I have spent the last five or six weeks reflecting on my new series and what I want to say. I decided to focus on the area where I walk, almost every day, to the shore of Portsmouth Harbour as I find it endlessly interesting and have yet to tire of going there. Obviously, since it is tidal, the physical landscape is constantly changing, from high tides to huge mudflats. There is a lot of wildlife, we regularly see shoals of fish, foxes, badgers, herons, and even deer. And there is history, going back to when the area was a bustling supply depot to the Royal Navy – history shows through the layers of nature that have covered it up. There are also dozens of wrecks which have sadness and grandeur in their decay. (See my other post about tulips here).
So lots to choose from! In fact I could probably spend a lifetime working on painting this area. At present, I have chosen to focus on the rusty metal work on the wrecks and some of the shapes that I found there.
After lots of reflecting and considering, this week I started painting. I love my chosen practice of working in abstract layers with acrylic, graphite, charcoal, pen, collage… It means I can have fun and respond to the work rather than having something in mind. This is where the reflecting comes in, I have to hold my intention whilst not let it direct my work too much. Just see what happens.
There is always a stage where you hate it, but again this practice allows me to work through that and carry on until the painting is resolved. This one isn’t finished yet, there’s one more layer I think, but it’s getting there!