Cat. No. 1198 Qinghai Maqin - 100cm x 100cm - Oil on LInen - 2018
I have been working on this painting for a while. It is quite large, 100cm x 100cm, and I wanted to capture the same color feeling and looseness as the small plein air sketch I did on site. This turned out not to be so easy, particularly getting the color harmony. It took me several months and I had to scrape it off many times before I was happy with the color.
Below are some details of the painting so you can see how I tried to keep the brushwork interesting. My approach to painting is currently moving towards a fusion of abstract expressionism and realism. It's a very fine balance: make it too abstract and you lose the feeling of the place, make it too real and it loses the interesting abstract shapes and brushwork patterns that make the painting more interesting to look at up close.
Cat. No. 1196 Qinghai Maqin - 31cm x 23.4cm - Oil on LInen - 2017
Here is the original plein air sketch. It was a very difficult painting situation. People were moving all the time and standing in front of us blocking the view, we were painting in the middle of the road so had to move occasionally for delivery vehicles for the stores, the sky was continually changing with heavy rain clouds scurrying across the sky that continually changed the shadows on the mountains, and then this awful music started playing! The next store who was selling cars, (not quite sure the connection with Buddhism there?) not to be outdone started playing even more loudly in some kind of duel to outdo each other in volume. At that point the concentration started to go downhill rapidly. Who said plein air painting was easy? Anyway, I liked the result. I managed to keep the sketch nice and abstract but captured the lovely color harmony of the various Tibetan items of clothing, and the tents, contrasting with the grays of the surrounding mountain landscape.
Here are some paintings I did in Xinchang, an ancient Chinese village on the outskirts of Shanghai. I was painting with a group of five American and five Chinese painters in an invitational paint out. My friends Ken Cadwallader and Kevin Macpherson were part amogst the American painters.
The travel blog of artist Barry John Raybould