Sunday, 6 September 2015

A painting that took a long time to paint!

"Twilight Settles on the Moors"
It can be very rewarding to take a fresh and honest look at your work every now and again.I began work on this painting two years ago. I framed it and it featured in two large exhibitions under the name 'Full Circle' I had named it thus because it was a return to the subject of my very first paintings - the North Yorkshire Moors. I was pleased with the result and especially liked the subtlety of the sky reflected in the moorland. However when it came back to me I began to have a vague unease about the piece. I hung it in a very prominent position where I could look at it frequently. Gradually it dawned on me that although very meaningful to me the painting had very few points of reference for anyone else, in fact not to put too fine a point on it - it was very mundane, even boring! Here it is though the photo is not quite true to the original:
"Full Circle"

I decided to see if I could add some interest to it so bravely took it out of the frame and taped it onto my easel. It was surprisingly easy to add the sheep. Because I only use transparent colours I could wash out the pale background and carefully paint them in. Then I highlighted the vivid purples of the heather so abundant just now and added a couple of flying grouse. Suddenly the painting came to life and became the essence of the fabulous North Yorkshire Moors. I thought it deserved a new title. Anyway if anyone asks me how long it took me to paint this I can truthfully reply..."Two years and forty minutes!"