En Premier Coup


A few years ago I began to think about the pace at which I was completing paintings, it had become almost painfully slow. I would spend ages adjusting things and found it very difficult to let go of my work, always finding more to do. I am an admirer of accurate drawing but there are many ways to achieve it. Something of a game changer was that I took up yoga and then made some improvements to my posture so that I could stand for prolonged periods, something I previously I been unable to do.

I was interested to read that the change that took place in Lucian Freud’s work, from being very detailed and flat to looser and very much more painterly, came about as a result of him starting to work standing up and I have found something similar in my own approach.


I made a conscious decision to return to painting en Premier Coup (all in one session)

I have regularly done sketches like this but this was somehow different. It was with greater intention and understanding. My whole approach to painting has undergone a change. I have taken to working quickly and directly much more and used this approach to tackle various subjects; houses, people landscape and still life. In fact it can be applied to most things and through this I feel as though I have found a new youth and energy in my work life.


Of course, our eyes change as we get older and we see things differently. Monet is a great example of this, his water lilies are almost abstract in design. The colours are also changed, being much bluer. According to Patrick Trevor-Roper in his book The World Through Blunted Sight, this is symptomatic of old age. Our retinas see things as more red so an artist would be inclined to make them bluer to compensate. My time has not come for this to happen and I can still achieve a detailed finish when I want but I am now enjoying an injection of freshness.

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