Tuesday, 28th: The Surface

After taking an unintended couple of weeks off from any serious painting, it’s time to get the brushes out.

In my head, I have been back and forth a lot with what I would like to really achieve. One part of me wants to continue with flowers, white petals and the limited palette; another side of me wants to look at water. Considering what a lot of artists here do is find inspiration from the beautiful setting of Aberystwyth, whether it be in the landscape or the sea. I am realising I will probably never live anywhere like this again (beautiful surroundings but very little career prospects) – so, should probably make the most of it.

In truth, I hate the colour green – sorry not sorry – but, I love the aesthetics of water, although I am actually scared of water. I can’t swim (well), and I am the fire sign of the cat, lion, Leo, therefore I feel as though it is innate for me not to like water. Whereas, Tom is an Aquarius, water symbol,  and loves the stuff. Opposites attract.  I believe there is truth in loving something that we are afraid of.

Anyway, I wanted specifically to look at light and water. The concept of the sun touching the surface of the water,  in a manner that can never literally happen. When walking Pablo by the river, I watch how the reflections of light move with the river, in harmony. The water turns a very deep orange as though it has absorbed the sun. I need to go out and take some photographs of what I am talking about, I’m just waiting for the right time. I produced a little painting for the store manager leaving at work, of an Aberystwyth evening scene. I was so drawn to the way the lights lit up the ocean, and knew there was something special about this time of day. This inspired me to pursue water painting, to some extent.

Bye Gareth, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 15cm

I began, (after moving sleeping beauty);

Sleeping Beauty

with a couple little studies. I wanted to roughly map out what I was hoping to achieve. I am also quite interested in the idea of flowers in water. Immersed in them. This is something I will probably trial at some point. One idea at a time!

Water Studies, acrylic on mount board, 18 x 10cm

So, I began on a 40 x 40cm board, using phthlos, crimson, ochre, cerulean and orange. To begin with I was traipsing a bit, not really sure what to expect or see. I am keeping my brushstrokes the same as before, almost creating the water out of blue petals.

Work in Progress, acrylic on board, 40 x 40cm

(I really apologise for poor photo quality the day has been so grey and miserable).

I am trying to abstract the water,  working from memory and enhancing elements of it. As I have never looked at this matter before, I have no real idea how water moves, or how it really looks, never mind how to capture it accurately. Rather,  I am trying to compose something personal. A description of unsettlement, an uneasy nature. Brash lights swimming within.

The Surface, acrylic on board, 40 x 40cm

This needs a lot of work! But, not bad for a days piece. I began something similar on an oval canvas, but shall look at progressing that at a slower pace. The square made me think of it as a fish tank, a box of water. From this, I have learnt I need to look at the palette closer, and perhaps my brushstrokes.  Find what works. Hopefully I will get some visual supplements to help my paintings, rather than just working from the top of my head! Who knows how far this will be pursued, but it is an idea I want to definitely look at for now.

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