May Meadow

May Meadow

No matter how hard you try, you will never find a landscape which can be represented unaltered in a painting. This is, I think, because underlying every good landscape painting is an abstract design which we refer to as a composition. A photograph records the scene as it is, or so we think. The photographer is conscious of the fact he is trying to produce a picture which represents the real world. An example is the orange glow of a sunset. We expect an orange glow in the photo. If however, we take a photograph with the same settings, indoors under halogen light (standard bulb) this orange glow is not acceptable. In this situation our brains process out the orange and we think we are in white light unlike what we see in the photo. There are an infinite number of adjustments which can be made in the camera to adjust the ‘look of the photo’. When the photographer presents us with the final photo our eyes and brain process the 2 dimensional picture and imagine what the original scene was like. We don’t want an orange glow on our indoor photos, nor do we expect the abstract construction we find in a painting, we are looking at the real world.

I take photographs for the sake of taking good photographs but I also take photographs as reference material for paintings. These photographs would not be considered good from a photographic point of view and several would be used to produce a painting. So it was with ‘May Meadow’. This painting is of the lush green of May. But nowhere was there a scene which had this and also a balanced composition, a journey for the viewer along a winding path, a sky we remember from our childhood, an expectation of something else at the end of our journey and much more.

The painting was completed in 1 and a half hours and in a day or two I will introduce a little more colour, mostly reds, to counteract the green and heighten the intensity of the scene. I am preparing a video of the painting process which I will post in a few days.