Friday, 1 April 2016

Atmosphere in my Paintings

Peter Doig in his interview with Martin Gayford (2015) talks about his painting once he'd moved to the West Indies;
"My paintings started changing, they started becoming influenced by my being there."
He comments about a recent painting of the interior of his studio in Trinidad and says;
"There is nothing tropical about the painting, but something about it is Trinidadian."
This is clearly a reference to the atmosphere that he conjures up in his paintings. I'm interested in how the atmosphere is created in my paintings by me actually being in the field before the final still is decided upon. This is a split second I take from the video footage to paint, and as I paint I very much want to feel that moment again, the essence of the place. I ideally, very much like Doig does with his paintings, want to place the viewer in a voyeuristic position where they themselves  experience the atmosphere of the moment.

I don't think that this can necessarily be achieved by working from a photograph, one that has been posed rather than a moment from a film. There is something about grabbing a still from a film sequence that makes it transitional. There is a split second where the image is going to change
Current painting I've just finished - March 2016
and often the clarity of the mark or the objects within the frame is diminished or blurred as if incomplete in some way or wrong.

The lens of the video camera therefore becomes very much like the human eye because a photographer framing his photograph has a time to consider its composition and cannot group
together a whole series of images like a film to construct the environment that it is trying to capture.

Also because of the location, the fields of my landscape, the pictures do appear very English and seasonal as the land changes and we experience change through the painting. This is what's Doig is talking about with his Trinidadian paintings that the changes of environment are present in what he does and the atmosphere that he experiences he then translates into paint. How much subconscious input into this must vary but there is no doubt it is there especially as time passes and weautomatically simulate the palette of the landscape.

GAYFORD, M. (2015) Memory Traces, Apollo Art Magazine, New York

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