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ushitsu hidden mountains

May 12, 2013


Ushitsu hidden mountains 1

Ushitsu hidden mountains 2

I have not attempted or contemplated a landscape painting since 1998. This was a request from an Ushitsu resident [above before, below final piece] He wanted a specific scene depicted that he sails past often. Unlike figurative painting, and the other styles I work in, this was a refreshing commission, and an enjoyable chance to go back to pure painting without using mixed media. There is a freeness here that cannot be equaled, almost surrendering the security of line and opting for fluidity and abstraction, plus the subject matter helps, rural Japan is a beautiful place.  Have a look at David Choe’s use of watercolour to get a better understanding of what I mean when I say  “freeness”.

I shunned traditional painting in 2002/2003, opting for the more grittier and limitless possibilities of mixed media painting. The last pieces created using purely acrylic paints include the one and only still life painting I ever did, and a self portrait. I have gone full circle now, dropping and picking up new and old materials over the years, and learning to appreciate and respect each one for its capabilities and limits, whilst trying to avoid limiting myself in the process.

Some change is good, and this has been one of them. Reacquainted myself with “painting” and tasted the joys of landscape painting. Time out from the regular and the ordinary everyday grind has made me pick up my sketchbook and start painting again. Change locations and settings when and if possible, and you will hopefully notice a difference. I have and will try inject this newness back into my usual surroundings.

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