the last couple of paintings have been the result of a leap into the almost unknown –

the braver I have got in my sketch book/art journal

the bolder the paintings themselves. this is the ultimate study for the catalogue image for Cley18. it started out as an old canvas from the studio of my friend Duncan, who horribly suddenly and sadly died in August; a bit flimsy to be honest, and a coarser weave than I like to use, and horrors! cotton … which doesn’t ping back at you like linen. but that freed me up to be a lot more experimental, because I wasn’t so self-conscious about the beautiful object, a nice linen canvas!

my main aim to start with was to try to cover the weave texture. a lot of this is liquid acrylic paint scrawled on straight out of the little pot it comes in.

then all went horribly wrong – horizon too high, flat sky, tree too big, no recession of horizon

so I painted over the sky and lowered the horizon, did some work on the foreground, and started in with the liquid paint again, and my new water-soluble graphite crayon

taking this further with the scrawled title – ‘Touching Distance – and funnily enough as soon as I got that cerulean, cobalt and creamy white on the horizon it started to recede

then I got the kitchen implement out, a rubber spatula, and gallons of sticky cream and grey coloured paint mixed up, and pulled that about over the top of the colour, wet on wet

working into the paint with the edge of the spatula

while everything was still wet

I’m really excited by this

the text is thoroughly embedded and only half legible

this is something like 70 cm by 50 or 60 cm, I forgot to measure it. the final painting for Cley18 will be 78″ x 48″ so there is a good deal of work needed to get this kind of thing operating on that scale.

one more painting got done before I left for Scotland. this is on a canvas covered board – a kind of support which I have not used for about thirty years!

the base coat (I am working on the white primer coat now, no pink underlayer) quite liquid paint, drawn through with an old biro

lots of water soluble graphite. and then to finish I attacked the sky with the spatula and greys and creams as on the larger painting.

now I won’t be able to paint until the second week of April or so, but I’m happy to have made these leaps in the past few weeks.