.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
   Welcome to my blog! I'll be posting thoughts about art, photos, happenings, and other things that strike me--and hopefully my readers--as interesting. And please visit my website by clicking the link to the right--thanks!

   Also please check out my second blog, The Painting Archives to see older (pre-2004) paintings for sale.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
  bringing ireland home

Recently I photographed all of the paintings that I did during my residency at the Cill Rialaig project in Co. Kerry, Ireland in October/November of 2012. You can view the whole album on my facebook page.

I loved looking closely again at these paintings (water-based mixed media on paper, for the most part) with a bit of time and distance now from the source of their inspiration. They evoke for me the rough textures and atmosphere of the West coast of Ireland where I spent those three memorable weeks, and for this reason are close to my heart. But I'm also interested in them in more formal terms. Though the original paintings are emotional responses to landscape, in doing these paintings I developed some ideas of composition, color and surface that are now part of my visual vocabulary. Going into a residency it's impossible to know what will emerge in the work, and what will carry forward into new bodies of work that follow, so the journey continues in unexpected ways once you're home.

My work in Ireland was mostly done with acrylic paints, acrylic mediums, drawing materials and water color. I worked with these materials quickly, averaging about a painting a day (though, as at home, I had more than one going at a time. ) The paintings have a spontaneity, and roughness that please me, and the quick drying time and use of pencils and pastels also created an emphasis on edge and line. A distinctive feature of these paintings is the defined border on each sheet of paper-- it was necessary to tape my paper to a board in the Cill Rialaig studio (I was working on an easel.) While I sometimes kept the border white, I usually removed the tape off and on during the process (as I switched paintings on my board) and would often paint a layer of color clear to the edge as I set the work aside. So most of the borders show evidence of underlying layers of paint, and create contrast in color and value. It is interesting that in these paintings, the border "works" because it was a necessary and integral part of the process, and that this is not an aspect of the Ireland work that carried over to my work at home. I've tried a few times to recreate the effect of a precise border in an oil and cold wax painting on panel, but taken out of the context of the process, the idea seemed forced and awkward.

As I worked on my paintings in Ireland, the borders I was creating seemed to pull my attention to edges in general. I began to play around with uneven and jagged layering along the perimeters of the work, as in this painting, CR #9 (14"x11".) I like the tension created between the taped edge and the more evolved edge.

This more general interest in edge translates well to oil and cold wax, and has become an ongoing interest since coming home, as seen in this recent 12"x12" (untitled as yet) painting. I have been adding sand and other materials and digging in with palette knives to make the edges textural and rough.

Another aspect of many of my Ireland paintings is the contrast of atmospheric color fields with linear elements, often criss-crossing the picture plane, as in the examples below, CR #5 (14"x11") and Green Trails (16"x12.") In an unfamiliar landscape I find myself noticing certain distinctive features over and over, and these find their way into my work. In County Kerry, around Cill Rialaig my eyes were drawn to the low stone walls separating the farm fields, which created linear patterns on the fields of late-autumn colors. While lines have been important in my work for years, this sight led to an emphasis on horizontal lines creating loose grids. I also found myself noticing lines in many of the stones of the area--strong simple lines crossing beach stones, complex lines in the standing stones of ancient sites, and the patterns of stone fences along the road sides.

Line played off against a subtle color field is something I am continuing to explore in my current studio work. The small painting below, Mapping (12"x12" oil and mixed media on panel) shows both interesting edges and subtle lines incised into the paint, and there are many more related paintings in progress. I'm moving now into work for my exhibit at the Pratt Museum in Homer, AK in August, which have a very different focus from my Ireland paintings. Yet I can already see that some of the visual vocabulary from my residency will translate well into this new body of work--these kind of transformations are an intriguing sign of the creative process at work.

Love the translation of your residency work to your new pieces!. So beautiful and inspiring!
your work with the walls reminds me of fiona's work with walls - http://fionarobinson.wordpress.com/bio/archive/the-cill-rialaig-project/. i just did a search on cill rialaig fields and came up with loads of wonderful abstract paintings in the same vein. i appreciate this abstraction so much more now. did you do any embedding of local materials in your paintings - wool, grasses, flowers?
Gosh I am such a fan of your blog! It is amazing how articulate you are in explaining the process, both interior and exterior, in your work. I love how you describe the inspiration and techniques. It is a delight because you are a talented writer as well as painter. Your generous postings could be a book...
Many thanks for these great comments--and I tried the same search on google, what an interesting bunch of images and interpretations of the landscape. No, no added stuff from the Cill Rialaig environment...the paper is not as tough for things like sand that I tend to use on my works on panel.
Lovely work Rebecca and wonderful words too to describe it, as always!
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


     September 2005 /      October 2005 /      November 2005 /      December 2005 /      January 2006 /      February 2006 /      March 2006 /      April 2006 /      May 2006 /      June 2006 /      July 2006 /      August 2006 /      September 2006 /      October 2006 /      November 2006 /      December 2006 /      January 2007 /      February 2007 /      March 2007 /      April 2007 /      May 2007 /      June 2007 /      July 2007 /      August 2007 /      September 2007 /      October 2007 /      November 2007 /      December 2007 /      January 2008 /      February 2008 /      March 2008 /      April 2008 /      May 2008 /      June 2008 /      July 2008 /      August 2008 /      September 2008 /      October 2008 /      November 2008 /      December 2008 /      January 2009 /      February 2009 /      March 2009 /      April 2009 /      May 2009 /      June 2009 /      July 2009 /      August 2009 /      September 2009 /      October 2009 /      November 2009 /      December 2009 /      January 2010 /      February 2010 /      March 2010 /      April 2010 /      May 2010 /      June 2010 /      July 2010 /      August 2010 /      September 2010 /      October 2010 /      November 2010 /      December 2010 /      January 2011 /      February 2011 /      March 2011 /      April 2011 /      May 2011 /      June 2011 /      July 2011 /      August 2011 /      September 2011 /      October 2011 /      November 2011 /      December 2011 /      January 2012 /      February 2012 /      March 2012 /      April 2012 /      May 2012 /      June 2012 /      July 2012 /      August 2012 /      September 2012 /      October 2012 /      November 2012 /      December 2012 /      January 2013 /      February 2013 /      March 2013 /      April 2013 /      May 2013 /      June 2013 /      July 2013 /      August 2013 /      September 2013 /      October 2013 /      November 2013 /      December 2013 /      January 2014 /      February 2014 /      March 2014 /      April 2014 /      May 2014 /      June 2014 /      July 2014 /      August 2014 /      September 2014 /      October 2014 /      November 2014 /      December 2014 /      January 2015 /      February 2015 /      March 2015 /      April 2015 /      May 2015 /      June 2015 /      July 2015 /      August 2015 /      September 2015 /      October 2015 /      November 2015 /      December 2015 /      January 2016 /      February 2016 /      March 2016 /      April 2016 /      June 2016 /      July 2016 /      August 2016 /      September 2016 /      October 2016 /      November 2016 /      December 2016 /      January 2017 /      February 2017 /      March 2017 /      May 2017 /      June 2017 /      July 2017 /      August 2017 /      September 2017 /      October 2017 /

       Rebecca Crowell