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Portfolio / Silva

Silva: Elegies

The individual tree studies are painted ‘en plein air’ in front of the motif, usually over several days and the forest scenes are painted in the studio from panoramic photo-collages that introduce certain spatial distortions due to the framing/editing and re-construction of several individual images, qualities that I am interested in exploring in the painting. These more complex compositions take much longer to complete.

In these paintings I am interested in establishing an abstract architecture initially, one that emphasises the verticality of the trees by stressing the horizontal and draws the veiwer into a panoramic space read backwards and forwards from left to right. I use perspective to develop the illusion of depth from outer to inner space, and explore the positive and negative shape relationships in the forms of the trees and spaces between them.

I am interested in colour and light, both natural and artificial but I am not aiming at ‘realism’ or ‘impressionism’ but at evocation of the romantic or classical idea of landscape as metaphor for reflections on time and space, memory and loss. The use of Latin text from Virgil and Seneca is intended to draw the viewer into a philosophical way of reading the landcape and to reference this tradition. In this way they function like the still-life as ‘memento mori’. I have called these larger landscapes ‘Elegies’ to emphasis this.

Most of these paintings are oil on linen or wood and successive layers of loose washes and tighter more textured details are over-painted by freer impasto gestures and scumbling effects to give the surface a tactile quality.

Alan Mitchell

Metamorphoses Paintings & Drawings. All work featured in this portfolio is created by and © Alan Mitchell 2009. Website created by Op45.