Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Landscape with Tom Mix

oil on canvas 61x51cm

Howdy partners! 

Just for a change, here’s a light-hearted piece - a quick-draw Wild West Cowboy up in the Wild Northwest of Scotland. 

I saw the image of Tom Mix as a little black and white inset in a newspaper article about the culture and myths of the American cowboy. He was the original cowboy film star, pre talkies, and was the template on which all those who came after were based. 

The landscape of the Northwest is quite unlike that of the rest of Scotland; the mountains (this is Ben Loyal as it happens) erupt out of very harsh country and if you’re VERY suggestible it has a look of ‘Arizona’ to it, but with midges. The painting is more about the landscape than anything else - the figure is really just providing an excuse, a visual McGuffin.

I had a bit of trouble with the composition of the landforms immediately behind the figure. Initially the grassy slope slid off the side of the painting, so I imported a rock outcrop to secure it. The ridge on the left originally went straight across diagonally, and again slid straight out the side, so I had to lower it and invent a right side to the valley make the forms stable. This ended up revealing a lot more of the base of the mountain, which was a bonus. The subtle colour shifts in the sky could have been very problematic, but I ended up ‘printing’ the later paint/glazes on with a dabber. This is sort of like the pads renaissance or wood-block printers used to ink their type blocks, but more low-tech and disposable. It helps in very fine tonal control and makes for a fairly even surface, with the added bonus of not leaving a residue of cat hair (see last month’s post).

Now, I have some news. I have been offered (and have accepted) a solo show at the Union Gallery, in Edinburgh, in March next year. So, compadres, if you’d like to eyeball Tom Mix (and more), then y’all and your posse set a trail to Central Edinboro, and mosey on down to the Union – more details as and when I get ’em..

Which means I have a lot of work to do

Gi-it ‘em up, an’ mo-ove ‘em out… 

1 comment:

  1. Always love your informative and humoruos blog and it seems to me that your work reaches a new level as each month passes....watching this space for more exhibition details.
    We shall certainly try to get a posse together/round up the herd for such a prestigious event.....Sandra x