I suddenly noticed that I don’t really do left over paintings anymore. I used to do these at the end of every painting session to use up the left over paint and some of them such as Mana from Heaven, Migrations Patterns and Journey in the Rain were quite successful. Indeed Migration Patterns went down well in the recent exhibition I did.
I felt less of a call to do them now. This I attribute to a number of things. I spend much more time on my main works now (such as 2 Pancras Square). Specifically I spend much more time just looking at the painting in progress and thinking about it than I used to. I have become much more patient.
The other factor is the Pattern Experimentation. My urge for abstraction has been channeled into these. On realising this I tried doing a four more Left over paintings (see below) but I was not inspired in doing them and they were uninspiring in my view. I think they are the last of their line. In short I have become more interested in the conscious construction of a painting then just painting and seeing what happens.
This conscious construction has basically two outlets. The first is still life. At the suggestion of Hugh I gathered some objects together to paint in a classic still life. I very much enjoyed this process and was pleased with the outcome. The arrangement of the objects is a significant part of producing the painting. They are clustered into two groups so I removed the cap from the pen, put it on the book and have the pen pointing at the mug and the box so to join the two halves together. First I did a sketch but the cup came out far too big, dominating the right hand side of the painting and overwhelming the other objects. The painting started with blocking out the objects with basic colours before adding in the detail. The pen gave me significant difficulties and the size had to be altered a number of times. Finally the table was a bit dull and needed activating with some details
During the preparation for this though I did a number of sketches and two small oil paintings. This melded the still life idea with the background seen in my recent Tiger Moth paintings. They make for an interesting result. The crocodile box, while an interesting object didn’t make it into the final piece, mainly because it is too fragile to transport.
The other direction is the attempted rendering of dreams I have had. This is far more difficult in that there isn’t an object to work on. The first is a figure swimming in a strange underground swimming pool and the second a series of geometric shapes. They made for an interesting experiment and I am quite pleased with the results but there are two realisations. Firstly these would have been better if I had been doing the final painting from something concrete, rather than from just my mind and secondly they are probably better off being elements of another painting rather than subjects in their own right. Both can also be seen in the Maxi Mix page.
All of this though makes me thing that with a shift in approach I probably need to redesign my web page. I have been meaning to do this for ages, for example to add a “Shop” page. More on this in the next few weeks.
William John Mackenzie
I am an artist with a specialism in landscapes and still life. My contact details are here.