Following my recent initial stabs at painting I went to visit the Royal Academy and seek inspiration from the works of the Glasgow Boys. I’d not really known much about them, but was blown away by the sheer force of their colours, fluidity of paint, textures, and warmth. Quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Many painters appeared not to wash a brush in-between applying more paint, every part daubed onto the canvas had echoes of its predecessor, so the whole picture read as a series of closely coloured cousins. They were as inspiring as they were intimidating, and all the more infuriating to see that many of the most stunning paintings were done when the artists were my age, so I feel I’ve a lot to catch up on.
So enough treading carefully, time to get more ambitious. A fellow student and excellent painter advised me to paint bigger and bolder, so here’s the first layer of my first big painting. Based on (another!) series of chef drawings, this time taken in by a spectacular pair of large Scottish salmon fish being prepared at No. 1 Lombard Street. A long way to go yet and lots more making-it-up-as-I-go, but slapping on paint at this scale is liberating and, I fear, may prove addictive.
Also in the news….
Its new year and resolution time. I’m rather inspired by Cennino Cennini’s advice to artists in the fifteenth century: Do not fail, as you go on, to draw something every day, for no matter how little it is, it will be well worth while, and it will do you a world of good. It’s hardly a novel idea but one that requires much will power, and just maybe the enforced discipline of twitter. If only Cennini had owned a camera phone… So from New Years Day the town mouse can be found doodling at @londontownmouse, which is linked from the menu to the right. I can’t promise it’ll all be good, but it will be hot and fresh out of the sketchbook.