Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Brief winter outings

It's been a while since I posted anything so time to remedy that! It's generally been a pretty wet January but there have been the odd glimpses of sunshine which I've tried to grab on a couple of weekends. Nothing too ambitious, keeping it local as the days are so short and I don't want to be travelling too far.

This was a broken tree I glimpsed late one afternoon near the village of Nash and the sun was shining fully onto the exposed 'innards' of the branch. HAD to try and capture something of that. I parked up and got to work as the light was changing fast. Within an hour it would almost be gone!

Broken Ash - 9x14in, oil on board

I'm hoping to attempt a larger version of this in the studio, perhaps with some compositional tweaks. Quite a tricky one to scale up because there are a few areas that lack definition in terms of tone/colour/detail. I must admit I quite like the idea of making sense of a sort of visual tangle, trying to create shapes and rhythms that capture the essence without getting too fussy (no time to be fussy anyway!). I find this sort of subject much easier to paint on location than I do in the studio. It's all those little pieces of information that you notice there and then that help along the way.

Next up, a very quick 9x7in done as the light was fading. This is the meadow and river just a few hundred yards from where I live. As a result of working so fast, the paint application was quite forceful in parts but I actually quite liked seeing a few ridges of paint!

Winter light, Passenham meadow - 9x7in, oil on board

Finally, this one from a spot near Castlethorpe was done on a cold day when I'd forgotten my gloves. It took a couple of hours for my hands to come back to life afterwards! I was interested in the unusual rhythms of the branches and the winter light added a bit extra.

Rhythmic branches, 8x16in, oil on board


  1. I absolutely LOVE 'Rhythmic Branches' David - a superb painting with a perfect title and well worth the frost-bite! Great job indeed. Also like the thick impasto foreground treatment on 'Winter Light, Passenham Meadow', a bit unusual for you!

  2. Thanks Peter! Yes indeed, I'm not usually inclined to use the palette knife in a kind of 'pollyfilla' way but it seemed the fastest way to get the paint on in this instance :) I might try it a bit more...quite satisfying making those chunky daubs!

  3. Hi David. Lovely work as always. You really captured well the colours and light of winter. One can feel the cold just by looking at your paintings! A bit jealous of your painting outings since I'm stuck between nappies and feeds but I can't complain as Louisa is a little angel. Maybe I'll venture going out painting with her in the next month or so. Take care and keep the good work!

  4. Thanks Valerie! Nice to hear from you and you're far better off in the warm :) Pleased to hear all is well with little Louisa. If you head out painting with her you MUST take some photos :) Are you going to the upcoming Pete Brown show at the Victoria art gallery? Think it opens on the 7th (PV). I'm tempted to visit if I can get a free day at some point.