I know from the popularity of my tree drawings how much people enjoy a good degree of realism and detail in their artworks. I have just completed a commission, a large painting of Ben Wyvis, and in this I employed much more realism than I usually do at the request of the person who commissioned it.
Contrary to expectations, it can be much easier to produce a realistic painting, relying on the purely visual. It cuts down hugely on the judgements involved! It is much less to do with intuition, and an emotional response, and more to do with the joy of employing skills, paying attention to detail and faithfully depicting the particular.
This year I have spent much of my time exploring landscape in watercolour. But I was most definitely not trying to produce traditional watercolour landscapes... there are plenty of artists who are already doing that very well. While wanting to retain a strong link to the places I was painting, my aim was primarily to convey 'what my heart sees' in the landscapes I love.
This is very much the same approach as I take in my acrylic landscapes, but using watercolour felt so much more risky! Once that scarlet lake is all over a foreground it is very difficult to remove it!
It is so exciting when a new visitor comes to my studio and they clearly connect with the paintings. When they make comments like 'I know in my head those colours are not there... but they are!' I feel I have got it right, whatever the medium I have used. A friend of mine who loves the hills took some time to respond to my work. Then one day she announced: 'I get it now, it's like poetry not prose!' She now has several of my landscape paintings in her home.
I hope that you will 'get it' too... and to continue to enjoy my work. Next time I might tell you a little about the townscapes I have painted since my visit to Malta. Another challenge!
My next task is to start writing a blog! I'm hoping the first post will be the most difficult because I've had a few false starts...
Here's a picture of my work in progress to start things off... The Citadel on Gozo ... another townscape, a completely new challenge for me since our trip to Malta in October. Like everyone else, I'm going to be busy for the next couple of weeks, but I hoping to find time to do some more work on the painting too.