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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > March 19 > Ethereal landscapes

Ethereal landscapes

Peter Kettle talks to Susie Hodge about recording the remote locations colours, textures and atmosphere of the Welsh landscape using paint and other media, poured, rubbed and splashed on to large canvases
Tryfan, Light on the Ogwen Valley, gesso mixed with marble dust powder, watercolour ink, acrylic and oil on canvas, 271⁄2x391⁄2in (70x100cm).

‘I often use interior designer palette knives, which are more robust than artists' palette knives, and rags to apply gesso base layers. When dry I applied thinned oil paint to pick out the craggy base surface. I then applied thicker layers of oil paint to bring in the detail. The light in the Ogwen Valley is remarkable, and this composition was a lot of fun to create.’

Peter Kettle was, aged 13, passionate about art and was constantly sketching. ‘I revered the works of Turner, the industrial compositions of LS Lowry, the monochromatic palette and dramatic use of light in John Virtue's cityscapes, and the scale of the mixed-media paintings by Anselm Kiefer and Terry Setch.

‘I explored mixed media and markmaking even further during my art foundation course. I incorporated flotsam from the beach with buckets of oil paint, dripped and splashed on, and I ripped each canvas apart, patched it back together and then set fire to it. I would extinguish the flames, patch new canvas to the stretcher, stain it and then begin to paint an image on to it – or what was left of it. It was a very exciting way of working. There was no longer the fear of a white canvas, but textures, shapes and formations all ready to work with. College was a liberating period for me; I experimented and discovered a way of painting that felt unique and that eventually did not involve ripping and setting fire to canvases, but creating surfaces first and then working the landscape into the paintings.’

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About The Artist

Take your drawing and painting to the next level with inspiration, guidance and advice from this month's top contributing artists and tutors. Cover artist, David Parfitt, shares how it's possible to work through a non-productive period to paint your best painting yet. Haidee-Jo Summers invites you to paint everyday, unarranged objects to discover more about design and composition. We also include demonstrations showing how to apply the one-stroke watercolour method, use a variety of techniques to enliven your watercolours, paint silver objects and reflections in acrylics, achieve the texture of rocky landscapes in pastels, use photographs as a memory aid, bring a portrait to life in oils, capture animals' expressions, and much more. Whatever your subject matter or preferred medium, there's something for everyone, and when you've created your best work, enter our 2019 open competition for a chance to see your work exhibited, published in The Artist, and win one of 40 prizes worth over £17,000!