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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Starting to ‘see’ the picture

In his third article on reinventing his style, Martin Kinnear reveals how Cézanne was instrumental in moving him forward with his quest


In late summer 2016 I rented a house in the Yorkshire Dales so I could paint them. This is the third part of the story of how an idea becomes a project, a project becomes a show, and how you can avoid the artistic mistakes I’ve made along the way.

Regular readers may recall that by mid-2017 my new project ‘Beyond Here’, was coming along well, but I realised that I needed to convey not only how the placed looked, but the temporal experience of being there at that time in my work, and I didn’t have a clue how to depict time on canvas.

The impossible view

Years ago there was a gallery show called ‘The Impossible View’. It showed seemingly normal paintings, a view of Venice from the air, for instance, or the cliffs of Dover, which when you really thought about it, could only have been painted from imagination, rather than on the spot. The idea, I recall, was to show how every painting is, to a greater or lesser extent, nothing but artifice.

Choosing a view is obviously important in any genre of painting, and implicit in that is the idea that a given viewpoint would be ‘better’ than others. In this context, better might mean a stronger visual design, the potential for more recession, the inclusion or exclusion of details, values or whatever you will.

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About The Artist

Be inspired to get out and about with your painting kit this summer with tips and advice on sketching and painting en plein air from top watercolour artists Amanda Hyatt, Geoff Hunt and Ian Sidaway. Jenny Wheatley shows how to use your location studies to create exciting compositions back at home, while in a the first of a new series Yael Maimon explains how to select the best format for a successful composition. Aldo Balding demonstrates how to paint a full-length portrait, Robert Brindley shows how to capture the spirit of Venice in watercolour, Barry Herniman reveals how to use acrylics the watercolour way. Plus we focus on the rules of painting, how to paint figures on the beach, learn from the painting style of Christopher Wood, how to choose the best colours for different skies, and how to cope with the challenge of working from poor photos. We've included plenty to inspire you this month, as well as information about what to see and do and competitions to enter with great prizes up for grabs!