Friday, 20 May 2011

Commission casts new light on the traditional seaside postcard and new colour onto my palette

As part of the Rennaissance Project for Cleethorpes three local artists Tracey Edges, Bill Meek and myself have been asked to produce the artwork for postcards. It’s great to have been asked to get involved and great that the traditional postcard format for a seaside town is being challenged. Rather than the mass produced, generic postcard of Cleethorpes Pier, which could be any seaside town in the UK, our postcards will offer a view through the subjective & selective eyes of three very different artists.

The three postcards I am working on are views of Cleethorpes at sunrise.
Sunrise 1 is the view under the Pier with the Fort on the horizon.
Sunrise 2 is sunrise and the Fort
Sunrise 3 is sunrise at the Boating Lake

Sunrise 1 - Sketch 1
The postcard commission is also challenging my practice in many ways. The work is more figurative and in particular I’m having a whole new palette experience! The orange spectrum colours in Sunrise 1 & 3 are clean, fresh and straightforward. Basically, an orange is lightened by a warm (cobalt) yellow or a cold (lemon) yellow. But the pinks! Wow! The pinks of Sunrise 2 are a whole new colour ball game. It’s difficult but exciting.

Sunrise 1 - Sketch 2

Sunrise 1 - Sketch 3 complete

Sunrise 1 - painting unfinished

Sunrise 1 - painting unfinished - detail

On this blog, I try to avoid referring to my life other than my life as a painter. But writing the blog has helped me realise a change in my work that is also reflected in my life and until writing the notes I was unaware of this parallel. Life reflecting art and all that. One’s work is so intertwined with ones life it is impossible to distinguish which is influencing which. I am entering into a crimson phase!

Sunrise 2 - Sketch 1

It’s funny because pink and purples are colours that I really enjoy and appeal to me in my life generally for example in my choice of clothing, flowers or living environment. This is a new development. I have moved away from the turquoise blue, the colour which was the inspiration for all my lagoon paintings (and clothing!). The blue spectrum I know so well that working it has become instinctive. I can recognise the subtlest difference and mix the nuance of colour without a thought having to register in my conscious/critical mind. The pink/purple spectrum is something I know very little about on the palette.

Sunrise 2 - Sketch 2

The colours emerging are rich, sumptuous & consuming. Back in my college days alizarin crimson was the only part of the pink/purple spectrum we were issued each term. There were loads of mucky browns and ochres but no passionate, vibrant, energising pinks or purples to be had!

Sunrise 2 - Sketch 3

Sunrise 2 - Painting detail - unfinished

Sunrise 3 - Sketch complete

Sunrise 3 - painting detail unfinished

There is a whole new world of colour opening up to me. Even the pigment names are gorgeously unfamiliar and descriptive. While the blue hues are as familiar as old friends.

Magenta lightened by titanium white is a rich pinky purple.
Permanent geranium and titanium creates a sweet candyfloss pink.
Rose madder and titanium creates the classic pink of the Pinks, a carnation pink.
Mmmmmmmm. So gorgeous I could eat-cha!!

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous colours and images. Spurn is my most favourite place in East Yorkshire. I spend time happily watching, absorbing and witnessing there myself.
    What great way to envigorate post(art)cards!