My studio is an old cider barn that looks out across a farmyard from a large, west-facing window. As a painting space, it can be pretty dark through the winter months, but each spring, like some ancient Druid, I wait for the day when the sun just gets into one corner of the studio before setting over the barn across the yard. From that day on, through the spring and up to midsummer, the puddle of sunlight gets bigger and the light stronger until, by mid-June, I often can’t work in there at all as the sunlight blazes in and lights up the whole building.
There are days when I hope it might be cloudy, or perhaps even rain, to slow things down a little so that I can do things in a more considered way, but every spring I find myself waiting with growing excitement for the day that I can start to make paintings out of the frenzy of the returning sunlight. The sun moves quickly – in minutes the shadow of a glazing bar moves across the newspapers sprawled on the studio table. The reflected bounce of colour and light is quite unlike anything I’ve seen all through the winter.
Watch a video of Richard coping with changing light when painting en-plein-air.
The image below is Corner Table, Spring Sun, oil on canvas, (51x61cm).
'This was painted over three sessions, I liked the strong diagonal accents of alternating shadow and light, and the reflection in the mirror at the back of the group.'
Read Richard's full article, in which he describes his painting process day-by-day, in the September 2017 issue of The Artist. Click here to purchase your copy.