Sometimes one painting informs how to complete another. This is why I love the action of painting and the explorative journey. Each time I step up to a canvas I do not know what the outcome will be, no matter how much I plan beforehand. By painting more consistently I can explore the action of painting. Sometimes this means that a new painting develops the process in a way that informs a piece that has already been painting. "Angel of Peace, Hove", for example, completely changed the way that I develop the silhouettes for each painting. This led to a complete re-paint of this painting that I feel looks so much better now. There are a few cards out in the wild of the original painting.
No matter what I am creating there is an evolution from ideas to sketches and then sketches to canvas. Even writing I have draft copies before I collate my thoughts into the final article. At all stages of this process, there is the opportunity for development, growth, and adaptation. When I began the Memory Silhouettes these sketches were very small paintings that I could get ideas down onto quickly, and while this stage of the process has now become digital the focus is on getting thoughts and ideas out in a way that allows me to play.
However, after painting West Pier I was so inspired that I went on a very extreme creation drive for these small tests. I found that I was restricting my process into a corner, deciding that there was only one way to achieve the effect I wanted. I would argue that I became stubborn and thus my paintings suffered. I was content with this but I knew deep down that a shift would need to happen eventually.
Looking at the original version of this painting now is shocking for me. It clearly shows
the stark contrast between playful development and stubborn restrictions. However, I did not know how I was going to improve on a process that I felt might have run through its potential faster than I could have prepared for. I had completed 4 of the 5 paintings that I had planned after West Pier, and I did not know where I would take this project after they were done. Looking at the skeleton of Lake Vyrnwy, I wasn't even sure I wanted to push these ideas further. Fortunately, I had one more painting to produce. "Angel of Peace, Hove". Which would cause a breakthrough that spurred me on, and has been the guiding drive towards all the work that I have produced this year.
It took me a while to figure out how I wanted the silhouette to look on this piece, but because the previous method had become less successful with each attempt I was able to free myself up to test and explore new creative processes. The result was unbelievable and it is by far one of the most popular paintings I have ever created.
A few months later I went back to the original 5 paintings and had to make a decision about what I wanted to do with them. I decided that I was satisfied with the "Beach Huts", "Museum in the Park" and "Brighton Pavilion". Which I felt showed the beginning stages of the project well, but I knew that "Lake Vyrnwy Tower" deserved a second attempt, and so I completely painted over the original and began working again. Once completed I knew that I had made the correct choice, plus it gave me the encouragement I need to keep pushing forward with this project.
West Pier was created in July 2020, which means that it is not even a full year old yet, I cannot believe how much I have created from this one idea and how much it has pushed my creative practice into new paths. I can still feel myself pushing this project further and I look forward to the paths that it will take. Read more about how the Memory Silhouettes began here, or find out about the Geometric Abstraction Collection here.
Thank you x