This painting, Four Seasons, started life as a piece done at the end of my second workshop with Jean Haines. At that stage it was a loosely painted sunflower with a nice feeling of light. But one of the things I learned in those 2 days was the pleasure of slowing down the process and enjoying every stage of a painting.
Then came a few more iterations – adding more layers and depth until it morphed into a reflection of four seasons as you progress round it’s centre. Much more interesting than a straightforward sunflower.
(I’m writing this post with a purring Horatio sitting half on my lap, and half on the keyboard – makes typing a bit of a challenge).
Four Seasons Update
This has become a popular theme in my paintings. Just as the first one sold (and an exhibition), I was asked if it was still available. I agreed to paint a second, then a third was done as a sketch and went to South Africa. Four Season II was seen on the wall and a fourth one was commissioned. The challenge became how to make them different, but still provide viewers with the image they liked and wanted to own.
Firstly, it was critical to retain the fluidity in the image. The smooth progression from one season into the next and finally full cycle is at the core of the concept. Secondly, there’s an energy in every living thing and I wanted to capture that sense of dynamic growth by using a loose painting style and adding energetic marks as I painted.
After four versions of the Four Seasons theme I’m taking a break from the collection – but I may well come back to paint some more four seasons images.
Here is Four Season IV – its the one which evolved the most (unsurprisingly) from the original.