Saturday, October 18, 2008

Painter Envy

I use a lot of paint but I don’t really paint much. I rarely use a paintbrush. I find it a bit awkward when people ask me if I’m a painter. I don’t really think I am.

But I seriously envy those who are and who do it well.

I went to a Private View last night. I know I keep saying I don’t like them and I’m never going to one again. Ever. And I will quit. I really will. I promise. After this one.

This was a good ‘un though and I’m glad I went.

There were two artists featured – both painters. Both brilliant.

David Lloyd Griffith had a large number of new works on show. They were mainly landscapes, done in the open air. They were full of light, texture and soul. His work was confident.

I want to do landscapes. I like the idea. Just painting fields and hills and … well you know what a landscape looks like.

I visited the studio of a painter once who did landscapes and naturalistic scenes. She had a photo displayed on her laptop and she was copying it onto canvas. She was painting yet I remember my feeling of disappointment.

But I don’t mean like that - though it would probably be quite nice to do and it would be a good way of developing my skills. I mean getting out there and painting what I see as well as sketching and taking photos. I haven’t done that kind of thing for years. But I’m nervous it might take me off in a whole different direction.

Then there was Nathan Ford. And this guy can PAINT. His portraits were excellent in the way they captured character. His landscapes were brilliant in the way they captured the mood of a place. And he did it all with PAINT. Big washes of PAINT capturing the sky blurring with the land. Tiny details (a man’s shiny forehead) picked out with the most delicate of marks. In PAINT. The more I looked, the more I saw. The closer I got the more detail became visible. There was no artifice … just good honest PAINTING. You can see the pictures here.

I’m envious, confused, depressed and inspired.

I guess that makes it a good show.

Ford's work is very confident looking. I googled David Lloyd Griffith and am curious about the way he uses colour and tone. Different and intriguing.

Envy is good if it makes you want to work harder. For me, anyway...
WOW. Nathan Ford´s paintings are beautiful - I´m also totally jealous of people who are just great painters. Just paint and canvas. How do they do that? I want to learn!!!

Love your idea of cutting up your bigger paintings to get the good bits - I think pieces of something are often more interesting than the whole.
Andrea - I guess Griffith's use of colour and tone comes from the fact that he paints 'en plein air'. Sometimes it looked a bit mucky, to be honest.

Claire - Nathan Ford is a very accomplished and confident painter - and he's YOUNG! One of the pictures exhibited was a huge square painting of a pair of old workingmen's boots. They had such character and personality and told such a story!
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