My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The devil is in the detail…


If push comes to shove, I can paint every leaf on a tree.  The job would be tedious for me and boring for you.  Far better, that I throw down a thunderous wash of Prussian Green and let your  mind do the rest.  In other words, it is better to suggest, rather than to define detail.

For the bold watercolourist, the best suggestive passages are often the happy accidents that are beyond the artist’s control.  Except, you might qualify that statement by saying: the better the artist, the more often the accidents happen in his or her favour.

By suggesting rather than defining detail, we allow the public to enter into the creative process and interpret a picture as they may.  As with poetry, they are free to read their own meaning between the lines.

I have illustrated this entry with a suggestive detail from one of my sketches of the female nude.  If I have been more specific, my painting might have had to be hidden from view for a hundred years - as was the fate of Gustave Courbet’s realist masterpiece* of the same subject. 

*The Origin of the World

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