Welcome to Flower-Bombs and Colour is back
 
Flower Bomb i - Mixed media on birch ply - 2ft x 2ft.jpgF
 

There is something about the winter in England that makes me long for hot dynamic abstract colour combinations. This has given birth to the new Flower-Bomb series which I am soooo excited about. A delightful medley of mixed media combinations which include the use of actual dried leaves and flowers. These paintings are adventurous and designey and are set to break out of predictable conceptions of Still Life.

Concerned primarily with experimental colour combinations and mark making, Flower-Bombs are set to break new ground in style, mark making and composition. Most exciting of all is the plan to incorporate their random rule breaking into my summer landscapes including those created in my Artist in residence at The Yorkshire Arboretum.

Imagination and the Impact of Colour
 
Another Land - Acrylic on Canvas

Another Land - Acrylic on Canvas

 

The depths of winter in England always makes me long for sunny climes and I find exotic tropics begin to emerge in the studio. January in North Yorkshire is HOT. I can’t get enough orange red and fuchsia pink. Lined up in my mind are all the lovely white, black and brown Yorkshire landscapes and bare sculptural trees if I can only tear myself away from the comfort of abstract florals and remembered midsummer Spanish landscapes.

This brings me around to the impact of colour and the fact that it has a mental emotional impact. I think I will bring some of this longing for heat into the winter trees in the Yorkshire Arboretum paintings and the winter landscapes but meanwhile what emerged today was 'Another Land'.

The Importance of 'Surface' and 'Mark Making.'

As well as colour, composition and content, attention to surface is an essential element in a good painting. Each brush stroke and mark becomes important.

Increasingly I like my surfaces to be smooth and free of lumps. This is achieved through a combination of sanding, scratching out and polishing with tissue or a dry soft cloth.

When colours are applied in layers they have quite a different effect than a single coat. Something of the 'past lives' and earlier ideas are still often present in the finished work even if it has changed a great deal from the initial sketch. The finished works have history and patina. The story of the evolution of the painting is in its layered marks; in what has been added and taken away; the washes, scrapes, destruction and creation. This history must be tidied and balanced in the completed work. In the final pulling together every mark becomes considered and intentional. The balance between chance and deliberation, chaos and order, produces a final rich patina that would be impossible to achieve if the painting hadn't gone through this journey.

Trying To Find A Way In...

Trying to find...a way in as Artist in Residence at The Yorkshire Arboretum.

I am starting to find my way around The Yorkshire Arboretum; to find a way in to the residence. How do I describe this special place? I have spent hours walking, looking and sketching. The trees have a powerful presence, awe inspiring and comforting at the same time. I am struck with two types of tree groups. The same type of tree planted numerously and the effect of very different species planted in close groups.

The logistics of transporting heavy large boards, paints, water and brushes around 120 acres of parkland are challenging but I want to paint in situ. To capture the feeling of being there in that space and that moment. I am under pressure to capture this fleeting time in the calendar when there are still leaves on the trees but the structure is beginning to show through and there is glorious colour juxtaposed with intimations of the stark nakedness of winter. Another week and this could all be gone. Procrastination must end and commitment of action begin.

Emma George
A Year In The Yorkshire Arboretum

I am delighted to be Artist in Residence at The Yorkshire Arboretum on the Castle Howard Estate for the end of 2018 and throughout 2019 I will be recording the landscape there throughout the seasons.

Award winning Yorkshire photographer Lucy Saggers has already captured me making some preliminary sketches for a series of large paintings to be started in October and Filmmaker Emilie Flower will be filming the work as it progresses.

Two workshops will take place as part of my residence as well as an exhibition at The Arboretum and The Helmsley Arts Centre at the end of 2019. 

Lesley-at-the-Yorkshire-Arboretum-1.jpg
Emma George
Painting Course in Morocco with Laura Harwood & Tessa Pearson

Recently I spent a week in Morocco, painting in Marrakech and at the Kasbah du Toubkal in the High Atlas mountains. We visited and sketched in the Bahia Palace, the Jardin Secret, Musee de la Palmeraore, the Majorelle gardens and the garden of Yves St Laurent. The colours were incredible and I am really looking forward to developing all these ideas into paintings.

Marrakech-from-the-rooftop-of-Riad-el-Assafir.jpg
Emma George
Painting in Galicia, Northern Spain

This has been a year of travelling. I spent a month in Galicia Northern Spain, recording the landscape and visiting Santiago de Compostella. Santiago is a magical place, full of pilgrims joyous to have completed their journey.

Spanish Gardens 1, 2 and 3.

Inspired by my travels from my 2018 Spanish Dreams Collection.
Available to buy here.

Emma George
The Journey Of A Painting

Sometimes a painting happens very quickly and is very clear and pure. Others take much more work and have longer and more complicated journeys to their completion. Another way of looking at them is that they have many lives, several incarnations. These other lives lie underneath the finished painting, layers sometimes partially visible and integrated into the new work.

Most painters would agree that we often don't know where a painting is going. The process of creation is mysterious with a life and direction of its own. Driven towards perfection, I sometimes work a painting too much and destroy its delicate balance. When this happens I have no other choice but to drive forward into new territory, to take risks, to destroy what was cherished, in the hope that something new might be born from the destruction.

When people look at a finished work they would be surprised to know how many stories lie underneath. These stories are part of the paintings journey. Destruction is a necessary part of creation.

Creation is not possible without destruction. 
Early sketch for The Lilac Tree

Early sketch for The Lilac Tree

The Lilac Tree (Original completed painting before tampering)

The Lilac Tree (Original completed painting before tampering)

The Lilac Tree (in process)

The Lilac Tree (in process)

Details from The Lilac Tree - a work in progress...

Emma George