I have had several pleasurable afternoons visiting various Yorkshire Forests and these have resulted in four new paintings of which this is the latest. None of them have been exactly specific to any particular forest but rather I have tried to paint the spirit of the places I have seen. There is something akin to spirituality in a forest. Maybe it's an unconscious ancestral memory from when we lived in the safety of forest and woods thousands of years ago. I don't know but what I do know is that I am always moved by being among old trees. This watercolour features a scene we have all probably come upon. Setting off for a steady stroll we are suddenly confronted by a seemingly impassable pool of water blocking the trail. What to do? If you're young you might happily splash right through but if a bit older make a detour into the trees till you get past it. Whatever don't let it spoil your day and continue to enjoy your time in our wonderful forests.
This painting started life as a challenge for a watercolour workshop I was conducting with Driffield Art Club. They are a talented bunch of artists so I wanted to give them something to get them thinking. The painting incorporated several different techniques and I was pleased how it turned out. It had to be a large one so everybody could see. This is the painting in its original form entitled 'Cascade of Light':
After the workshop I went home and hung the framed painting on my bedroom wall. I left it there for a couple of weeks and looked at it constantly. I do this quite often so I can see if any improvements can be made. There were certainly parts of this painting that I liked but generally the painting was a bit one toned which made it appear bland. There was no drama in it and I started to find the gap in the middle irritating. It split the painting into two halves and led the viewer straight through and out of the scene. That was the obvious starting point when I got it back in my studio. Once the gap was filled the painting started to take shape and make more sense. I added more trees and changed the tones of others to create more depth and space. Finally I made the reflections more exciting by emphasising the light and darks. The painting has more depth and the eye is now persuaded to wander through the trees before heading back to the light. I suppose the moral is never give give up on a painting and if you spoil it altogether you haven't lost anything! Incidentally the workshop went well and some excellent paintings were produced.
Professional artist now semi retired and enjoying being eccentric!