I think these two paintings from May can be classed as successful. Of course, as with all art, that’s within their own terms of reference. Any work of art deserving the term is polemical and representative of one individuals unique point-of-view. As such they are resistant to objective appraisal and absolute assessments of good or bad.
I’m pleased with them because they come close to reflecting both the locations I had selected and my emotional and intellectual response to them. I don’t set out with pre-conceived notions of what I’m going to paint or how, but I have seen the work of a couple of other artists recently whose technique for recording an impression of the scene before them I admire. Both spare and accurate they have the ability to pare down a scene to its essentials and record it before the light changes the quality of the colours and strength of shadows making the scene unrecognisable. I reckon about 2 hours is the optimum time to produce a painting with these strictures. I never achieve this! It has to do with the way I’m attracted to a location and, once I start painting, the way my mind gets involved with the colours and textures. The vibrant lemon green of a leaf filtering strong sunlight, A vivid blue, the pattern of light and dark shades in a nettle patch or the sudden startling orange as the moving sun catches a Sycamore leaf stem, I’m evidently so taken with the complexity and richness of the nature before me that I have a problem editing what my eyes take in. As a result every painting is a Stuart painting, I can’t help it.