Having researched the work of J M W Turner in terms of his creative techniques and his dynamic paintings I also found that he was a proponent of experiencing nature as a means of information his work, such as a snow-storm at sea attached to a ship’s mast! This painting was the result of that experience.
I worked with seascapes and cloudscapes and played with the camera, mimicking the shapes and lines in the landscape. I created watercolour aesthetics in my images by painting with my camera. I used different shutter speeds to allow nature to paint it own pictures. The changes in colours, light and shade and my techniques created a large body of work.
I spent a great deal of time at Loch Cill Chriosd trying to capture the depth and luminosity in the water and reflections.
In this regard I researched the paintings and techniques of Claude Monet scrutinising his work of the lily pond at Giverny to gain insights into how he created depth in his paintings. It was through the layering of his work creating light in the lower layers and then darker areas closer to the surface. I used differently exposed images and merged two or three together to gain a similar effect.
I used slow shutter speeds on windy and calmer days allowing the reeds and lilies to paint their own story.
I worked with multiple exposures to create depth and a sense that you can delve into the image and experience what is beyond the surface.
I worked with patterns in the reeds, in their reflections and on the surface of the water. I captured the different moods, colours and seasons of Skye.
I was in the position of having my second exhibition of FMP at the end of October and so needed to edit and commit to the images and layout in mid September. I decided to test my colour images in the market although many of those I chose to exhibit had a subdued colour palette.
As I started to put my FMP portfolio together in the form of an e-book I played with a colour selection and then combining black and white and colour images. I presented the images in terms of a linear journey from darkness (featuring the black and white images) to hope and light (featuring the colour images). However, this combination that had always been a risky strategy, in my opinion, did not work.
I found the colour images lacked focus and the colour was overpowering – the metaphors and meaning in my work were being overshadowed. I started to work in black and white and found the tonal range from black to white rendered my images more striking and dynamic but was also able to produce melancholy and calm images with a subtle rendition. Monochrome, for me, allowed me to capture the delicacy of the fragile stems, the shapes and patterns of the water lilies and the frenzied yet resilient movement on a turbulent day on the loch.
I have come full circle, and returned to working in black and white. I feel that my images for FMP are stronger for this decision, (and also for the experimental work I did in FMP) clear in their meaning and focus and reflect both my ontological position and the ephemeral hiddenness of Skye more effectively.