Our Guest Speaker for the 7th May 2019 meeting – Ken Knight – Impressionistic Oil Plein Air Landscapes
Landscape images, derived from a direct response to the subject, form the integral theme in my work. As an impressionist I paint “en plein air”, painting in oils in a spontaneous and free manner.
The challenge for me lies not so much in relaying photographic information, but in capturing the essence and spirit of a scene. By reducing the landscape and abstracting elements from it, I enable the viewer to make an intimate interpretation of the image.
Thus perception follows observation in the same way as the viewer may have responded to the original subject. Through the elimination and reduction of detail I can convey reality strongly and more robustly, without creating areas of unnecessary distraction which detract from the overall picture.
It follows that in this impressionist pursuit “less becomes more”. The challenge for the artist becomes one of finding the right dynamic balance each time the easel is set up outside – to observe, perceive, interpret, and abstract.
In finding this balance, the artist relies heavily on colour – perhaps the greatest tool available. Colour should not be limited to merely setting a mood or establishing time of day, it should create energy and set up tensions that are integral to the life force of the painting.
The control and exaggeration of colour in the landscape are fundamentally important. Used in conjunction with thick paint, palette knife and energetic brushwork, the artist can create a painting that offers something a little different each time it is viewed.