Paintings can be created from reference photos & although there’s nothing wrong with that, is there any advantage of painting directly from nature?
Photographs can be very useful in the studio for reference when working on a painting but they have limitations. I always favour making sketches & studies while in a location so that I don’t just end up with an image but an image with an atmosphere.
WHY DO I PREFER IT?
I find that taking a photograph can be done without much thought, almost autonomously, just to quickly capture a scene, whereas when I make a sketch or small study, it brings into play creative processes that are more involved than the ones I use to take a photo thus making a greater impression on the brain and giving me an all round depth to the work.
I find working from nature gives depth to my paintings because I’m not just using my sight. Other senses come into play which contribute to my work which I can’t get from just referring to a photo.
The sounds of nature such as birds singing, trickling streams, crashing waves on the shore, the rustling of trees or distant cows on a hillside, all contribute to my work. Even man made sounds such as a plane flying high overhead, a tractor ploughing or a gate latch clicking shut can influence the atmosphere of my work.
This can be one of the most powerful influences on the brain to affect mood.
Freshly cut grass in summer, mossy tree bark or leaves in a woodland, foaming sea spray blowing in from the Atlantic or the distant waft of an autumn bonfire or smoke from a cottage chimney.
Especially in more textured pieces, touch is very important. This can give an extra dimension to my work. Translating things such as the feel of tree bark, sand on the beach or the smoothness of a Jurassic rock surface is an important addition to some of my work.
This sense doesn’t influence much of my work except when I’m partaking of a nice cream tea or fresh coffee made in my van, but it does help the day run more smoothly! Of course taste is linked to our sense of smell so it does feature in my influences to some extent.
HOW DOES THE BUYER BENEFIT?
When you buy my work, I hope that the atmosphere comes out at you from the painting surface. By either using sketches or completing a whole painting outdoors, I try to capture the elements of nature and interpret them into my style of art. During my recent ‘Scape To The South’ exhibition many people made comments about the feeling they got from my paintings, mostly a feeling of brightness or being able to sense the atmosphere of a place. I feel this is because of the reasons stated above rather than my total reliance on a static image.
If you’d like to see any of my work in person with a view to buying please get in touch via my website contact form.
Would you like to keep up with my latest work & projects? Please click on my contact page & type the word ‘newsletter’ in the ‘subject’ or ‘message’ field & I’ll add you to my list. You’ll receive news directly to your inbox. Don’t forget to check my blog which is updated regularly & covers a variety of subjects.