Newcastle bridges (2012) watercolour on paper 75cmx55cm
Last week I visited Newcastle to record a video for an upcoming DVD called Disciple12. I was talking about the transfiguration of Jesus whilst painting on the city waterfront.
As I didn’t have much time to prepare the painting I went for watercolour which is the fastest and most immediate medium. Years ago when I first started painting this was how I began but I rarely use it these days. Watercolour is lively and capricious to use – unlike oils or acrylics it always seems to have a life of its own and the skill is in trying to control the beautiful chance moments that occur as the colours spread and blossom across the paper.
After so long making art that I’ve carefully planned and laboured over there was somemthing exhilarating and liberating about launching into a quick bright painting. I didn’t have time to think, just had to follow my instincts of form, tone and colour.
I’m quite pleased with the result. But as always when painting in the open air the most joyful thing is the conversation that comes from passers by. It was a beautiful day and it’s such a friendly city. The comment of the day came from a ten year old to his mum after we’d had a chat: ‘I want to be like him when I grow up’. Misguided perhaps, but still encouraging to hear!