Touching the sky: new landscapes
Night Sentinel NOW SOLD
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working on a series of lone trees with big skies which is one of my favourite themes. The skies have a particular fascination for me as I observe real sunrises and sunsets in Northumberland. There’s a myriad of colour combinations, constantly changing – even if I just did skies, I don’t think I’d ever exhaust the creative possibilities!
The slide show reveals how the layers of ink are built up.
Limestone Pavement £395 mounted £495 framed Image size 32 x 50 cm Framed size 53 x 70 cm
I usually have two layers of colour for the sky, carefully selected to create an optical “buzz”. Whilst they relate to the colours of nature, they are not renderings of a particular sky. I change what I've observed to make the colours work together in the monotype medium. The first layer is a gradual blend of one colour changing into another. I do this by blending the colours together smoothly with a roller.
Last Light £395 mounted £495 framed Image size 32 x 50 cm Framed size 53 x 70 cm
The second layer of darker ink is dabbed on, then wiped back with a rag to give the soft, fluffy mark-making that loosely represents the clouds. The selection of colours is absolutely critical to the success of the image. Sometimes a third darker layer with a lot of wiping away is needed to give depth and variation to the sky colours.
For the land area, I included my much-loved printed pattern-making using textured materials. I related the darker colours of the land to the lighter colours in the sky. I aim to have a three-way colour contrast to really bring that surface to life.
Early Riser £395 mounted £495 framed Image size 32 x 50 cm Framed size 53 x 70 cm
The trees are really significant in the composition. They not only provide a focus for the eyes but they bring symbolic meaning as we relate them to ourselves: a struggle in adversity, defiance against the elements, finding you own way, basking in the light.
Also included in this series is a night sky (top). Using a chalk powder as a resist, I’m able to simulate the random scattering of the stars. I had such favourable response to the first night skies I did last year that I felt encouraged to do more. Sycamore Gap is an iconic view here in Nothumberland. The National Park is a dark skies area and is fantastic for star gazers and long exposure photography.
Rooted £395 mounted £495 framed Image size 32 x 50 cm Framed size 53 x 70 cm
These original monotype paintings are now available for sale. Email subscribers are the first to see new work then they’ll be listed on my website or go off to exhibition. Please join my list if you want to know when new work is available and get insights into the creative process.