Eigg Series. No. 16. Acrylic and ink on 5×5″ wood
Today’s painting – a view of Laig Bay and its silver/white sands. This was one of those days when I struggled to paint and despite years of painting it never seems to be in my control!
On some days it’s almost as though every stroke of paint adds something to the painting, while on others every brush stroke detracts, so I worked on three at the same time, the thinking being that one at least would work!
Having enjoyed the way ink stains gesso, today that effect was driving me mad and the sands of Laig Bay stubbornly refused to turn silver/white. Solution – cover it in varnish, blast it with a hairdryer and start again. Such are the minor challenges in my day.
Off the topic of Eigg somewhat, but still on the subject of painting – last night I was excited to see there was an excellent documentary ‘The Madness of Vermeer’ (BBC iplayer or catch up BBC4). Utterly fascinating and a revelation to discover just how chaotic and traumatic his life was.
Of the classic artists Vermeer is without doubt my favourite – and the Northern Renaissance in general, probably because it’s a light I understand, having lived in the north.
But also for the same reason others love Northern Renaissance art – the sense of utter stillness; so at odds with the chaos of Vermeer’s life. It seems that he spent a lifetime trying to capture in paint the ideal conditions of peace that eluded him all his short life.
Poring over Vermeer’s work in loving detail, presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon pointed out the deliberate rough edges amongst the perfected brushwork, which catch the eye and reflect light. Also the use of sand to capture light (at least I’m doing something Vermeer-esque!).
It was the conclusion of the documentary that so moved me, I won’t paraphrase and will just add this link for your viewing pleasure! –
And a photograph of a Laig Bay wave in nothern light..