Due to the coronavirus, I have moved my workspace to my house and it will take a different direction. As I will be in a different environment which is less spacious and where I cannot have my current work to hand, I shall be focussing on working from life in the (self) portrait and on small scale studies. This time will not be wasted and in some ways I am glad to take a break from constant striving and return to technique and detail. Also I am freshly inspired by my course only a week ago with Alan McGowan. But I hope this general situation will not go on too long and I will be able to return to my workshop.
Working in my studio is a continual search to and fro for threads and unexpected links which lead to new connections and new ways of seeing and thinking. I have recently made copies of paintings by Alfred Munnings and now I am working on the amazing horse paintings by Christian Hook and Alex Kanevsky. Having started a (incomplete so far) study of a Hook work, I am fascinated by his beautiful energetic drawing and use of paint and colour, which echoes the way I like to draw and work with colour and markmaking. It is so different from the more traditional form of equestrian art (eg the Munnings, though he is a good artist) and truly beautiful. I am reluctant to show the Hook study in case it is an infringement of his copyright, but there is a rough sketch below which gives an idea.
I wanted to address one of my studies (the one above of the horses resting in a barn) in a similar free way and see what happened. But this will have to go on hold just now. I was beginning to see a connection between this “thread” and the drawings and paintings of trees – something about a link between the horses’ legs or lines of their bridles and the shapes of trees.