Monday, December 21, 2009

This painting was completed on a wood board with a heavy textural 'ground' (painting base). For the ground the paint is thickened to add defined brush marks and sand was added to give a stippling effect; the result gives a lot of energy and excitement to the painting.
detail (example of textural effect)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

A painting through the Stages

Here's one of my paintings through it's stages to completion with a brief description of the process involved.

Like much of my work it has been painted on wood which has been primed with a gesso ground (a base layer of acrylic paint). I allow the several coats of gesso to create a random brush worked texture, this ultimately give the final painting extra depth and interest on close inspection.
Stage 1 - Really this shows stage 2, the first stage would be marking in the outlines in this case with a mixture of cadmium red and burnt umber. The next stage as shown above is then to wash on color, knocking away the white canvas/board. On starting a painting I have a pretty clear idea of the final colors I want, so will either paint compliment colors underneath or secondary colors.

Care needs to be taken at this stage not to make a color tonally to saturated, since it will obviously effect greatly the luminosity of later stages of paint.
Stage 2 - Here some of the color has been placed in loosely on some objects such as the oranges and some areas of the background. But most attention and painting effort has been given to the Peonies. Since the flowers were the key to this painting I wanted to tackle them first. Additionally they're really the most complex part of the painting so required most work to get right.
Stage 3 - Other broad areas are boldly painted in. Notice how in the red cloth I have intentionally let the purple undertones shine through, this adds depth to the final painting.
Stage 4 - Mostly there now. All areas have been painted and there's only small areas to refine. The flowers in the back right need to be resolved, careful decisions are made on how refined and detailed to complete them. I try to remember to keep them subdued and loose since the focus should be on the foreground.
The Complete painting - This proved an unusual work for me, since there was little adjustment in the painting. It's common for me to rethink and evolve a painting as I work on it; usually this means changing the color of something away from my original color plan to enhance the final work. Sometimes it requires something more drastic. This painting however remained consistent through it's entire process.


Every artist is asked at some point, (or often) about who they feel has influenced their work? For me I find it a difficult question to answer. Many compare my work to Matisse or even Van Gogh; it's nice company to be in, but in truth I'm not aware of my work having sprung directly from any single artist or style. Producing a unique and singular voice within my work has always been important to me and developing a style that speaks too closely to another artists work has no appeal to me.

Perhaps I would say I'm an artist of the modern age - My art has been born from a 'Google' like approach, where a variety of artists, paintings and media got chewed up in my garbled head and out came the work I produce now. But then again, I'm not sure if that's quite accurate.

Early in my career I certainly studied specific artists work. For example, I was a great admirer of Toulouse-Lautrec's oil paintings, particularly some of his palette choices. Additionally I had a strong passion for the method of Walter Sickert with his use of broken lines and dabs of color that can be seen in much of his work. I know for a while I extrapolated from these and other 'borrowed' styles; but eventually as my own work became stronger and more cohesive, I found myself removed from those influences. The paintings I admired became simply that, rather than something to borrow from.

So, when asked who I feel has influenced my work? I invariably begin to list 'past' painters and works that I have loved and admired, and for your benefit I have produced a small list of just a few here -

* Joan Eardley – particularly her early paintings of Scottish/ Glasgow street kids.

* Arthur Melville

* Toulouse-Lautrec

Anne Redpath

* 'The Glasgow boys', particularly Peploe

* Edward Seago – wonderful landscape oils and very Sargent like watercolors

* Rothko

* Some Van Gogh, some Klimt and some Picasso

* Henry Moores Sculptures

* and many others…

There's a good number of Scottish painters listed, a product of local art galleries in my youth.

Final footnote: To list contemporary artists and art friends whos work I admire would just take too long, so apologies to them for not finding themselves included in the venerable list.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Not quite 'carbon copies'

In an effort to get a little more 'conversational' on my blog....

As a rule I never repeat a painting. I do from time to time revisit an older successful painting, and work from it and the photographs of the original subject, to paint a new and fresh painting. I attempt to keep the essence of what I enjoyed about the original, but to re-explore new avenues, perhaps with a slightly differing perspective, new colors or adjusting the 'all important' line placement. (Example below)

Monet seemed to spend much of his life painting haystacks , so I have no problem reinventing a theme.

However, very, very rarely I do this...

...Attempting to paint two painting produced simultaneously, exploring the same subject in basically the same way.

I do this partly as an exercise, but also to reinforce the idea that I'm just not very keen on working in this 'carbon copy' method. Despite my disinclination to work in this way, I think both paintings turned out well and had interesting aspects to them. It's enjoyable to see them side by side and spot the differences and changes between the two works.

To keep things interesting for me, the paintings were produced at different sizes and the large one is painted on a heavily textured ground, producing a very different effect.
(The ground is produced by adding some texture paste and sand to gesso primer).

Friday, October 9, 2009


At long last the videos of myself talking about my work have been posted to my web site -

'A conversation with Angus Wilson, Still Life painter'
'The painting process'

Follow this link to go there and watch them!


Latest works

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New works.

Sometimes you know, you just need to fiddle.

Altered the table color again, tweaked the vase (top right) and the plant (top left). Small adjustments elsewhere; overall much happier and better - this time it's done!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Been gone but now I'm back!

Had a couple of weeks summer vacation in Britain, but I'm back now and working away.

View more work at -

Friday, June 19, 2009

Amended the table color in the foreground. This time it's finished!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Not sure if the photo does this justice. Colors seem richer in the original.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Scottsdale AZ

After and hectic and fun couple of days in Arizona last week. Paul Scott gallery has agreed to represent my work. Look for work hanging in the gallery in around 4 weeks time!

Paul Scott gallery
7056 East Main Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Telephone: 480-874-3000

Saturday, May 30, 2009