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I am a landscape painter. I paint with oil on hardboard and I use a scratching technique. My works are painted in a variation of greys.

Less colour, more reality

In my journey as a painter, I've come to realize that colour, while a powerful tool, is not indispensable for conveying the experience of reality. Through years of exploration, I've discovered that removing colour enables viewers to penetrate deeper into the essence of the landscape, connecting with its truth on a more profound level. I have observed that our perception, particularly through sight, tends to focus on select elements, often favouring high contrast and fine details. Recognizing this, I've developed a method that hinges on these key components: high contrast, intricate detail, and the interplay of light and shadow.

Technique

My process begins with a white hardboard, onto which I apply a coat of black paint. From this darkened canvas, I gradually reveal the image by lifting the black pigment, allowing light to emerge.  This technique imbues the resulting work with a particular luminosity, as if light itself emanates from within the painting. It also affords me the ability to craft precise details and stark contrasts, essential elements in the process of perception.

Imagination

I predominantly work from imagination, particularly when focusing on landscapes. Rather than rigidly steering the painting towards a predetermined outcome, I maintain a fluid approach. While I possess a general vision of the desired outcome, the execution remains flexible, guided by the emergence of elements on the canvas.  Similar to the way we perceive shapes in cloud formations, I allow the landscape to reveal itself within basic forms. Once a semblance of coherence emerges, I employ pencils and scratchers to accentuate and refine the emerging image. At times, it feels as though the painting itself assumes a guiding role in the process. To facilitate this unfolding, it's important to avoid excessive control and instead allow the mind to flow freely. Often the painting veers into unexpected directions before settling into its final form.

Forests and space

Several of my paintings depict forests, yet their true subject is space. These paintings invite viewers to immerse themselves in the spaces they create, transcending the typical dualistic perception of reality where a subject observes an object. Techniques such as the deliberate absence of colour, which fosters ambiguity, along with intricate scratchings, serve to convey the complex nature of the world.

These paintings incorporate details in the foreground, such as a frog or an owl, as showcased in the two paintings exhibited at the RA Summer Show. Additionally, they feature a perspective that guides the viewers' gaze towards distant elements. I feel that offering  this experience of extreme closeness and extreme distance encourage the viewer to perceive the world in its complexity, acknowledging the interdependencies that share our reality and opening the door to new possibilities and ways of being in the world.

These paintings should encourage viewers to let go, to surrender into the expansiveness of the  space, to both the immediacy of what lies close and the vastness of what lies beyond, and to reconnect. This reconnection between ourselves and the world hold the promise of profound freedom and liberation.

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​You will find below a number of small videos in which I explain why and how I paint. In some videos, I demonstrate practical examples of the scratching technique I use in my paintings. If you prefer to read, there is an interesting article by G. Boccardi below or you can read an interview by Jackson art  and an article by Emptyeasel  by clicking on the links. I regularly share tips on technique and comments on my instagram page  here    

 

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