Moving On Up
I get the feeling that it’s time to move up in scale from the Teton Sketch paintings. In these larger works I try a few different approaches, each starting with a slightly different intention. In some of the paintings working directly from photographs as reference, some develop from the small sketches, while others stem from an approach which is more like how I would normally paint.
Normally I work with paint until elements of the image emerge “accidentally”. I usually start with a vague notion of what I want to achieve, let’s say in this case it’s a sense of the incredible scale in the Teton range. I never have a clear idea of how this will notion will present itself but usually there is a moment when the random paint marks, in a certain area, “suggest” how the whole image might come about. These moments of genuine surprise make my painting sessions unpredictable, exciting and sometimes infuriating. It’s important to say that even after the recognition stage the danger is, that in becoming too “aware” of the image, the spontaneous energy can be lost with more conscious crude painting and the process has to return to an earlier point of flux.
It’s too early to make judgements about these pieces as they are all currently in the first stage of completion, although already some feel closer to personal experiences and others seem to be a more generic representation(a bit like a painted postcard or a more general documentation). Due to my desire to eventually make very big works its almost as though some of these are a preparation for an even bigger work. I’ll proceed with each type of depiction and see what happens.
Great start James, I love the sense of scale that painting a major mountain range brings..but I would also love to see some of Turners ‘fallacies of hope’ appear and equally more sturm und drang if only because America in the days of Thomas Moran was a synthesis of European idealism of liberty, here for the first time men could unite in an exploration of the new,
Thanks for your comment Rob! I agree it was a unique period of exploration.
These are looking great James, can’t wait to see those big. big ones!
Cheers Stevo! Big brushes at the ready!