Sunday, 30 April 2017

Hot, Tired, Filthy

This isn't my usual kind of thing, but I've just spent the morning producing this little painting of an exhausted coal miner taking a breather deep underground. It's called "Hot, Tired, Filthy".

Fife, the area where I live, used to be a coal-mining area. That ended as I was growing up, but I still remember the old miners. They had hard lives, those men, and so did their wives and kids. Sometime soon, a festival is being held locally to commemorate Fife's long mining heritage and I decided to do this painting for an exhibition which I'm told will form part of the event.

The style I've used is simplified and abstracted and it owes a lot to the style of an American artist, Alex Powers. I've been studying his book "Painting People in Watercolour". I started off in watercolour and then worked into that with charcoal and white pastel. I had old black and white photo references to work from but chose to introduce some earth colours (burnt sienna and burnt ochre) to suggest the warm air of a coal mine.

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