Had a longish day painting in the studio. I was working on three bigger paintings derived from small studies painted on location around Weymouth Harbour. I often work like this, some of the big paintings are started and finished on the spot but with much of the scaling up and building up the surface being completed back at the ranch. It’s important to me that this process never becomes routine and I’ll try to alternate this sort of work with short bursts of direct observation On Summer afternoons the light streams into the studio and my big easel gets pushed further and further back to keep the canvas out of direct sunlight. I try to keep the process in the studio as much like painting on the spot as I can. There’s an element of peril working in front of a subject, especially one that’s changing all the time and this helps to drive the eye to make decisions and keeps the panting energized. Some come off and others don’t and those that don’t are kept as reminders to myself of a particular place and time.
By early evening the studio is like a goldfish bowl under a spotlight with the sun streaming down the length of the building. I’d noticed earlier that the little poppies that grow everywhere here were coming into flower so I quickly gather up some of their stems and start a little painting, placing them in the full blast of the evening sun. This is just what I need and completes a busy day with a bit of excitement.