A Quest for Colour
What do you enjoy most about my art work? It seems to me that for most of my studio visitors and online fans, it's the rich colours and textures that are the most compelling aspect.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve turned my attention back to where I began with my monotype landscapes: the “ploughed” field. The simplicity of this composition idea allows me to explore colour and pattern in depth without the need for creating different planes within the composition. Plane here doesn’t refer to aeroplanes (!) but to the number of levels in a composition, as in foreground, mid-ground and background.
Some of my more recent work, like the woodlands and birds, have several planes which make them very complicated to work on in the monotype medium. I felt the need to return to something more simple and really get stuck into my favourite thing which is working with colour and texture to create a rich and varied surface that could be interpreted as a ploughed field, rock strata or vegetation of some kind – I like to keep it open and not restrict myself to a realistic depiction.
This new series has allowed me to really focus on the way the colours interact in the layers of ink I apply. There’s something I’m aiming for, always just out of reach but sometimes glimpsed, which is a kind of colour synergy where colour opposites activate one another and they begin to dance, sing, sparkle – it’s hard to find the right word to describe it! I’ve discovered that it’s not just one colour activating its opposite but pairs of colours that are shifting into one another that causes the really eye-catching combinations – a colour chord, if you want to draw a comparison to music - several notes being played together.
As the layers of colour affect one another (they change in hue and tone depending on the underlying colour) it can be quite hard to predict what will happen even with all my years of experience. This unending quest for colour perfection drives me forward even with images as straightforward as these ones. Having worked on 6, I now feel the need to do more to explore some of the promising new combinations.
These slides show the progression of each image. I'm afraid I didn't photograph some of the first layers - it occurred to me later that it would be a good idea to document their progress!
The skies offer one set of colour possibilities in a light colour register and the land area explores deeper and more dramatic combinations. I hope to have some colour correspondence between the two so that they are linked rather than disparate elements.
These monotypes are nearly finished and only require the addition of trees along the sky line to be complete. One will have meadow flowers and another larger trees for a suggestion of a bluebell wood.
I hope to share the completed work, together with a new video, in my next post. Please join my email list (at the foot of every page) to receive a notification. Email subscribers are the first to hear when new work is listed on the website.