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The Story of a Painting....

Updated: 5 days ago


I've recently finished this richly textured seascape entitled 'Crusade'. The painting began purely as an experiment- it started the day I heard the news about Russia's plans to invade the Ukraine. I decided I would respond to the horror of this by creating a painting in 10 minutes a day....I had no plans how it would turn out or even what it would be about! I hoped that by the time I had finished the work, the war would be over and there would be a peaceful resolution.

I began by creating the painting in monochrome- a black acrylic spray paint, plaster and white gesso. When that dried I began mark making with watercolour crayons- random marks crossing the canvas in different directions. The next day I began building layers of fluid acrylics in sea greens and blues, keeping the palette limited. The hair dryer was out- as this really helped with drying time! The middle stages of the painting were the hardest to leave alone after 10 minutes, I just wanted to keep going, turning the canvas to see if something interesting was emerging. The thinking didn't stop there though, and I decided I wanted to create a seascape- an open landscape full of hope and possibilities.

The final layers of this painting, I captured on a time-lapse and this can be seen on my Instagram account. They required a lot more thought as I wanted to pull back and create some more literal elements- the atmosphere, the moving water, the mist in the distance. Once finished, I put a layer of cold wax on to the surface- I love the subtle sheen and coat of protection it offers.

Finally, the framing was a decision I found really hard! I opted for a beautiful solid wooden frame with a natural finish- not my usual choice but it just worked against the strong colours.

Would I try this experiment again? Absolutely! Working for a limited time gave me the space to think about the work and consider my next move.

My next challenge? Three paintings in 45 minutes a day!


My recent painting 'Crusade', finished. I use an artist's app called Smartist to create in situ shots.



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