On a bright day I get the background down. I spend time carefully blending my colours, six of them in bowls. I’ve chosen a palette of Charcoal grey, burgundy, olive, and lighter hues of white, grey and a creamier colour to add some warmth. I love nothing better than painting twilight, or thunder storms brewing, but for this piece I want to keep the light predominantly calm and not to feel cold once it hangs in the light, bright space of the council reception.
I work quickly, instinctively, gradually covering both panels. At this stage there is little detail, only the rough shapes of trees, shore and sky. It’s a thrill to work so large and I love it, revelling in the freedom of moving swathes of colour around such a large surface and beginning to see a hint of what this painting will become. Once this first layer is complete, now follows a period of waiting for it to dry (at this time of year the studio is freezing, and drying times frustratingly long) before the next can begin.
Studio tune of the day: Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto ‘Emperor’ – this glorious piece always makes me feel energised! essential for gearing up to work big.