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Puffin on a stormy sea

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I always seek to achieve movement in my paintings. To creat depth in works that might otherwise become overwhelmed by the detail.

I love the sea. I like to see the intense colour of a flat sea. I remember the first time I drank in the liquid turquoise that welcomed me to the south coast of Cornwall, looking down on the water from way above. I was mesmerised. It involked feelings of a tropical paradise, something I had only seen in a travel brochure.

Puffincrop1 But I thrive on movement. My brain creates its own  when I am in places or periods of calm. I am more  enthused by a stormy sea, the big waves rolling over  each other as they are whipped up by the wind into  fluffy white tops. Tumbling. Crashing. Churning.  Cleansing. A feast for the senses, as you smell the  ozone, taste the salt spray, hear the orchestra and feel  the power of the elements. Walking on a beach in a  storm is one of my true pleasures and usually I'm one of  the few people taking part in this force of nature.

I have painted many seascapes, using different techniques and view points. I have found the best way to create the turbulance in the works have been to work quickly, in an almost impressionist way, using colours straight from the tube, mixed on the canvas with brush, brush end, pallet knife, spoon, fingers, stick. Wet paint pushed around the canvas until the desired result is achieved.

Puffincrop2My puffin was a bit different. I decided to create a moving, alive, turbulent seascape using detail. Detail takes time. Particularly when incorporating familiar elements from previous works but in a different setting. So the detail in puffin is intended to move a two dimensional, decorative sea, into the realms of a thriving, yet challenging enviroment. The colour scheme is that of a stormy sea. The whole painting is set off by the grey skyscape, with simple spray details added using a toothbrush. The size of the sea is shown by the rolling horizon.

The puffin was the easy part. I knew what position it was going to take. I knew how I wanted to paint it. It is impressionistic, but is the reality element of the painting. It implies the challenge it has faced in going to sea on a fishing trip, to return with its bounty of sand eels. It implies a certain bravery in facing the elements to bring up its young. It also demonstrates its place within nature, rather than watching from afar and waiting for the storm to pass.

Puffincrop3 As you will learn from my work, it is a celebration of    nature, much of it unknown or unappreciated. It is a      reaction to the human world we have created. We look  on and wait. We have things on a plate. Puffin is          another allegory of the struggles we all face and so  many of us are not strong enough to embrace. Some  things cannot be ignored. Sometimes you have to just  go out and get what you need to survice. I'll let you  decide for yourself what those things are!


Here is a link to a video looking at more detail. Its not great but I'm learning! Click HERE

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