If you’ve not heard of Lewis Noble then do go and visit his website, his landscape works are wonderfully dynamic, full of life.
I came across his work one day on Facebook, where he hosts a group Lewis Noble’s Painting Course Group
His creative process is key to the way he works, and he runs some great workshops where he takes you on the journey, so that you can bring your own mark-making, colour choices and styles with you at the same time as embracing a creative process that can bring about some of the most exciting work you may have produced to date. I am always up for learning new processes that I can incorporate into my practice and help me develop my own work.
Step one – gathering information on site.
Emerge yourself in the environment / landscape that you want to portray. Listen, feel, see. Capture in sketchbooks, colours, marks, lines, compositions.
Step two -Collage of sketches
Back in the studio with a pile of sketches, some that you like most you like bits of, some you really can’t see anything useful in. Then starting with a piece you can see a interesting start of a composition, rip out the parts that don’t work for you. Add torn pieces from other sketches that give you what you need to make your composition work whether that be a dark area, a particular set of marks, a line or a colour. In this way you improve and develop your composition.
Step three -Repeat step one and two and fill your sketch book with your new compositions, using pva glue to set them down.
Final step – the painting
This is understandably the hardest part of the process and is much more dependant on your own skills. However, you now have a book of reference material from which you can work. Lewis for example often moves between parts of collaged sketches, combining elements from one and then another. Working in multiple layers building up a history on his canvas until he gets closer to a composition he feels happy with and then continues to resolve.
There are some great videos of him working you can access from his FB group which show some him in action.
Here are some of my own sketchbook collages followed by 2 paintings I came out with as a consequence of this 3 intensive days on the course.
The course venue by the way was St John Street Gallery in Ashbourne where we were provided with excellent lunches by the owner in there cafe. St John Street Gallery & Cafe