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B is for 'Butterkist'
by Adam Ralston
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I paint in oils on self prepared board or canvas. Recently, over the past couple of years I've become more interested in painting on location or 'en pleinair' in the open air! My plein air paintings are usually of the local landscape along the promenade and seafront, as well as more rural locations There's distractions all the time with this way of working making it a real challenge but huge rewards when a painting works for you.The light can change and people or traffic get in the way. Maybe it's the wind blowing your hand about so you've no control or the rain spitting in your face just for extra annoyance! I can easily stand in one spot painting for 4hrs, so the end painting is an accumulation of that period of time rather than a single snapshot as a photo would be. I most often like to start and finish a painting in one go (alla prima), but that's not always possible especially if it's a larger painting. I'll come back another day and time in similar weather conditions until a painting hopefully works!
I'm also interested in painting still life and the occasional figurative painting. In comparison, my still life work is more ordered with the same constant light source. I set them up on a table in the studio, and they often consist of objects acquired from carboot sales and junk shops, such as teapots, bowls, and glass vases. It can take hours just setting up a still life as I like to play about with the contrasting textures, patterns and colours. By adding a few animate objects into the mix and a sprinkling of flowers, I can create my own little world to delve deep into!
I was originally influenced by artists such as Euan Uglow & William Coldstream having been taught measured drawing at foundation level. And more recent contemporary painters such as Ken Howard & Peter Brown amongst many others! I simply paint what I see whilst trying to keep to the drawing, and searching for the tonal values and colour. I keep to the same 10 colours on my palette and mix colours the way i see it at the time; colour and details you would never see from looking at a photograph! Most paintings at present are up to 10" x 12" but I hope to get more involved with pleinair and still-life on a larger scale. The more I paint, the better I hope to get.
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THE HAWTHORN GALLERY
An independent fine art and picture framing gallery, family owned and family run, operating from the historic Hare & Hounds pub in Stalybridge, which has been sympathetically converted into a unique gallery experience.