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Project development in Painting

The current restrictions have allowed me to indulge a reading habit, I reread “Kidnapped” by Robert Lewis Stevenson. A historical fiction adventure about the orphan David, whose uncle pays a ships captain to kidnap him, the story follows the dramas which follow the kidnapping. I enjoyed this novel as it transported me to another time and place in history the 18th century, the aftermath of the Jacobite rising of 1745. It also portrayed the political situation from different perspectives , which reminds me of the different views in the current world of politics and the pandemic we are currently in.

The 18th century, a period of hundred years from 1701 to 1800, is widely regarded as the ‘Age of Enlightenment.’ The ideas of Enlightenment, which were primarily based on the scientific revolution of the previous century, it weakened the socio-political influence of the monarchy. It led to several significant political revolutions around the world such as the French revolution which began in 1789.

As a painter the 18th century is the last era of the Old Masters, a time when the high art of the portrait, historic tableau and dynamic landscape were all perfected. Artists such as Gainsborough, Turner, Goya, Trumbull, Reynolds and even the renowned poet Yeats produced paintings distilling stylistic elements that continue to influence aesthetic sensibilities today. The process of painting developed with the discoveries of industrial revolution and travel.

One of the great masters of the time was the Italian painter Canaletto. In his pictures of the late 1720s, such as The Stonemason’s Yard, he combined a freedom and subtlety of manner that he was rarely to achieve again with an unrivalled imaginative and dramatic interpretation of Venetian architecture. His understanding of sunlight and shadow, cloud effects, and the play of light on buildings support the contention in his memorandums that he was working out-of-doors, which was a most unusual procedure for painters of that time. Canaletto and his incredible view paintings of Venice, which were hugely in demand, particularly with British visitors on the Grand Tour.

See the source image

 The Stonemason’s Yard between 1726 and 1730 Veduta  Medium oil on canvas Dimensions Height: 124 cm (48.8 in); Width: 163 cm (64.1 in)

Acrylic and Enamel paint on canvas .

acrylic on canvas 46x61cm

I was inspired to make this painting from the current political situation, which I find it to be very dividing. Looking at the political upheaval in America led by the pre fascist, President Trump. He tests the edges of what is acceptable in civilised society, and then moves us along a trajectory of what can and can’t be got away with. The willingness of political leaders to not only break the law, but to revel in breaking it can be seen a a step towards the replacement of democracy with authoritarian terror and power.

I feel this painting falls short of content. It does not address the concerns raised by this problem which is, who deserves the representation of law makers ,who seem to have no vision greater than themselves and dividing us whilst it happens.

Taking inspiration from the artist Lee Lozano and her work with tools. I was intrigued how she transformed the tools into monumental utilitarian objects with a physicality which investigated the body and gender issues. She filled the canvases with thick gestural brushwork, and imbued the head of a hammer with a lifelike quality, its head inclined.

Traditionally, paintings of this scale were reserved for lofty subjects: episodes from history, important personages, and other edifying imagery. In this painting and in others, of wrenches, clamps, and screwdrivers Lozano weds the mundane with the grand: the hammer’s head clamps down as if determined to deal a blow to convention and construct anew.

Nails Oil and Acrylic on canvas

Abstracting the tools into twisting and turning forms against a shifting background. Uncontained gestural nails which are drawn towards the solid mass . The forms seem to be struggling with each other and the background reminds me of a storm which brings in the winds of change. I feel that it has an energy to it. I am pleased with the colour palette.

Oil and Acrylic on canvas

In this painting I tried to concentrate on the brush marks, wanting to create a tension between the forms. Exploring the illusion of space and volume without using specific objects. Using colour as a tool to add perspectives and harmony . I am pleased with this painting.

The Madonna and Child Oil on canvas

Exploring colour and brush marks near Christmas.

I have always been interested in Mary’s role in the “Jesus story” , logical thinking and science has confirmed that under normal circumstances a female does not conceive without the act of sexual intercourse.

Title: Madonna and Child Artist: Berlinghiero (Italian, Lucca, active by 1228–died by 1236) Date: possibly 1230s Medium: Tempera on wood, gold ground

But if so much of what is popularly taught and believed about Mary is nonbiblical, how did it become so widespread?

Even at the time of the early church, differing interpretations of Scripture abounded. Most people poorly understood the message of the Scriptures and began interpreting them through the prism of Greek philosophy, thereby raising questions that were based on a wrong metaphysical criterion. Philosophy is by its very nature incompatible with the Bible. Thus, over a relatively short time, a wide gulf developed between biblical teaching and popular belief, resulting in, among other things, the nonbiblical traditions and dogmas relating to the veneration and importance of Mary.

Although Mary should not be worshiped, it is right and proper to acknowledge her example of humility and obedience as the caring mother of Jesus, the Son of God. As her relative Elizabeth said, she was “blessed among women” (Luke 1:42).

Untitled Oil and Acrylic on canvas

Experimenting with a quick drying oil medium , I was surprised by the difference it made to the fluidity of the oil paint. I enjoy wet on wet painting as a technique it allows me to complete a layer of colour and brush marks in one sitting, I think painting for me is instinctive as I tend to achieve a looser and better blending of the colours with this technique.

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