TL;DR – Skies are unpredictable. I like chaos.
Skies are unpredictable. That’s a main feature, really. Not as in weather, but how they look at any one moment. Clouds are constantly morphing and being sculpted and re-sculpted. Colours gradually change. What you see in a nanosecond of a cloudy sky is something you’ll never see again. I particularly like that about the wild skies of Yorkshire.
I suppose that’s why I’m painting a lot of skies and landscapes right now: they represent unpredictability. An artist can catch that unpredictability in a frozen moment of time, in which anything could happen after and anything could have happened before. Basically, it’s chaos (I’m sure you never saw that one coming). I seem always to come back to chaos – I’m drawn to it. Don’t get me wrong - I do appreciate the warm embrace of predictability and routine, but sometimes I want to jump down the rabbit hole and change everything. I mean, who doesn’t? (Do you?) Sometimes I’ve done exactly that and it’s been often the right thing to do at that point in time. Lately, I have the strong urge to do it again and flip life upside down, but I'm also listening to logic and keeping rolling along in safety. Stupid logic. I just get very easily bored by repetition.
I think that’s why my art style shoots off in different directions. (Obvious)
My method of painting nowadays reflects this love of chaos. Rather than aiming for a completed image, I begin with a vague idea. I don’t overthink the marks I’m making. The painting changes and comes together as it goes along. I’ve been using this process to learn more about creating texture, particularly with palette knives, but I’m also working through colour, making my palette quite minimal and seeing what I can get out of it. The places aren’t actual places: they’re just imagined, but often inspired by places I’ve seen, mostly in Yorkshire.
The other evening, we randomly went off to climb Hood Hill, near Sutton Bank in North Yorkshire, after dinner. Our nearly six year old did it and didn’t get to bed until 9. And my nearly sixteen year old dog managed to get round too, going very slowly back again. I took my camera and got a few shots for inspiration. It was all worth it, for the skies and the pure birdsong and the gorse and a carpet of bluebells.