‘Tuscan Fields 1’ is an acrylic painting on canvas 75cms width x 75 cms height. It is part of a series of paintings inspired by locations across Europe. The paintings in this series have been made to record the memories of the atmosphere, light and colour of locations in which I have travelled across Italy, Catalonia and the Greek Islands. Tuscany is a region in central Italy known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy and its influence on high culture. It is regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. It is an area I have a definite liking for. Driving through the Tuscan hills is the inspiration behind this painting and the others in the series. Rolling hills, neatly ploughed furrows creating linear patterns and defining contours, rows of silver poplar trees permeate a canvas of greens, reds, browns and oranges. It would be impossible not to be inspired by the history and art of this region. Brunelleschi, Donatello and Masaccio, forefathers of the Renaissance; Ghiberti and the Della Robbias, Filippo Lippi and Angelico; Botticelli, Paolo Uccello, and the universal genius of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo and of course in Arezzo the starting point of the Piero Della Francesco trail. At the risk of sounding like a tour guide Tuscany has and always will be an inspiration to me.
The paintings in this series start as simple sketches from old photographs. Small colour studies evolve from these ‘quick sketches’ which in turn develop into canvas paintings. The paintings begin with a saturation of dichlorotriazine dyes which bleed into the working area. I work over the dyed canvas using brushes, knives, cloths and squeegees to manage layers of acrylic paint. It is a continuous process of ‘correction’. At different stages I add crushed sea shells to the paint to create heavier surfaces. The paintings are built in layers over a period of time. I like to work on several canvasses at the same time, often returning to a previous painting to affect change and absorb influence from another source. Most of my work is made in series.
Acrylic paint, dyes and crushed sea shells