January 2015

153 - Light in the Forest - 97x166cm - oil on linen


At this time of year, grey days and long dark evenings begin to suck the life out of me and the colour out of my work. I find it a battle between the dark and the light. It begins gradually and works it’s way through my colour palette, until finally I paint a picture that makes me feel that I can’t take it any more. I need the light and on those precious days when the winter sun does come, I’m out, scouring the landscape.

Winter reeds on the marsh glow gold in the sun when it finally shines and the waterways and pools reflect an amazingly intense blue from the clear skies. The contrast can be great from one day to the next and my moods swing with the intensity of these changes.

Forests at this time of year have the biggest affect of all upon me. Here the contrast between light and dark is at its greatest. When the low sunlight breaks through, it ricochets from one tree to another, finally reaching the forest floor and the autumn leaves that lay upon it. Dark shadows create a contrast with this sunlight that makes the autumn leaves glow and burn like hot coals. The colours remain with me when I’m in my studio and break into my paintings on the dull days keeping my spirits alive.