Monday, 1 October 2012

Oil Paintings 39, 40 and 41 - V Festival 2012

Oil Painting 39 - V festival 2012 - Arriving on the Friday

The 3 days of painting at V Festival 2011, Weston Park, last year was some of the most intense and productive experiences of my career and one I was keen to revisit and build on with this year's festival. I thought this blog post would be a good opportunity to compare the work from the 2 years.

I was always against the odds this year as I only had 2 days to produce the works rather than the full 3 day weekend, the weather wasn't as good (a running theme in 2012) plus the G4S security team did not allow me access into the arena with the easel and paints despite wavers being signed, Roseclaim the V festival organising body being aware of the work and requesting a piece for their office in exchange for access. 

So I was left to get what I could from panting the crowds as they circulated around the outside of the arena and campsites. The painting I put the most work into was Oil Painting 39 - V festival 2012 - Arriving on the Friday, I tucked the easel behind an ice cream van which was going to be static for the weekend which gave me shelter from, but also a really close vantage point to the tens of thousands of festival campers who were making their way to and from the campsites. This close proximity to the moving crowd gives a more intense result to the similar subject last year (see below). 
V Festival 2011 - Outside the Arena
Oil Painting 39 - V festival 2012 - Arriving on the Friday
The composition is more dramatic, the path and side of the ice cream van giving a strong pull to a vanishing point just above the girls sunglasses. Being this close to the ice cream van gave me constant foreground material with people queuing to buy their Calypos and bottled water.

The two recognisable figures were made up from hundreds of different people queuing. It is the contrast between the definition on these figures and the blur of the abstract paintwork representing the throng behind them that is main subject in this piece - static alongside kinetic. There is also a sexual tension between the two figures and I think the amount of activity behind the male makes us feel slightly on edge and helps to relate the barrage on the senses that these festivals can bring.

I could see that this spot behind the van was as good as any, so began work on another small crowd study Oil Painting 40 - V Festival 2012 - Looking through the crowd . This painting is a little more challenging without any notable definition or description of distance. It is split very obviously, into thirds, only the recognisable signage in the upper third taking us away from a completely abstract painting. I am excited that the process of traditional on location painting is leading me to results like this, abstraction that is not forced or a one-off statement.

Oil Painting 40 - V Festival 2012 - Looking through the crowd

Painting The Main Stage 2011, not to be this year
V Festival 2011 - The Main Stage
Oil Painting 41 - V Festival 2012 - Sunday Carvery
The last piece I managed to produce this year, was on the Sunday of people getting food late afternoon and invites an interesting comparison with the Last Sun on the Sunday painting from last year (see below). Again positioning myself alongside a vendor allows shelter, some dramatic perspective and foreground figures. The splashes of colour from the sauce table work well.

V Festival 2011 - Last Sun on the Sunday

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