Saturday, 20 August 2016

The Beauty of Simplicity

Bulrushes in the mist

It is rather funny how we can easily over complicate life. We often see problems where there are none. If we have nothing to worry about we can sometimes still find something to concern us and when painting it is easy to imagine all kinds of things that can go go wrong long before we even pick up a brush. That is "if" you are a worrier!

I have had such a crazily busy week. I have painted every single day and I am preparing for a show by measuring and wrapping my collection for my solo show in Oxford next month. I need to forward the exhibition catalogue to the gallery by the end of August. I am really tied up with many art related non painting activities right now.

But this morning I walked Bailey and stopped to admire some bulrushes. They were so beautiful in the hazy morning light. I noticed how some were past their best. The reeds and the grasses surrounding them had already turned a dull brown and yet they were gorgeous in my mind. I was determined to paint them in a simple way to show their beauty, as I imagined it to be in my artists mind. So that viewers of my finished painting would feel they too had seen something that was stunning in its' simplicity.

I started painting by dampening my paper first to ensure when pigment hit it I would achieve soft fuzzy shapes of colour. For the bulrushes. I opted for monochrome shades but if you look closely there are tiny touches of deep turquoise because without it this would be a dull painting. I have followed the direction of the plants with my brushstrokes and allowed some stems to fuse into the atmospheric background.

This was a very quick painting to create and yet I love it. I often find I can paint something in minutes and it works as wonderfully as a painting I have taken weeks over to complete. Maybe there is a lesson in that point. We don't always have to labour over a painting for a long time for it to be a masterpiece.

Sometimes simplicity is the most beautiful way of painting. 

Keep it simple is a really good motto to stick to at times!

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2 comments:

Val Richmond said...

Hi Jean, It's so unusual to see you work in browns, these are gorgeous! What colors did you use? Thanks!

Jean Haines SWA, SFP said...

Hi Val, actually I call this cleaning my palette as I use up and mix all colours left in the middle well at the close of day. So to be honest this is just a variety of bits and pieces of left over colour all running together rather than one wonderful shade. I wish I could help more but if you saw what I used pigment wise the result should be a mucky mess!