Acrylic on gesso panel, 2023, 25.4 x 20.32 x 19 cm SOLD
This one is from a walk we did in Balathie woods, August trees, the depth of greenness in oakwoods full of bracken. It’s a small green jewel and I painted the 19 cm edge with a bright blue to set it off.
Acrylic on board, 2023, 25 x 10 cm
At the moment I like to make at least two versions of a painting, starting with a watercolour. In this case there is a water colour (below in the sketchbook), this small one on board, a slightly bigger one on canvas, and the big one.
Acrylic, linen, on canvas, 2023, 120 x 120 x 5 cm
The title of this one is a quote from one of my own poems,” Super-power”. The text is painted into it but less visible. My paintings are beginning to look more deeply into that reverie of landscape, how we find ourselves in it.
My poems as well are often really about this sort of psychoanalytical way into the relationship between landscape/nature and human.
The mix of abstraction and figuration, blurring the categories.
Acrylic, collage, linen on canvas, 2023, 120 x 100 x 5 cm
As I wrote in my blog, somehow horses have got into my paintings.
Before I went to art school, I painted and drew horses obsessively. But somehow it wasn’t the thing to do when developing skills with colour grids, observational and life drawing, and three-dimensional work. The title is a quote from a Jean Atkin poem, In Yellowhammer Weather, in her collection How Time is in Fields. The building across the top is from Andreii Tarkovsky’s film “the Sacrifice” – I rather exaggerated the piebald plaster ….
The pattern from the collaged wrapping paper migrated onto the horse, as he’s an Appaloosa. I found him and his mate grazing along the river in the winter; he had a ragged New Zealand rug on, which covered up his speckled coat. That image might make its way into a painting at some point.
Acrylic, collaged paper and linen on canvas, 61 x 61 cm
Again I am trying to paint this very lightly, watering down the paint to keep it matt. A lot of dabbing on and dabbing off, and the fine linen making the paint behave in its special way. This was inspired by a photo I took using the Hipstamatic app, with its weird colours and strange light flashes.
The watercolour in my sketch book is the key.
Acrylic on board, 20 x 15 cm, 2023
This is done on a small board and is a spin-off from all the figures I am painting on the bigger pictures, but I feel all these, including the watercolours in the sketchbooks, are works in their own right. This is every Scot(sman), trudging across the sad landscape of climate change, global inequality and all the other ills that mankind has visited on itself. Or he’s just a guy on a golden hillside of bracken in autumn.
My son-in-law and good friend, Scott Donaldson, is a great model, his clothes are always interesting and the current hairstyle is nice to paint!
Acrylic, bronze powder, varnish, collaged paper with gouache and watercolour pencil, linen, on canvas 120 x 100 x 5 cm. 2023
with this painting I am pushing the watercolour effect as far as I can. The amount of paint on the areas around the figures and the trees is absolutely minimal, in washes allowing tide marks and runs. I painted some of it flat on the grass in my back garden, as the weather was nice. The bronze powder was floated onto water and glaze on the big tree trunk shape, then fixed with spray varnish. But in the end not much of it shows because I put a runny glaze of sappy green over quite a large proportion of the painting.
you can see the glaze veiling the loose textured painting in the top left.
You can see how thin the paint is on top of gesso on the fine linen, and how I kept the figure painting really loose with very little correction.
2023, acrylic and collaged linen and paper on canvas, 100 x 100 x 5 cm
This one took advantage of a previously not-finished, but stuck abstract with lots of layers. I gessoed two layers of fine linen onto it, saving the best part of the abstract, and there is a three-dimensional frayed edge between the two.
This is a new addition to my paintings – instead of scratching lines or phrases from poems into the paint, I have printed a recent poem out and cut it up, sticking some words onto the canvas and glazing over the top.
Acrylic with collage and linen on canvas, 2023, 100 x 100 x 5 cm
This painting has gone through several stages, from abstract to this with its figures, from one way up to another, and in the end the handling of acrylic paint on the fine linen which is such a big change for me, doing less, keeping it light, and the paint thin as well as thick.