22 April 2017

Painting


You will probably not have heard of the man on the left. He is called Alan Knight and he lives in Anglesey. It took him years to get back to the thing he always loved - Art.

Shirley and I went to see an exhibition of his paintings at Oriel Ynys Mon - the main exhibition centre on  the Isle of Anglesey.

We were struck by his work in oils. So vibrant and swift and nearly all clearly done with palette knives. 

To the right there's a close up corner of  his urgent technique as seen in a typical painting. Up close it seems rough - as if just clarted on to the canvas but stand back from it and it looks like a vivid, believable sky, filled with physical energy.

Even though visitors weren't allowed to take pictures in Oriel Ynys Mon, I was very naughty and snapped the following two pictures. If I had had a spare thousand pounds on me I would have loved to buy one of them to hang on our front room wall:-

I visited Alan Knight's website and found him saying this about his painting:-

"After trying various techniques and mediums down the years I eventually discovered that knife painting in oil best suited my temperament. I want a result quickly, in one session, and knife painting enables a speedy process. I’ve found that deliberating over a work and being too hesitant always produces a lifeless, uninspired result. Having the confidence to abandon one's inhibitions and paint in the white heat of inspiration and excitement does not come easy. It took me years to untangle myself and begin to relish and enjoy the pleasure of painting and to forget about the finished work, just to enjoy the process. I tend not to think too much when I paint.

I take inspiration from the visual world. When outside I can see paintings everywhere. Back in my studio the process begins of transforming, distilling what I have seen into an original, personal vision in oil paint. In the end it’s a question of feeling and response."

Though I am using watercolour, I wonder if I could take a little of Alan's approach into my own painting. He scorns the idea of "deliberating" and "being too hesitant". Perhaps I should swig a few glasses of Irish whiskey before putting brush to paper... or more likely I could never approach things in quite the same way as Alan. Oils are so different. You can scrape oil paint off or paint over something you have done. Much more room for amendment. But as I say, a little of Alan Knight's approach probably wouldn't come amiss.

17 comments:

  1. Just as the appreciation of art is a personal, individual taste/preference...so is the method one chooses/wishes to adopt, in my opinion.

    Whatever suits one's personality, character, desires and abilities...there should be no restrictions. And, there is nothing wrong at all with experimenting different forms and tools etc., to my way of thinking.

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    1. Thanks for that wise reflection Lee.

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  2. I think each artist learn methods from others but after that it's personal. An artist finds what works best for them.

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    1. You are right Red. Each artist must find his/her own way.

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  3. I read once in a book that taught watercolour painting to beginners that watercolouring was often "a series of happy accidents" -- but a water colourist to whom I mentioned this possibility became quite agitated and highly offended at the idea. What is your take on this?

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    1. Hi rhymewwithplague....I know you didn't ask the question of me, I add my tuppence-worth, anyway.... water colour is probably, if not, the most difficult of mediums to use/perfect.

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    2. I shall just elbow Lee out of the way and say that I concur with what the original commenter said.The way that water impacts upon paint. The way it moves and burgeons. The way the paper reacts. There is a sense of accident in all of this. It's about working with that organic, moving quality.

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    3. Ouch! Not only do I now have sore ribs, but that certainly put me in my place. Maybe I shall keep my opinions to myself from now on...and then, again, maybe not! :)

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  4. Rather impressive paintings, and I am glad you were a bit naughty and took those pictures for us!
    Like Lee and Red, I think you are right in trying to learn from other artists but at the same time finding your very own approach.

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    1. One day I would love to try some more oil painting. I last used oils when I was eighteen.

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    2. If you do take up oils again YP, be sure to buy the water soluble ones. Makes cleaning up so much easier. There are also something new, called Oilbars - oil paint in a solid stick - rather like a giant lipstick. I had a basic set for Christmas, and have yet to get to grips with them, even after watching several U tube videos on the subject. They are very strange to use.

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  5. Deliberation is a killer. My work is emellished patchwork and I seem to spend so much time thinking about it when I could probably have worked a dozen pieces.
    Briony
    x

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  6. Well I dont do visual arts but I cook and write in the way Mr Knight paints. I would sew that way, too if I could so I do think that personality can drive technique and material.

    On a different note: BOSH has come up in my facebook feed, featured by Australian vegans and Animals Australia. I always want to claim to know Ian's dad. It could be the closest I get to a claim to fame

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    1. change material to medium, it's way more artistic

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  7. I just entered a post and then inadvertently hit "sign out". Phooey! I'll try again.

    You can get that effect by using acrylic paints (thick and water-based). I never did like oil paints, but do love thick, gooshy acrylics. Also they can be thinned and used more like traditional watercolors.

    Also, you can paint over watercolor and not get "mud", although it's tricky. The first paint application must be totally dry. Subsequent layer(s) can be applied very carefully, using transparent pigments applied with only one pass. It might be something to experiment with.

    I started out painting with watercolor and did so exclusively for years. I had to use oil paints in college, but never did like them. About 10-12 years ago, I changed to acrylics exclusively - sometimes thick and impasto, and sometimes thinned. They're fun to use and extremely versatile. I must admit that, for a variety of reasons, I haven't painted in 4-5 years. I may/hope to get back to it someday.

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  8. Such an interesting technique YP

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  9. I just love watercolour as it does do its own thing. I find it a challenge but so much fun which is what art should be about.

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