My journey with using oil paints began during my one year Foundation in Art course, in Portsmouth before starting my three year BA (hons) Degree there. I love using them for their colour, vibrancy, texture, especially when using them with artist knives, and their ability to stay wet and manipulated for a long time. Restrictions include the mess involved, using thinners to clean which I don't like for binning purposes and the time it took me to manifest an art space. Oil painting in small spaces is not ideal as it stays wet and can be bumped into!
Our colour palette throughout the four years study was two yellows, reds and blues and titanium white - no black, and this helped us to understand and use the full colour spectrum using mixing techniques.
(*to scan other photos of my student artwork)
Below is my journey with the medium in chronological order, most recent at the top.
What Dreams May Come - Oil on Canvas, large (about 70cm x 50cm, 1998)?
After graduating, I saw a painting competition by Winsor and Newton. The challenge was to watch the film, then paint from memory after the experience (no references to the actual film pictures). My friend's sister had a dalmatian, so I used a photo for reference then gifted her the picture when I downsized and travelled the UK in a campervan. I recently got back in contact to see if she still had it, but found out that this had been given to charity as she too downsized. Hopefully someone is still able to enjoy it.
The film, What Dreams May Come, is about a family dealing with loss, crossing over to the heaven we create in our minds and how love ultimately connects us together always. The mother in the film is an artist and so features heavily in the creative process of the film. I particularly remember the part when Chris (played by Robin Williams) crosses over into heaven and finds the family dog, running about in a field of poppies created in paint, 'splodging' it as he ran. There are scenes of the couples dream home in the mountains across the water, and I also added the tree that looses its leaves in both Heaven and Earth when Chris's wife is left behind in the human realm and she tipped turps on the tree in her oil painting (showing their dream homeland) as she missed her husband so much. I like how this represents how Heaven and Earth are linked, what we think we create, as above, so below, as within, as without. I also added the red boat where they first met in that particular lifetime and features in their next together, always connected by love.
The backdrop is based on one of my most favourite views; Scaffell Pike beyond Ling Mell and The Screes, Great Gable and Yewbarrow and Seatallen in the Lake District beyond Wastwater, the deepest lake in the Lake District. I've climbed all of these, but cried of fear scrambling on Yewbarrow! Kirk Fell was a turnaround job though due to scree :).
I was a runner up in the competition winning some film merchandise, and I have still kept a What Dreams May Come kaleidoscope.
What Dreams May Come - Initial Sketch
I love watching the creative process unfold, I particularly like the initial sketches as finished pieces too!
Seal on Canvas - Oil, (size) 1996/7
For my Degree, I continued working with the theme of art in nature and the effects of human intervention. I just liked this seal though, mainly using brushes with the odd palette knife effect for the underwater vegetation.
Foundation in Art Show, Portsmouth 1994
Various mediums, mostly oils. I was interested in exploring art in nature and using Ordanance Survey maps for image work and how your mind and body feel when walking in nature.
Cabbage in oil - A1 oil with palette knives, 1993/4
I like using complimentary colours, hues that contrast with each other and are positioned exactly opposite one another on the color wheel and therefore brings out their vibrancy.
Still Life in Red - A1 oil with palette knives, 1993
The students were assigned a particular colour with objects, all of the same colour, but to explore their different hue (pure colour), tints (adding white) and tones (adding greys). I remember going home with a red face, not due to embarrassment, but because I had rubbed my face with oil at some stage and didn't realise until I got off the bus and looked in the mirror at home!