updated artistic practice & statement
by Peter Neighbour
I work mainly in oil on canvas, but also on paper using ink, pastel or oil pastel.
I develop a painting by applying layer upon layer of colour very thinly on the canvas. These layers are semi-transparent and blend as if sheets of coloured glass were placed upon each other.
The oil colour is diluted using a painting medium I make up in the studio.
Where glazing is not wanted I use a different painting medium or an opaque oil colour.
The composition of a work is developed on the canvas. Sometimes this is preceded by rough drawings in an A4 sketch book. Photographs are used as props to assist the composition.
Drying times for a fresh layer of oil colour depend on a variety of factors. Generally the paint will be sticky to the touch on the following day and feel bone dry after about a few days.
Sometimes I wait for a layer of colour to dry before adding a new colour on top while on other days I work wet paint into wet. It depends on what effects I’m looking to achieve in the work.
Both art and ethics require us to take a step back from our usual - selfish – standpoint in order to see things from another point of view.
Our appreciation of art and our efforts to act ethically both need us to show empathy.
Empathy allows us – as we contemplate a work of art – the chance to escape the confines of our everyday preoccupations and a chance to see ourselves and others in a different light.
Wittgenstein wrote „the work of art is the object seen sub specie aeternitatis; and the good life is the world seen sub specie aeternitatis. This is the connection between art and ethics“.
I hope that when looking at my work people see something of themselves looking back at them – sub specie aeternitatis.