Friday, 12 April 2013

Painting the way I paint.

Sometimes the painting in my head just dances onto the canvas, a few brushstrokes here, a splash there, and I'm in love with the fresh, vibrant result. Here's one that took me an hour. (Crows and gulls, acrylic 30cm square)

I understood exactly what I wanted, the story behind scenes, the shapes, movement and light. I finished and realised there had been no 'pushing paint around' - I'd instead placed the paint where it should be first time.

Ah, if every day was this easy...

Well, if every day was this easy I wouldn't end up with paintings like this.

Not fresh, not lighthearted, a battle from start to finish - but I love it ten times more than the first. Its *rich* - at least for me! It took HOURS and hours and I lost my way all the way through. Is it because I lacked clear meaning for the painting in the beginning? Maybe... I got frustrated with myself trying to paint pictures of the sea because I'm Jenny Aitken and I paint pictures of the sea.

I read something that stuck with me the other day: trust your process. My process is - paint till the soul comes through. I've been doing this long enough now to know that each painting needs to have its own 'soul' for me to be happy with it. Sometimes that emerges immediately, sometimes its born through the painterly struggle. This one - well, half way through I stopped for an hour or so to stare and figure out what I was trying to say.

I wanted the antics and noise of gulls. (i tried painting them but no - not my thing.)
I wanted the brisk, salty sea in the air and the sound of the surf.
I wanted the amazing coastal comfort offered by a sheltered patch of grass amongst the gorse. Sit with me.
(Oh and I wanted the beacon - of course.)

A few other stories threaded in and it came together... after just a few more hours of carving and revelation via damp rag.

Onwards :)


  1. The first is lovely but oh that second one is magic! You've captured the light so perfectly.