Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Artist and his Wife Promenade in the Park

oil on canvas 84x62cm

Bruntsfield Links is criss-crossed by tree-lined paths and has several rises and hollows. In bright sunlight the dappled shadows fall on these in a very interesting way. Initially I wanted to compare that pattern of light and shade to a strongly dappled sky, but as I put the painting together, it became more about the light shining down onto the grass.

No figures were planned at first, but the painting began to feel a little empty, and it seemed a shame to make this lovely place and not have anyone enjoy it.

When adding them I was concerned that that the fine marks I needed to describe such a small pair of figures would be anomalous. Now, after knocking them back with a bit of fuzzy glare, I think the figures add rather than distract.
What did drive me up the wall was the large foreground tree. I just couldn’t make the volume convincing, and whatever I did it looked like a two-dimensional cut-out. I’m not entirely sure that it still doesn’t.

I can’t remember why, but I started listening to a lot of Max Richter while working on this. The resonant mood track for this painting is ‘Arbenita (11 Years)’ from ‘Memoryhouse’. (At time of writing it can be heard online at...
http://soundcloud.com/max-richter/11-arbenita-11-years-1-1-1, which is lucky, and also very generous of Mr Richter...)

Madam and I have a strong connection to the Links - it was where we first kissed - so it seems right and proper that it’s us two enjoying the nice sunny afternoon there.