Back in February this year I took a trip to Suffolk to visit family. I was brought up in Suffolk so it’s a landscape I’m very familiar with. During my visit I spent some time walking in the countryside taking photographs to use as future reference and inspiration for painting. I decided I’d better use some of this material before winter comes around again! So in the last few days I’ve been working on a new painting inspired by the winter scenery in Suffolk.
I’ve chosen a square format again for this landscape painting and as usual I’m using acrylics on canvas. As you can see from the pictures above I don’t do much preparation. I’ve never really been one for making lots of sketches and plans – I tend to visualize a scene in my head and then go straight to canvas. All I did for this painting was make a very simple sketch in a small notebook to outline the basic composition. This I referred to while I was working to remind me of the plan in my head.
For the colour scheme I chose a limited palette. I’ve also written down which tubes I’ve used to keep a record for future reference. This winter palette is a mix of smoky blue/greys for the distant trees and the road in the foreground, with a very pale washed-out sky. I’ve also chosen a deep purple/brown to imitate the colours found in neatly cropped hedgerows – a feature so typical of modern Suffolk farmland. In contrast I’ve used a vivid, luminous green to highlight the field. I’m hoping this suggests the early growth of a crop and how electric the colour can seem in the midst of winter. A tiny part of me feels I’ve exaggerated this colour just a smidge – but I quite like that!
Anyway, here’s a photo of the finished painting. My experience of looking at it reminds me instantly of the fields and farmland ‘back home’ – this particular field is just 200 yards from my old house! So I’m pleased with the result. The canvas is quite small so I’m thinking I might continue this theme based on Suffolk landscapes on a larger scale: to give myself more room to express those huge open spaces.