Painting day and night

Painting isn't like a 9-to-5 job. Take a quick look at my gallery pages and you can see that there are several ‘out-of-hours’ pictures, made after dark, placed alongside daytime renditions of the same landscapes. My work is somewhat inspired by the vision of French Impressionism, especially in the aim of capturing subtle and rapid changes in lighting conditions of contemporary and localised scenes. Claude Monet’s haystacks and Rouen Cathedral series are great example of this minute recording of mercurially shifting light. Today's blog post "Painting day and night" takes a closer look at my daytime versus night-time landscapes.

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In the mix with fluorescent colours

Fluorescent colours are ubiquitous in our contemporary world, from day-glo signage and hi-viz work uniforms to street art and fine art installations. The super brilliance they produce is both eye catching and garish, and is a visual symbol of the modern era. I have always held a mildly scientific and aesthetic curiosity for such colours but it was only a few years ago that, as an artist, I sought a way of adding this vivid chromatic range to my plein-air painting palette.

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London's second river

If you watch the opening and closing credit sequences of the BBC soap opera ‘EastEnders’ you might notice a small, tightly meandering river that flows into the River Thames. This tributary is the River Lea and, unlike the Thames (with its grand architectural backdrops and visual splendour), it flows through relatively unassuming and unfashionable landscapes in north east London including old industrial sites, urban edge-lands, residential estates and green spaces populated with electrical transmission towers which, for me makes for perfect backlands landscape painting.

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Busy painting busy roads

A roads, dual carriageways and motorways are ubiquitous across our landscape... a necessity for getting from area to area. They are places between places, a no-mans land where countless journeys are made each day. At first glance they appear functional in fashion and devoid of charm. It is the combination of these things - the basic human need to get from A to B and the artificial physicality of the highway itself - that I find captivating as a subject for painting. 

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Four seasons in one view

Commissions often provide an opportunity for me to create something different, such as an unusual theme, location or viewpoint. One project, in particular, presented me a challenge of producing four paintings, overlooking a large pond in Kew Green, south east London, with each piece depicting the same view but during a different season.

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When night-time was amber

Many of my paintings over the years have been inspired by the golden aura of low-pressure sodium street lamps. Artificial lighting such as this has always held a fascination for me and it illuminates the darkness in unusual ways.

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Creating a scene: St Paul's in the wind and rain

Plein air painting can be an adventure, especially when weather conditions add challenges and excitement. There is, however, the odd occasion when the elements decide to take over, like the night I painted St Paul’s Cathedral in the wind and rain.

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