Tuesday, 26 June 2007


Hi I 'm answering the question, 'where do I get my ideas from for paintings?' I have posted several posts in this series on my old blog, and will probably migrate them to here for completeness, but for the time being you can see them on the original form.

Here, I am going to share what I call my Turnerisms. Turner was reputed to sketch many 'beginnings' for paintings and I find that when I am stuck for ideas there is nothing better than just seeing what comes your way. Take a brush and paint (or whatever medium you are happy with and let it rip............

Here are a random selection:
Number 1, Sunset ( could be the Lakes again)
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Number 2, Early morning in a similar location
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Number 3, storm brewing over a headland
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Number 4, Sunset & Seascape
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I always enjoy doing these very quick, very loose sketches. If I was honest, I have to say that Putting in a lot of detail to make a finished work tends to take away my interest in the subject. If I have a style it is impressionistic, loose, colourful. I enjoy being liberated.
I do appreciate and enjoy detailed paintings from other artists but whereas my colleagues often bring back the same painting to the art group week after week. I like to finish a work quickly, and move on to something else. I could never be called a perfectionist.
Another example of this: Last week the group held an evening painting session at Knowle Locks (a local canal site) and we wre interupted by rain after about 30 minutes. We headed back to the warm and dry meeting hall, where I started a painting - which was a view across the fields from the canal basin. As an afterthought, almost to use up the colour I had squeezed from the tubes, I decided to paint another picture. It very quickly turned into an abstract without a clear idea of what the end result would be:

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I had recently been on holiday near Stonehenge, so that is obviously where the structures came from, but the smaller shapes had no obvious source until a colleague looking over my shoulder called them sheep and refered to the piece of music, 'May Sheep Safely Graze'. I took up his thoughts and added 'legs'. As far as I was concerned, that was another painting completed. BTW the colourful central area was the first thoughts that were placed on the paper. I have no intention of trying to improve this by taking those pink splodges away. They came and were not taken up but so what - it all represents a stream of thought.
So is it art? It is me enjoying myself certainly! Let me know your feelings, I would be very interested.


Viv King said...

Hi John - I loved Stonehenge when we visited it about 2 years ago - I have always found that image fascinating - to me it looks like a "pi sign" - I did 2 paintings about it which were meditations around the theme - but that is not why I am posting - I am asking if you would mind looking at my latest portait which I did in a workshop last week! It would be great if you could leave a comment! Thanks, Regards

Philip said...

My definition of art is: whatever is presented as art is art.

This definition is deceptively simple and has caused a storm of protest and discussion on various sites on the net.

I stick by it though and challenge anyone to up with a better alternative that does not inflect their own prejudices, taste or value judgments. We should be concerned with evaluating the worth of art in my opinion and not go down the dead end route of endlessly debating whether something is art or not.