Spring, West Bergholt, England

Oil on board, 1830mm x 910mm
digital image colour balanced by John Cupitt 
full size print available click here

finding the field

Extract from  "Oak, one tree, three years, fifty paintings" Stephen Taylor, foreword Alain de Botton, Princeton Architechtural Press, 2011

'I discovered a field sloping gently south to a small stream with willow trees. Low hedges ran along its other three sides, and from the northeast corner I could see the whole field laid out in  front of me beneath a low horizon of distant fields and trees - an ordinary Essex country scene. Painting from here, the sun and moon would rise on my left and set to my right. I would be undisturbed and free to come and go as I pleased.

It was a journey that explored  a single location and it helped me to recover a sense of where I was in life. I drew from the  tradition that I felt most strongly about, of observed landscape, but I wanted to show that  landscape painting -  nature painting - could be modern. I would make six-feet-wide paintings like  Constable, but they would be new.  I began to work on ways that would help me paint nature in a  fresh way and to help me make visual contact with this new place.

I made different visual maps of what I saw. I plotted small changes of height on the horizon from contours of an Ordinance Survey map. I used the base of clouds to create a perspective grid  in the sky, and I painted the crop as a texture gradient. For elusive, changing colours, I devised  a method of colour mapping using observed, painted colours and digital images...'

some oil studies

sky colours to 45 degrees above horizon
wheat colours towards, at right angles and away from the sun

catalogue, King's College Cambridge



Auckland: north window, visible from inside and outside

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