Here are 2 paintings I’ve started as part of my ‘flood’ project. I regularly travel through the Somerset levels and the Exe flood plain where water and land are often fighting each other for supremacy. Like many artists, I’m interested in capturing the transience of light and water. Both Devon and Somerset offer great opportunities for exploring such interplay.
In this practice piece, ‘Levels’ (below), I have have divided the canvas with bands of colour representing the different depths this flat landscape presents as well depicting the water, grass, hedge line and hills beyond. It is a landscape I know well and love, as it symbolises the way home. The shapes and angles I see from my seat on the train as I speed by have always given me enjoyment.
This particular painting is unfinished. Using oil paints will often incur enforced periods of reflection while you wait for the paint to dry which is beneficial for working out how you will proceed. In the meantime you can start a new picture and come back to the first at a later date. It’s a very useful habit to get into. I’ve yet to come back to ‘Levels’ but I have sketched out ideas for a similar paintings.
Both of these paintings were made after a trip through the Somerset levels in Winter. The colours really were as bright as this. I love winter for many reasons but especially for finding colour in what at first appears to be a grey landscape which others might describe as depressing. A winter landscape can be subtle and striking. Muted colours contrasted against the harsh jagged shapes of leafless trees or the long shadows just before dusk. The light changes quickly in winter, days are shorter and the opportunities for capturing such transitions, reduced.
You’ll see more of my Flood project as it develops. I’ll post the results here and on the paintings page of this site.