Re-purposing II

2015-10-25 St Abbs head July 2014 (4)

This is how this picture now sits after working into the distant moor and cliff faces with sandpaper, knife, pumice, washes of sepia ink and a dusting of conte crayon.  I have accentuated the highlights of the water and brought the tide further inland.  The next challenge is the foreground which needs more respect.  I like the textures that arose from the netting but want to wash over the white and bright green, and shape the near slopes more.  I need to unite foreground and background into one image and that means, in part, stripping off the clean white sea I seem now to have painted.  I have a photo showing grass heads – but how much now should I follow the photo?

Here is a gallery of images of this one scene on St Abbs Head in the Scottish coast, drawn originally in July 2013, some original field sketches and some in various stages of re-purposing.

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16 responses to “Re-purposing II

  1. Hi Neil
    I can see what you mean about re-uniting the fore and backgrounds. Certainly a more balanced approach to the texture might be considered. Re the water I think the section roughly in the middle, lhs, where you have some shadow coming in, is looking good. Perhaps more of that effect could work on the base of the rocky shoreline.
    One thing that I noted, personal perspective only, is that at first I didn’t read this as a larger scene, rather I thought is was looking down into a narrow inlet. If it was mine I’d probably change the composition to bring that sense of the broader coastline, by dropping a bit more of the skyline into the top of the work.
    Like I said my personal perspective. Thanks for putting your work out for comment like this.

    • HI Leonie
      Thanks. Its been great putting this out for comments – you and others have been very generous. It makes a difference because you come to it fresh and perceive what I’ve been too close to it to see.

      Ill come back to the sky at the end I think – the block of green in the corner seems a but too much and taking down the sky on the top edge might work better but I need to rebalance it first.


  2. I did see this, all along as a large expanse. The questions you ask are good ones, but I don’t really want anything more to be done to this. For me, there is a foreground in this and it is that large rocky expanse you are looking at. in the lower right quadrant. This has a strong suggestion that what true foreground there is, is being stood on by the viewer and one step more would cast him over the side of a precipice. The photo reference you have included does not do your work justice. It is but a starting point for the wonderful creations in media use that you do. Other things I like about it is the wonderful composition that includes a focal point, great value contrast and elements of wonderful textures against some of the soft greens. To me, it is a very vibrant strong suggestion of the power of our natural elements. I can hear the water, feel and smell the soft grasses, maybe sense the moisture in the air and touch the grit of sharp rock. It is all in what you wish to say, kestralart. I would not mind framing and hanging this as is and would probably have it dry mounted to enjoy every inch of it. You want a scene such as in the photo you have posted with the grassy foreground? My advice is to do another. That is the best compliment I can pay this piece. I love it as is.

    • I agree with Leslie KA although I can’t access your slide show. I wouldn’t add the seed heads and I saw it as an expense. It feels vital and alive and wouldn’t want to lose that. I like particularly the flat White water. You are going from strength to strength

      • This is much appreciated, thanks. You and Leslie and others have challenged how I saw this and most of all discouraged me from slavishly following the photo. I hope to complete this painting this weekend.

    • HI Leslie
      Thanks for the detailed appraisal. It’s much appreciated. You challenge my thoughts.

      “stood on by the viewer and one step more would cast him over the side of a precipice” – this is a great comment – it was not quite that in life but was wild up there with the wind whipping picture and paint at me and the hill faces steep, if not precipitous. In that one comment, you change my view and I will look again from that perspective. Its the sense of grounding of my feet in the hillside beneath me that really appeals to me.

      So my inclination is the gently modify the mid ground, the hill edge facing onto the more distant water. The white paint was always intended as a base for further glazes, but I need to keep the textures. I also may erode away a but of the foremost white water to get a sense of its shallowness as it moves inland. But mostly these are attempts to link the two halves of the painting.

      I will stop looking at the photo. Its not a true reference – it was taken at the time of painting in the field, perhaps even afterwards. I’ve not worked form it really, but used it to find things I had missed. But now I need to take my references from the picture itself.

  3. Pingback: Repurposing III | kestrelart

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