As for my method…
I work from photographs. I have tried keeping a sketchbook, doing working drawings and preliminary paintings on canvas, but those things don’t work for me. My field photos (taken with my trusty Nikon FM2) record what I found interesting and serve to jar my memory. I draw loosely, directly on the canvas, with thinned paint and a brush, and in the process of mixing and applying paint the paintings take on a life of their own.
For this series, most of the iceberg photos are from my 20-year collection, mostly taken along the Avalon peninsula. The bird’s-eye-views come from the archives at Provincial Aerospace, the company that does observation for Environment Canada and the offshore oil rigs. Friends who have photos have generously offered them to me, and I’ve found a few on the internet. The photos get cropped, reversed, changed in scale or colour in the painting process; sometimes an iceberg is moved to a different coast or sent to sea to make the painting work.
I love the bird’s-eye views. Early in my career, I did a series of still life drawings and paintings from objects (often fruit on a plate or in a bowl) which were placed on the floor by my feet because I didn’t have a table in my studio. Periodically I go back to that set-up. The slight feeling of vertigo, the out-of-kilter-ness of seeing something on the wall that should be down, is interesting to me.
Off to walk the dogs and greet the day!