“Chaos in nature is immediately challenging and forces a good artist to impose some type of order on his or her perception of a site. When I find a scene that provides that type of challenge, I return to it over and over again, both physically and mentally in the studio, continually searching for new insights.”
— Wolf Kahn
Quote source: “A studio visit with Wolf Kahn”, American Artist, May 1997
The position of the sun on its annual and daily geographical journeys, the density or absence of clouds, whether these are loaded with drizzle, rain, sleet, snow or merely threatening as they are driven along the Minch by wind, how fast the wind changes the patterns of light and shadow… the windows I look through every day may show the same bit of landscape but it is never the same. There are similar conditions and occasions, but never identical. Familiar but different, both in the looking and painting.
New images and emotional responses are added to my memories. My starting inspiration changes. In the icy weather we’ve been having I’ve seen a tantalizing cobalt teal layer on the sea, over dark Prussian blue depths and below clouds that become bottom-heavy with deep greys (Prussian blue + burnt umber + titanium white) then streak down, hiding the sea in a glaze of sleet. As I write this there’s low cloud hiding the horizon, the divide between sea and sky; if I were painting it’d be time to reach for some more titanium white to lighten the grey.