New Paintings



VODNAŇY. I have really struggled with these. The Vodňany sequence was an attempt to re-inhabit the traditional canvas seen as a discrete object within a frame, a conscious echo of the smaller landscapes of Poussin. The starting point was a painting I did of an old bridge in Vodňany. From this I wanted to paint a set of 7 that reflected different aspects of the clash of histories and knowledge of which I could only guess. The problem was to get them to work individually as well as together, so whilst I had supposedly finished versions of all done within a year, they did not work together and frankly some were not good enough. After an exhibition in Czech Republic this summer, I was content with what I saw on the wall, so after 5 years and many changes I have finished.
John of Nepomuk• is on the bridge and just to the side of my view. He faces the crucifixion as well as a plethora of traffic signs. A patron saint of the Czechs and a protector from the floods that we witnessed. As an outsider I also face a plethora of cultural signs I cannot understand: this was the starting point for these paintings.

(• A national saint of the Czech Republic, who was drowned in the Vltava river at the behest of Wenceslaus, King of Bohemia. Later accounts state that he was the confessor of the queen of Bohemia and refused to divulge the secrets of the confessional, so much for Good King Wenceslas!)

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OSSIA. As relaxation after finishing the Vodnaňy group I took a small part of one of the paintings to make the first Ossia. By rearranging the material in layers, for each painting from 5 to the full set of 9 is used by changing the order of the layers. I could developed 14 new paintings. The simple painting had got very difficult and I struggled to make each one different and also the same! Some are acrylic and some are oil.
I then realised that the original set of Vodnaňy paintings were rubbish and had to start them all again!
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EDGE OF FOREST. These 4 landscape paintings were all painted on a path that goes along the edge of a forest, all produced not far from each other. Whilst I gave myself considerable licence to get the atmosphere and structure I wanted, you would still probably recognise the exact spot. Each will be paired with a variant.
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IDEAL LANDSCAPES. The 8 paintings done so far are a tribute to the classical landscape tradition, and are still in progress with the last versions soon to be demoted to studies!
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OTHER PAINTINGS.Echoing Path (Cesta s odrazy) and Warden Tree are the first finished of another group of 4 that still has a long way to go. Lastly Rooms 1 is the first of another group of 3
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