It’s just over a week until my paintings can be seen in an exhibition at Poole Museum so here is a small insight into the artwork produced for the residency. The second painting (image details below) is 1m70cm square.
The painting was developed through thin layers built up onto the canvas surface. The canvas was primed and painted whilst stretched and stapled to the wall – this allowed me to really push the thin layers into the canvas to encourage the development of a sense of depth to the work. I wanted this painting to be more colourful and celebratory, having developed the previous painting after experiencing Poole on an impressively stormy and awe inspiring day. I was absolutely soaked, but it didn’t stop me from fully taking in the scene! As a result, the first painting reflected the power of the sea (in feel, not in a literal way), using darker greens and bold strokes to develop darker areas of depth on the canvas surface during the early stages of production. The celebratory feel of the work was set out from the very beginning when I was faced with blank canvas and a sudden urge to throw yellow at it – what joy! The painting developed from there, carefully maintaining areas of yellow, whilst obliterating other areas of yellow with pale washes, bold gestures depth and detail. The photos below show areas of the work both during production and upon completion. I have showcased every possible method of mark-making and surface development, creating a sense of depth, texture haziness, sharpness and what I like to call controlled and uncontrolled drippiness! Oil paints are full of possibilities and it is these possibilities that were so important to my creation of this artwork.
My inspiration for the work was every aspect of Poole Quay from the impactful Anthony Caro sculpture through to details on passing boats, shapes formed by ropes on beautiful ships and interestingly shaped cracks in the pavement seen from the viewing platform of the ‘Sea Music’ sculpture. Every aspect of an environment becomes a potential source in my artwork, however small or seemingly inconsequential. It is these details that really form an environment and create the unique atmosphere of the place. It is equally difficult for me not to be inspired by the sounds of the scene; the curious sounds coming from the factories on the other side of the Quay, the shouting of the people working on the boats travelling to and from Brownsea Island, the bustling chatter of the tourists taking in the scenery and most importantly for me, the open and joyous sound of seabirds calling overhead. As a lover of the sea, that sound is incredibly emotive to me, impacting on my mood and in turn, how I respond to the environment.
The exhibition opens with a private view on 21st October and can be seen right through to 7th January. I will be showing 2 large scale oil paintings shown on free hanging swathes of canvas, alongside 4 framed drawings (pencil, pen and ink with a hint of watercolour). Please go and see the work if you can! For anyone unable to visit the ‘Sea Music’ exhibition, I will include images of the work and the exhibition in a future blog.
I will also be running an oil painting workshop in November – check here and on twitter (@amybourbon) for details.