This is a development of a smaller painting I posted on 12th June.. Sometimes running with an idea that I’ve used before can fall flat. That might be because everything that I could say about the subject I had already said. But sometimes an idea has further potential and may become clearer when it is developed and fleshed out. It can feel like looking at something from another angle (not literally in this case) or through a clearer lens. This painting is mixed media on a 60x60cm canvas and exhibits a continuing use of a very restricted palette. Yellow is the only colour; mixed only with black and white.
‘The quality of the light’ has become a cliche for describing the west Cornwall atmosphere especially when in relation to local painters’ work, both past and present. This clear light and bright quality certainly affects my approach to painting. Not like it did with the Newlyn School of painters but with a more contemporary approach. When I made a long series of small drawings, made in the landscape adjacent to my studio, using mark making tools that I could hold in one hand on small sheets of resilient paper held in the other, I discovered the expressive potential of using unsullied yellow on a white ground accompanied by varying densities of black. For me yellow was the perfect vehicle for expressing that bright clarity. Many of the drawings were completed in seconds rather than minutes, sometimes in the act of walking. The small scale restricted the complexity of the drawing but I have never equated complexity with richness.
Since making those drawings I have been endeavouring to recreate the clarity they contained in larger scale paintings on canvases like this one.