This will likely be the first of a series of posts about other artists I draw inspiration from. For this first one, I used the inspiration of Alan Kingwell’s work to paint this picture I am titling “Winter Journey”.
Alan Kingwell is a UK artist who is self-taught. His work is incredible. You really should check out his YouTube channel and watch him paint or choose one of the videos that show some of his work. What I like about Alan’s work is the way he captures the light and mood of a place. Whether its the glow of a sunset coming through the base of a wave or the light filtering through a winter woods, he manages to really make the light seem alive. His seascapes are just amazing!
I think one aspect of his painting that appeals to me is that there is a certain ‘left-brain’ aspect to it that resonates with me. His creativity is obvious, but the attention to detail, the intricacy of his work appeals to my left-brain side that likes perfection and precision. Yet his paintings don’t feel at all static or structured. Most artists are strongly ‘right-brained’ which is the creative side of us, but many of us also have strong analytical or ‘left-brained’ aspects to our personalties too. This method of painting, with such attention to detail, can be a satisfying activity to feed that side of the brain in a creative endeavor.
In doing my painting, inspired by his work and some photos I took of a friend’s sugarbush recently, I knew it would be challenging to try to tackle something as detailed as Alan’s work, so I simplified the landscape and focused on trying to capture that feeling of light at dawn over a snow-filled landscape. Alan works with oil paint, while I paint using acrylics, and I knew the challenge of being able to mix and blend would be difficult. And it was. I have neither the skill nor am I sure that acrylics can give you the same level of flow and blending that you can get with oils which stay wet and loose for a long period of time. But I am pretty happy with how this came out for a first attempt.
I like the idea of trying different things and different styles, and turning to various inspirational artists to do this seems like a good way to try different techniques. So in the future I may try doing some reproductions of paintings I like, or as I’ve done here, just try to paint in the style of someone I admire and see what challenges that presents.
I encourage you to visit Alan’s website and youtube channel, especially if you paint in oils as he has some instructional DVDs for sale and plenty of instructional videos on his channel.
Thanks to Alan for the inspiration!