Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mariane’s View

oil on papered canvas 31x25cm

A commission…

A friend of mine’s wife, Mrs R, used to see this every morning on her walk to work. It’s from the road between Easter Craiglockhart and Wester Craiglockhart Hills, and on a good morning you can see Berwick Law - the distant triangular peak framed by Arthur’s Seat and Blackford Hill. She doesn’t do that any more but remembers this view, so Mr R asked me to do a painting of it.

I wanted to emphasize the peace and calm, with a nod towards the atmospherics of Claude Lorrain . Mr R specifically wanted an indication of the steeples and roofs of West Edinburgh, and these tied in quite nicely with the chimneys of the power station along the coast, though I did remove the rather intrusive clubhouse. Shifting Arthur’s Seat and Berwick Law slightly made the horizon more balanced, and I uprooted and transplanted some of the trees.

Painting-wise, I’m very pleased with the ‘scoop’ of the fairway and how it curves around the hillside – quite tricky. Lucky that the groundsman’s mowing lines were so crisp or it would have been very difficult indeed to describe. 

I’m quite chuffed with the sky too, and the oil drier/siccative really came into its own here. I wanted to paint it with tinted ‘veils’ using the most transparent white, Zinc White. It lends itself to subtle aerie floatiness, but it is a dreadfully long drier – even without adding any extra oil (walnut, Waitrose own brand). With a drop of driers though, thin layers were firm enough to stay put after a couple of days. Which was astonishingly fast.

So, job done and there it is, and all without a single golf metaphor. 

Oh all right then… The opening drive was strong, but landed in an awkward bit of rough, necessitating slight re-composition of the hill and sky on the left. After that I didn’t get caught up in any bunkers, and kept my nerve for the final putt. 

Par for the course, really…