Seeing beyond the clutter and re-seasoning

Sometimes simple things aren’t quite so simple.

Or at least the illusion of them being simple is actually quite complex.

MMm….. I’ll explain……………..

The other week I was asked to do a little commission of St Wystans church in Repton in the county of Derbyshire. No problem, I’m very familiar with the church and the village and have painted St Wystans before. An easy job.  Simple, I thought.

W r o n g  !

It took me a while to realise it wasn’t going to be simple.

It was easy enough to go and take the photos of the church, so I had the right images to work from. The woman commissioning the painting had asked for the spire, yew tree and lych gate to be in the picture. Which meant that I had to be standing back quite some way from the church to include the tall spire. No problem. I took a load of photos from various viewpoints knowing that I would possibly use two or three for information for creating the painting.

When I was ready to start the painting, what I considered to be a simple little painting, I looked through my source photos for the suitable ones………………and realised………………….that there…………………..was………..something missing………………..from the information I required. Like………………..I couldn’t see all of the church AND the spire AND the lychgate AND the yew tree behind it AND the clock in the church AND the arch by the side of it. Because anyone who knows Repton knows that there is a stone arch next to the chuch. Without it, it could be ANY church really. Its the arch that makes it SPECIFIC. And the problem was………………I couldn’t see the whole of the arch AND the church. The reason being………………….street clutter. Cars, loads of ’em, parked or being driven on the road, street signs, lamposts, and general clutter, none of which helped me see what it was I was trying to paint.
And added to ALL of that……………was the photos I had were of the wrong bloody time of year!
Who’d want a picture of trees without leaf, of heavy dark shadows across the road, and a feeling of bleakness about the picture. There had been no mention at all of season for the commission, but I bet you the woman doesn’t want a cold February to be the day depicted in the picture. No, she’s going to want a warm April spring day  or a nice day in June in her picture. MMMmmm…………………… Ok then, artistic licence is requred, a hell of a lot of it!!!!!! 🙂
Here’s the photo I used as my basis for the painting, and below it is the finished painting. A simple little watercolour of St Wystans church. It’s like playing “Spot the difference” except, there’s so many differences – removal of five cars and a white van, a set of  unphotogenic traffic lights, two street lights, a flag pole, a notice board, a church fund donations board, a litter bin, two unappealing roadsigns, a wall, overhead cables, strong shadows, a dog with three legs and the cross-eyed monkey. Well, ok, maybe I was joking about the last two, but the rest are certainly there!
So, here it is…… the simple painting.
Not so simple, is it!!!!! 🙂

I've been an artist all of my life, and my paintings now hang on walls in Europe, USA and Canada. I'm working on getting them on the other continents! My wide range of artwork has been exhibited nearer to home in the East Midlands, with the Guild of Erotic Artists at Beaumont Hall Studios in Hertfordshire, and at "Erotica", Olympia, London. I have also been featured alongside my work in the Guild of Erotic Artists book (volume 2). I love to create dramatic interest in my pictures, whether it’s to paint an unusual landscape, or just to utilise dramatic lighting in my figure drawings or strong colour in my animal portraits. Delighting in the spontaneous tendencies of watercolour adds an interesting and distinctive look to my paintings, some of which are purposefully ambiguous, enabling the viewer to use their own interpretation of my artwork. I also love to hide images, and humour within my paintings, whether it’s a secret message, or an erotic couple hidden within a landscape, or even an erotic landscape where the couple are camouflaged as the features of the land itself. I am equally happy painting in oils, acrylics or watercolours and love to draw with pencil or ink. I have also developed the very effective method of drawing using white pencil on black card which creates dramatic pictures by just picking out where the light catches the body and leaving the rest of the image to the imagination, in darkness. I can also utilise many different styles, whether it is realistic, abstract, surrealistic, erotic, fantasy or camouflage art where something is hidden within the painting. I'm just passionate about my art, whatever I paint! But, it doesn't matter how many landscapes or pet portraits I paint, its always the erotic stuff that people are interested in! I started blogging to share some of the strange conversations I have with the people I meet. But its evolved into far more than that now.

Comments (2)

  1. Vi
    Mar 18, 2010

    Well done Jackie for doing it!!! Did the woman like it? Was it what she wanted?

  2. Jackie Adshead
    Mar 18, 2010

    Vi – Thankyou! I don't know if it's what she wanted, I haven't shown it to her as yet! You've seen it before she has………

    I'll let you know what she thinks when she's seen it.

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