Paint bright colors and characters. The British artist Louis Turpin creates oil paintings that bring a garden experience directly to the gallery wall. Recreate the lush colors of flowers and leaves in English gardens in vivid layers of color as you reproduce shapes from flowers to leaves to trees with graphic clarity.
For Turpin, the illusion of three-dimensionality is always secondary to the needs of painting in its primary role as a flat object. The resulting images have an immediacy that immerses the viewer in the best of the garden – flowers, views, and architectural features – without wearing them down with anything close to arduous rendering. Instead of describing a garden, the paintings seem to depict the garden itself. A lightness of spirit pervades the work, the feeling that the paintings were a joy.
Wildflowers from the rubble
When I step into a garden, I like to immerse myself in it, whose search for a topic took him across the British Isles. It’s a pretty intense experience; in reality, it is in the community. I find something that makes it a place for me to see the future of painting. I know I will postpone things, but I come to a concept for the painting just now.
Turpin’s strong feelings for English nature and gardens began during his childhood in London after World War II. There were a lot of bomb sites in the area where I grew up. They have become vast wildflowers growing out of the rubble. They were very beautiful in many ways.
Turpin begins a painting with cool drawings made on site. It includes both registering the subject and moving areas on the paper to build up the painting. In the end, I have a strong sense of the painting that I bring to the studio. There I create an abstractly blocked background color. Sometimes I have almost 20 of these pictures on my studio walls at the beginning, that is, when one picture is finished, I already. That is another finished picture. I usually work through this second phase to the end.
These documents tend to be loose. I determine the tonal value, but also the structure. My background images look like abstract images in every way. They are colored areas that overlap but show no linearity.
Activation of the color
Another part of Turpin’s painting strategy is to activate the color throughout the work. Sometimes I put the complementary color of an element and then often a red under the sky. It allows for a vibrant color effect when the overcoat is in place. Leaving gaps or a certain degree of transparency in the topcoat gives the color liveliness, as contrasting colors shine against each other. Occasionally the artist keeps red in the sky and enhances it with a few more shades of red for added richness.
A layer of gold leaf
Turpin has an additional background strategy; In some paintings, he first defines areas with a layer of gold leaf. Some paintings require it. Sometimes I use a lot, and sometimes only one commercial. I especially like moon gold, a charming transfer gold. The artist uses the modern transfer process, in which the gold leaf has a paperback to press it onto a surface treated with Japanese gold. If you remove the paper when the format is set, the gold will become visible. It is less risky than the traditional method of floating the sheet of film on a prepared surface.
Turpin can paint over much gold, leaving small gaps and small sections that flash with the reflected light. Gold gives the painting that other kind of life. It has its own depth. The other information on gold is that sometimes you understand it, and sometimes you don’t. From one angle, the gold will go away and then come back. It’s just another element of the painting that gives it complexity and depth.
Bright shapes, saturated colors
While Turpin keeps his background colors clear, he puts down the final layers with clear shapes and almost hard edges. Simplify trees, flowers, and structures by sharpening them into clear outlines. It uses strongly saturated colors and enjoys dynamic contrasts with bright oranges next to strong turquoise or strong violets next to glorious yellow.
Brush for writing signs
Liveliness and freshness are important and winning properties in Turpin’s English garden pictures. While he creates most shapes with large, soft brushes, he also uses traditional brushes to write markers to create long, delicate lines that weave in and out. Marker brushes have wonderful properties. Some of the shapes are very long and thin and contain a lot of paint to draw a line for a long time. Dots or dashes are also grouped to suggest a texture. Sometimes they are read as smaller items like stamens, twigs, or petals.
English gardens are rooted in abstraction
The strangely hybrid character of Turpin’s paintings, which function as both descriptive scenes and almost abstract objects, grew out of the artist’s early efforts. Turpin initially produced abstract works. He switched to figurative art fairly quickly, but his earlier approach still had a significant influence. His sense of painting as an independent object is very strong. I always like an element that is very easy to recognize as a simple object that says, this is painting on a two-dimensional surface.
The success of Turpin’s performance can be viewed in Higher Garden with Topiary, in flowers and plants that hold the darker part of the art. Presented as clear forms with fine lines and touches, they seem to exist directly on the picture plane. In the upper half of the picture, the viewer sees a collection of elaborate topiary hedges behind the flowers. These also exist in painting as more or fewer platforms. Behind it, the horizon has a similar immediacy with a view of the sea and a strip of sky. The unusual color of the sky, a deep purple with a slightly pinkish purple on top, inhabits the same color scheme as the flowers below. The almost square format of the canvas underlines the objectivity of the painting.
An architectural eye
The artist releases more perspectival depth in other paintings, as in New Square Towards. Thick foliage in the view adjoins a fence that leads the eye steeply behind in space. The background covers the facade of a building, exceeding which the Royal Courts of Justice towers rise. Turpin has explained the architecture, with its geometry of squares and pyramidal roof forms making a counterpoint to the original forms of the English border in the foreground. Although it’s hard to see in duplicate, various areas of gold leaf glint within from the underpainting.
Turpin’s taste for architectural structure is on dramatic display in Cold Frames (near the top of page), in which the grouping of gardeners’ cold frames becomes a grid containing plants and blooms. Beyond them, hedges and houses create an additional set of geometric shapes. Note how every detail in the art has a rich color grade built into it as overpainting and underpainting play upon each other.
Gardens That Change
Asked what his favorite kind of garden is, I like gardens that change. Surely, a sense of progress and surprise inhabit his work, along with huge pleasure in the desire of form and the means of color. People recognize that in the paintings. I think that’s what they react to. A positivity to them that performs everything comes collectively.
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