This is the painting that eventually sat next to Moran’s ‘Nearing Camp’ in the Gallery at the very end of the show. There was always a certain inevitability in me revisiting this view of Tollgate rock and the Palisades but only when I was sure that my efforts would result in a work that would be a clear tribute to Thomas Moran and at the same time communicate something of my experience there as well as the way I make paintings.
I wanted to present the key elements merging together as the light fades. In most of my work there is a momentum of shadows and light which I like to think gives the viewer an experience beyond the bonds of what is viewed, suggesting movement of the earth, clouds, sunlight and in this case moonlight. There is a vigor in this work and it hopefully maintains the energy of all those small studies which help evoke the mystery of the transition from day to night.
I look back on these large works and feel lucky about how they came about, especially with a finite period of time which I had to complete them. I suspect that the time constraint is part of the process I engage in to try ensure a purity in my painting experience although it is not without risks. It doesn’t always work but thankfully in this instance these large works added a crucial sense of scale and wonder to the experience in the gallery. I absolutely loved producing them, the intensely physical challenge and exhilaration in painting these large pieces has left me with an appetite to carry on working at this scale or even bigger in the future.
So this is the final post from my notes of the studio phase. The exhibition actually finished a few weeks ago(November 16th 2014) . I’m really excited that I might also be able to include a 360 degree video tour of the Exhibition and two stop motion capture films of me painting the large works here but I may need technical help for this so won’t promise a timescale. I have also always intended to add sketches/maps and background detail that will add to experience of visitors in the future but I imagine these things will appear sporadically when I can collate the material. In terms of the main writing I plan draw all the threads of the project together into one more post to follow.