I’ve long been a fan of Cathy McMurray’s amazing, contemporary mountain landscapes.
Strangely enough, although I’m a huge mountain-lover, I’ve shied away from creating landscape artworks myself, because I have a bit of an aversion to traditional landscape paintings with misty trees off in the distance. A landscape, to me, needs to have an X-Factor, or they just don’t catch my eye. Harsh, but true.
So last night I began reworking an old painting and by the end of my painting session early this morning, there was very little of the original painting left. Instead, this landscape emerged from my imagination, called ‘Mountain Range’ (very original title - I know).
It took me a while to get the mountains ‘right’. Although this is a landscape, it’s got an abstract backbone, but I wanted the essence of the painting to feel ‘real’ to the viewer (and myself). Once I reworked the mountains to look more ‘craggy’ and organic in shape, rather than rounded ant-mounds, the artwork came together in a way that felt good in my tummy. That’s when I know I’m tapping into the ‘zone’ creatively.
All the while, I was thinking about my sister, who sadly, recently lost her baby at 23 weeks. The night that Ollie was born, I left the hospital to witness the most beautiful sunset over a mountain range, so I think subliminally, this moment has burnt in my mind and will revisit me through my art time and time again. Which is a good thing.
It’s hard to see from the photos, but I’ve really worked a lot of texture into this piece. There’s etching in the paint work (using my trusty metal knitting needle-come-etcher), pen work, fine gunmetal-grey glitter, sponge work and feature elements are highlighted with gloss sealer, while other sections are left matte.
It’s rare that I feel attached to a piece, but this one is staying right here at my studio desk for at least a while, before I consider putting it in my shop. It may not be my most spectacular piece, but there’s something magic in it for me – like my little nephew Ollie was guiding me as I painted it, showing me what the mountains are like up in heaven. Who knows, stranger things have happened.