Deep(er) in the Woods

Following yesterday’s post, detailing the small revisions made to the first two ‘woodscape’ paintings, today we present the fruit of what has been the main thrust of creative activity over and since the Yuletide period in the form of a third such painting taking as its visual source a scene from deep within the predominantly pine-wooded environment beyond the rear perimeter of TOoT Towers (working in the conservatory at the back of the property is, obviously, the perfect location for all those instances of necessary empirical visual research that are an essential component of the painting process).


‘Woodscape #3’ oil on canvas/48″ x 24″/December 2016 – January 2017

‘Resolved’ (whether suitably/satisfactorily enough only time spent looking and considering will reveal), the painting continues in the manner of that pair preceding it and reveals explicitly its facture, the overt structure of horizontal and vertical brushstrokes, and the materiality of the paint and its mostly wet-into-wet application in the service of both the painting-as-object (transitional object) and the represented embodied experience of being present within the woods, treading upon the carpet of pine needles and moss and being confronted by the sheer verticality of the tree trunks and evidence of their foliage between and beyond. What one finds is that communicating this experience in paint becomes more and more complex and difficult each time one returns to the easel to represent the subject matter, more hermetic for want of a better word (and Cubism and Cézanne are never very far away, either) as, perhaps, this painting appears.

Outside of the world of the painting, but a valuable part of the process of its making, I must make mention of a couple of the elements of the accompanying musical soundtrack – Tom Waits‘Mule Variations’, which sounded particular wonderful this last Sunday afternoon, and the long-overdue discovery of Can, oft-cited as an influence upon a number of artists whose work has proved to be an enduring favourite (not least early Public Image Ltd) but, especially absurdly it seems in the event, who had remained unexplored until recently, intriguing stuff and suitable grist to the painting mill.


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