'Aren't you just copying other people's work?' I get asked this a lot, so I thought I'd spend a bit of time explaining why copying, or studying, master paintings can be a valuable exercise for all visual artists. Firstly, I'm assuming, in most cases, that the artist you'll be working from is one you admire. And there may be several, nuanced reasons for this. But whatever your taste is, it'll be your enthusiasm for the work that will fuel your exploration of it and it's relevance to your own work. Secondly, you'll likely gain a deeper understanding on how the work was made; the composition, materials and techniques involved. This can be invaluable and accelerate your abilities within your chosen craft or discipline. ...
Painting from blurry images, you would think, would be a challenge. But it's no different from painting anything else except for one thing: at the beginning it messes with your head. It's as though the brain looks at the visual information and registers it as something that's actually moving. Either that or that something is wrong with its own vision. Sometimes I felt my eyes seemingly trying to adjust and focus - a strange sensation. But when you get past that and understand that, in reality, all you're looking at is merely an arrangement of subtly gradating colours, the whole process is much simpler. Imagine a sunset; the deep blue at the top, reds and pinks and the bottom and oranges in...
Started becoming a lot quicker at the beginning stages of my work these days. I don't expect much from coat one, or even coat two. Three and four is when things start to come together. Having worked in this very process oriented way for a long while now, I find that every now and again there is a streamlining of the technique. This happens purely out of repetition. I'm always looking for more efficient ways to arrive at the finished article. To get work realised with the same intensity but with greater economy. That's the goal.
At the end of last year I was experimenting with blocks of colour. Often stacking them to build spacious abstract images. I then began looking at old master paintings and extracted dominant colours from them.
The most recent is this interpretation of 'Portrait of Juan de Pareja' by Diego Velazquez in 1650. I'm still awe struck by the way Velazquez could paint, and have learned so many lessons by looking at his work.
I've been interested Baroque painting for decades. This isn't the first time I've made paintings with old master elements as dominant subjects.
I've been thinking against the idea of painting the cracks and bits of impasto. Then I though why not, just for the challenge.