hill before the bad weather arrived. Instead, low cloud enveloped us quite early on but we continued our walk. With the ground covered in snow and the cloud getting thicker, it made for careful navigation. We found our summit but then on our return we got careless and a little lost in the deteriorating visibility. With my sight as it is, I become almost totally blind once the light fades and with the prospect of rain or snow arriving soon this was not a good position to be in. Of course, we dug out the GPS, found out where we’d wandered and plotted a course back ….but for a short while it was a little scary.
I took no photos that afternoon as we headed back but have very strong impressions of the gloomy conditions as the light faded. Almost ever since that day, I’ve wanted to do a painting that had a little bit of that in it. This painting has I think finally made it after many detours and (a bit like the walk itself) after getting a little lost for a while. As I said last week, I wanted the painting to be as much abstract as landscape and I wanted it to be done in thick paint. What happened was that I kept letting it drift too much into the landscape …and kept having to rework it. I also found that using the paint thickly had its own problems too….it kept looking too contrived.
Anyway, here is the final painting after much hard work and head scratching and feeling many times that I was close to chucking it in the bin! I think that this works now and I’m pleased with it finally. I’ve learnt a lot from doing it and certainly wouldn’t have been able to spare the time last year. A big thanks to the Jolomo Award once again, for allowing me the financial and artistic freedom to do this kind of thing.