Last year I didn’t go to many exhibitions and didn’t really get involved with my local artistic community. So that was one of the things I wanted to do better this year. I’m happy to report that I have found quite a lot of interesting things going on locally; in the last few weeks I’ve been to about 6 or 7 different art events all involving painting in one form or another.
I attended a watercolour masterclass with the artist Joan Coch at the gallery Artpoint some weeks ago. I’d seen Joan’s exhibition of watercolour and oil paintings of the local area and was delighted by his work. It was wonderful to see him paint and see a larger collection of his excellent watercolours on paper. He paints a combination of urban and landscape scenes but his abstracted landscapes are what most appealed to me; with their layers of washes created that quite dark and powerful imagery. Apart from the technical pointers he gave us about painting with this medium he also explained that he often paints from his imagination, from his impression of what he has observed and it reminded me of Rose Wylie talking about how she draws in a video I shared on here a while back. I’m really interested in drawing from memory and imagination. There’s something very fresh and dynamic about this way of working.
Another artist who uses oils and watercolour is the Australian artist based in New York, Fran O’Neil. Her work is also inspired by landscapes and is extremely energetic and fresh, she uses very beautiful combinations of colours.
Another artist I admire enormously is Erin Lawler, she also uses oil paint in a similar way to Fran O’Neil but her use of colour is very dark and sensuous.
These artists have really got me thinking about drawing, gestural brush marks, imagination and how oil and watercolor have a lot in common and would be very interesting materials to explore once again.