Whether I'm making a preparatory sketch or beginning a landscape painting, I like to start on a heavily prepared surface. I layer the surfaces with inks, charcoal, paint and collage - often using my favourite stick (yes, really) as a drawing implement. The random marks and textures create wonderful starting points upon which to respond with more meaningful marks.
EN PLEIN AIR
The starting point for all my landscape painting is drawing and sketching 'en plein air' - recording the light, atmosphere, sound, weather and colours. Responding to my environment in a very immediate and intuitive way - gathering the information I need to remember the place and the moment.
However it's not for the faint hearted... working outdoors in Scotland usually means I'm freezing and windswept - but hopefully the work is interesting!
I take greatest inspiration from nature and the changing seasons. I love the differences in the light and atmosphere, the intensity and the feeling. Sometimes when I'm working I can feel almost overwhelmed by the impact of the scene before me and on other occasions, depending on the light or the moment, if I can't find anything interesting to record, I will simply pack up and go.
Photograph: Alison McNeill Artist