Gary Long – St. Ives School

Gary Long is a current painter who lives and works in Cornwall. Starting out as an illustrator Long now uses his artistic talents to produce predominately landscape and seascapes of the rugged west cornish coast line.

Long works from memory to produce his landscapes that are as much about the paint as they are about the landscape. His paintings inspire admiration for the way they perfectly capture the wildness of the region. When looking apone one of his paintings you can almost feel the weather crated by his brush strokes. These are painterly and impasto in style. All the marks made by the artist are visible giving a physical presence to the paintings that enables the on looked to visualise both the artist at work and the weather conditions experienced by him. The subject maker is often described vaguely with large strokes of differing value giving a sense of light and shade. This is clear in the wave triptychs of which is a reoccurring theme of his. Wide erratic brush strokes give the waves such energy as they swell beneath moody darkened skys painted in the same way. The brake of the wave is made by a few chose downward strokes in shades of white and light blue/green. A few flicks with the brush for the spray thrown up by the crashing waves adds to the energy and the realism or the scene. Long perfectly captures the essence of the fleeting life cycle of a wave at the point where it peeks before dramatically crashes out of existence.

As well as the Cornish vista Long has also produced an on going sires of floral still life’s. The caption that accompanies these on his web sights quotes,’New works looking at capturing the essence of the subject in a painterly manner.’

Long uses colour in a clever way in all his paintings. This is also a dive he uses to bring balance and interest to the small flower arrangements he paints. Nearly all of his arrangements are made from the same type of bloom so there is one predominate colour the the paintings. One colour trick he uses is to paint in analogue colours and add tiny amounts of a bright contrasting colour in one or two places. Other paints use complementary pallets of values that are not to intense making a nice subtle harmony.

The brush strokes used are impressionistic. They suggest light dancing across the surface of the flowers. They are visible and dash in this direction and that direction which I think gives a really impression of the life of the subject matter. Not like a photo of photo realistic painting the forms suggested at here make me aware these lowers grew and they will wilt.

For my still life of natural object, which I am using flowers for the subject, I am going to TRY to capture the essence of the arrangement as Long dose. More of a fleeting glance than a  long stare. Fingers crossed!


About Emma Perring

Artist, oil painter

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