Headmaster-1

Portrait of Dr Stephen Winkley. Oil on canvas

Here is a recent commission I completed for Rossall School. The painting now hangs in the school hall along with  the pictures of all the past headmasters. The dog in the painting is the Headmasters pet Bluebell, a school celebrity! I had a great time visiting Dr Stephen Winkley and Bluebell the dog. They were both great company and very easy to work with. They happily accommodated my many artistic requests.  Thank you to both sitters, and Rossall School.

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Heres my set up for the painting, looking up and out from the river bank through the trees.

Landscape painting offers up many different challenges to studio based work. First amongst these is finding the right subject to paint, which can be surprisingly difficult when confronted with so much to choose from. For me personally its really helpful to get to know a landscape, and develop a feel for the place before beginning. When I’m painting outdoors,the changing weather conditions, and the changing light force me to make decisions a lot quicker than I would in the studio. This I like as it makes me  work a little more intuitively, and feeds back into my studio work.  Often the pictures are smaller because of the practical difficulties of working outside, but I have plans to make larger works in the future.

The photos are of a recent painting trip to the river Usk in Wales. I went there with the intention of making some studies of the river bank and the moving water, but ended up settling on a view looking out from the river bank towards the nearby fields. I think I wasn’t happy with my preconceived idea of what I wanted to paint, as it was inhibiting how I approached the subject.  I like it when I find unexpected subjects, it makes the whole process feel more spontaneous, and challenges my way of thinking, keeping things fresh.

Finished painting from the banks of the Usk. Oil on Board. by Joe Galvin 2010

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