‘Images in landscape’ – this is the new painting referred to in the Commentary (19 November 2017) as the first in my new style of ‘figurative abstraction.’ I should perhaps qualify that by saying it is ‘the first finished painting on canvas’ in this style. It was preceded by the two ink wash studies on paper immediately before it in The Gallery here, and they were in turn preceded by 15-20 drawings, sketches and ink-wash studies in Michael Horn’s studio at the beginning of September as I tried to work my way out of the big block by trying new styles and methods while not just keeping to landscape but at the same time playing to my archaeological knowledge of landscape and its development through time.
Contained within this ‘landscape’ are ‘images’ ranging from standing stones, a henge monument, burial mounds (‘barrows’) on the skyline, axial Bronze Age field boundaries, an Iron Age round house, a church, a lighthouse and a boat. Overall, the painting is meant to ‘rise’ from bottom to top, from darkness to light. Anyone seeking deeper meaning might note that the Christian church is in darkness and the lily-white, pagan menhirs shine in the light.
This work indicates the stylistic direction I wish to explore, at least for the time being. Its ‘abstract figurative’ style is not easy to do, despite its apparent simplicity, particularly as I am now trying to move from ink colour-wash to oils, a much more difficult medium.
The painting has been submitted to the Open Exhibition at The Cut, Halesworth, Dec. ’17 – Jan. ’18