Friday, February 17, 2012

"Les Baigneuses"

My woodcarving is progressing well, the group of three figures to the right are now finished (apart from the final smoothing and polishing). The next stage is to finish the two figures to the left. I will then have to complete the background. Because I decided to isolate the figures first, there will be no features overlapping them.

I decided to go with the title in french, because that makes a stronger connection with the European tradition of "bathers" pictures. It is particularly the painting by C├ęzanne, « Les Grandes Baigneuses », that comes to my mind.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Progress report on my "Bathers" woodcarving

These are two of the five nude figures in this carving and the main part of the work on them is finished, apart from the final smoothing. I will have to complete the modelling of all the figures before I can finally work out all the details of the background.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

My latest Skyscape!

"Newtownards Road Skyscape", Jan. 2012.
Oils on canvas, 101.5 cm x 81 cm.

I finished this painting, the third in my series of "Skyscapes", last week. I see this view on my way back to my home in Bangor, from the road between Bangor and Newtownards. I intend to create at least one more in this series. As a painter, the wide-angle perspective of these views and the effect it creates for the viewer is what interests me most. The canvas forms a flat plane, but I treat it as if it was curving over me at the top.

Monday, February 06, 2012

My new Sculpture Studio

After I left my studio at Studio 23 in Dunmurry, I created a new studio space in a shed in Ballynahinch (where I stay during the week). I hoped to carry on painting there, but I found it unsatisfactory. For some reason, possibly the lack of company from other artists close by, I found it very difficult to settle down to paint there. So when an opportunity came to move into a studio in Market Square Lisburn, I jumped at it!

So far, I have been extremely happy with my studio in Lisburn but, for family reasons, recently I have been unable to be there as much as I would like. By way of compromise, I have revamped the studio in Ballynahinch for use as a sculpture studio. Perhaps because sculpture is a much more physical activity than painting, I find that I can work well on this. It helps that my time for working on art can be split evenly between the two studios! In fact, my sculptural work has been neglected in recent years, so this represents an important opportunity for me to develop this aspect of my art.
I particularly like wood carving, although it can take a long time to complete a piece. Some years ago, I sketched out the figures for a "Bathers" scene on an oak panel. I have decided that the time has come to complete this carving!