13 June2009 Painters block. Interesting? or not?

Dear Diary... This is the opening remark of many a diarist. It sounds better than 'Dear Blog' doesn't it.
But a blog is a diary.
During the last 30 days this blog has been visited 785 times by 282 people in 38 countries. Wow!

But here is the problem. I don't come up with a successful painting, or even successful progress report every day.
In fact over the last few days it has been very difficult to produce a good illustration of the days activity. You will have noticed pictures of Brighton railway station and our garden, Why?

Well, this is the interesting bit. Interesting to me at any rate.
I have stumbled into a blockage/turning point/uncomfortable/frustrating/exciting 'zone of change'.
It happens to artists every now and then.

What I am trying to do is develop my painting to marry two areas and styles of my work. The recent plein air small paintings on one hand, and my studio 'post-impressionist neo-abstract expressionist' painting on the other. What!? Yes you can describe my London, Venice, and New York studio paintings as 'post-impress...etc'. Basically it means that the studio pictures are based on abstract qualities using rollers, dry brush, and scumble and glaze techniques to make biggish impressionist or expressionist images. A technique that must be done in a studio with time and flat surface facilities.

I have enjoyed my recent foray into plein air very much. The method produces small brush paintings, and is subject to the vagaries of weather, and good painting spots. The atmosphere is instant, dynamic, and genuine. Whereas the studio method can produce larger more creative work with some gorgeous painterly surfaces. So I am trying to put them together in a series of beach paintings.
I have vague exciting ideas of how these will look and how to do them.

The illustration today shows the result of a weeks work... not much to show eh?
These are backgrounds. The subject will be added next.
But it keeps going wrong. I have painted over stuff many times. Success is elusive.

Well I find it interesting anyway.
Back to the drawing board.


  1. Dear Colin. Do you remember my ambivalence to Plein air work and my saying to you it was a distraction from the Studio ,the focus etc. You told me I should stop worrying. Well. what you are struggling with is exactly how I felt last time I tried this. Stuck. I think to become a master of a creative process it takes about ten years or according to the experts so many hours have to be put in ( according to radio4). You have put these hours in to your studio work and have become successful. Now you have turned sharp left. It would be interesting to see where you go from here.My guess is you`ll go back to the studio in the Autumn with all that added information you have gained from Plein air painting and be even better. Dear friend stop worrying.

  2. Thanks Alan. I feel a bit apologetic to the blog readers because there are no new paintings. But there is no need to feel concerned about me. I am actually quite pleased with this period of struggle because I recognise it from previous times. Out of little acorns mighty oaks can grow. You are quite right, as soon as it gets a bit chilly I will not even think about plein air.
    PS. It is inspirational to watch your own plein air progress on the Alan Furneaux blog. Cant wait to see the next one.

  3. Alan. I signed up for Google Analytics a month ago. It was quite easy to follow the instructions provided.


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