18 Feb Newsletter: February 2020
Hi Everyone, and welcome to my February Newsletter…
So, if I’m being totally honest, January has not panned out as I hoped it would; I’ve spent most of the month fighting off various flu bugs, which is a bit of a nightmare especially when you have so much stuff you’re bursting to do!
Anyway to fill you in on what I have actually managed to get done…I’ve been working on a really large canvas from my Cornish Margins series, which has taken a long while to pull together…but then it is about 4ft x 5ft, and made up of a huge number of opaque and translucent layers…so the fact it’s taken a couple of months or so isn’t really surprising!
The video file shows me working on some of the under layers, which are deliberately much more vibrant than the top ones…this means I can glaze over with translucent layers, revealing fragments of brights in the final piece.
I think it’s quite interesting to see how this works out , when you look at the finished piece, shown below:-
It’s called Seams of Jasper, after the mineral which was mined in the area, and has a wonderful rich golden yellow/ orange colour…In the piece I’m referring to layers of history and in the landscape, and hinting at traces that remain in the geology and sense of place.
The colour itself was complicated to create in the painting, and needed layers of warm Cadmium Yellow Dark, with Quinacridones in Gold and Orange to build the warmth, plus some Raw Sienna too to create the finished effect.
One of the great things about working so large, is that it does give you the physical space to explore so many layers, and create a real feeling of depth, which is hard to do on a smaller scale.
Apart from finishing Seams of Jasper, I’ve kick started my planning for the next body of work which is based around North Yorkshire, where I live. When I’m feeling my way into a new series, I need to spend time experimenting with ideas, textures, paint techniques, and just playing really. For me this is a really important stage, and if I get inpatient and try to rush it, things don’t go well!!
One of the things I do, is use pin boards around the studio to put up colour samples, test pieces and ideas, so I see them all the time, which really helps clarify what’s working and what isn’t, and clarifies in my head where I want to be going next.
The vital thing to do is take the pressure off to make a finished piece, and just play with materials, colours, textures and so on…
In the picture above, you can see some of the things I use:- palette knives, oil pastels, a bradawl for scratching, a wire brush for textures, a roller, a small squeegee for pulling paint, silicone blades and wedges….
When it feels as though I’m getting somewhere; particularly with a colour palette and the kind of textures and marks I want to use, then I’ll start making visual notes and plans in my painting notebook…these are not pretty as you can see below, but they are working drawings which form the next stage in making work.
Usually they consist of thumbnail sketches and colour samples, which are a great way of planning how a painting will come together, especially in terms of composition and layout (see above).
When it feels as though I’m getting somewhere; particularly with a colour palette and the kind of textures and marks I want to use, then I’ll start making visual notes and plans in my painting notebook…these are not pretty as you can see on the left, but they are working drawings which form the next stage in making work.
With a bit of luck and being bug free, I should be well under way on my Yorkshire series and will have more news of that for next time!
*If you’re interested in any of the pieces shown, please email me for further information: email@example.com
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Meanwhile until next month take care and keep in touch,
All text and images copyright Jo York 2020