The Lysefjord Project 3 & 4, two works in oils.

Hello again and happy new year!

Over the festive period I haven’t spent as much time in the studio as I normally would although I’m happy to say I’ve worked on two oil paintings and they feel very different to my usual oil work. As a result of Lysefjord 3 I’m being drawn to experiment with very thin oil paint on the bare white canvas, almost like a watercolour. so I’ll post that in due course.

Lysefjord 3 was painted in the studio on a very dark surface from a reference photo. I soon put the photo aside and used colours that I felt worked well for the atmosphere, I’m developing a bit of a crush on the new colour from Michael Harding called Caribbean Turquoise, it’s transparent and beautiful in glazing so I just embedded it into this little landscape painting.

Lysefjord 3 Oil on canvas – 62 x 51 cm.

I really enjoyed letting paint drip from the land into the fjord and using almost pure impasto caribbean turquoise on the foreground land. I’m tempted to knife some Naples yellow based colour across the shore, I’ll have to think on it.

A while back I used to paint en plein air from an amazing box that contained everything including the canvasses although the box dimension restricted the canvas size to 9 x 12 inches. When I was selected as reserve by sky tv I treated myself to a full size french style pochade box in order to work in a larger size. So, long story short I had a few 9 x 12 boards hanging around and almost switched to auto and painted Lysefjord 4. It’s just outside the mouth of Lysefjord. I often get more excited about this area than the trip down the fjord itself. I love the little huts and houses, boat moorings and boathouses dotted around the rich atmospheric shoreline. It’s one of the reasons I’m so drawn to painting from a little boat… whatever the elements throw at me.

Lysefjord 4 oil on board 9 x 12 inches.

The surface was primed and very smooth so, with little tooth in the canvas I found paint could slip around. I used this to my advantage by adapting the painting method, mixing colours on the palette and avoiding wet into wet techniques (although it worked nicely in the latter parts of the work). The style appears different and is rather experimental. The smaller scale is refreshing and lends itself nicely to ‘all prima’ work. Overall a satisfying little painting.

So, now we are in 2020, it’s the weekend before everything returns to normal and my mind is full of ideas, I’m slightly obsessed with the idea of painting in the boat in filthy weather around Lysefjord. Studio work will be taking on a semi abstract style, slightly monochromatic, thinned oil paint on white canvas. Paper is also a very realistic option and works well so I could try working that way. Painting with watercolour and pen & wash gives me such a tremendous buzz I won’t be able to stop working that way. Of course I’ll be printing! I love it so much and it’ll show that nice little bit of diversity. More work to follow soon, best wishes for 2020.

John

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