Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Beech Leaves

oil on canvas 51x41cm

Quite a tough subject, and it took a few days longer than anticipated.

The different shapes and colours of this mass of leaves was a very interesting texture. I wasn’t sure if a pile of leaves on its own would have a strong enough structure, so I put them in a box. And then added the pair of manikins. After a few days, I realised that the leaves and box would have been fine without the figures, but by then it was too late to remove them. I suppose a narrative could be constructed around them, but they are an unnecessary element.

I used focus to describe the complex mass of leaves, and there is a big difference between the paint handling of the front leaves and those towards the rear. At the front they are quite sharply drawn, with thicker paint, and at the back the paint gets thinner and more blurred. If I’ve done it right, you should be able to cover one eye and experience depth and solidity.

It’s the first concentrated piece of work since August and I’m really happy to have done it, even though it was quite a hard slog. But then again, that’s what it’s all about.