Jennifer Letchet Paintings

My work explores fundamental elements of painting, the relationship between colour and line. I intend my paintings to affect the viewer optically with the illusion of shapes moving and receding. Colour theory is very important to my work. I use specific hues to symbolise ideas or emotions. The contained shapes on canvases seem more like objects than lines. My recent work explores natural and man-made disasters and the impact this has on our environment. I want to record the changing landscape through simplified shapes and colours.

Monday, 28 January 2013

New Jersey October 2012 Flood Drawings

I've been going back to basics with my work as I start on a new series of drawings and paintings.  My last series was a collection of natural disasters and ecological wonders from around the world, such as disappearing lakes in Egypt, melting ice shelves in the Canadian Arctic, and expiring archipelagoes.

I was my next series to hone in on one specific theme, rather than an overarching title.  I want my work to explore natural disasters, but not just from one perspective.  I want to give detail, I want to take my work to new depths.

With my current drawings, I've been focusing on the flood disaster in the US in October 2012.  I have been finding source material from satellite imagery.  In the image above you can see my latest piece in progress.  This is potentially a preliminary sketch for a large piece.  It's still a work in progress, so I haven't worked out it's final designation.

As the drawing progresses, I have been adding tone to the flooded areas to give contrast to and form to the flooding.  I haven't decided yet as to whether this form of shading works best with these drawings.  I have used tone to give a sense of physicality, depth, form and three-dimensionality.  However, would not a flatter form of shading, which gave a more even layer of colour, work better in relation to maps?

I am unsure about the finished look of the drawing.  The lines and contours of New Jersey seem to disappear, to fizzle off like a fantasy land.  I'm not sure if the white space around my image works in relation to the object I am portraying.  Also, I have added physicality, tone, to the wet elements of my map: the ocean on both sides of the land, and the flooded areas.  I have given a sense of three-dimensionality to something which is transient, fluid.  Whereas, I think the areas most appropriate to tone would be land.  

I think this piece is a good starting point from which my new pieces can develop from.  Ideas about composition, tone and editing need to become a priority, as recently I have put these elements to the back of my mind.

I need to sort out composition and scale before I move on to colour, and start painting again.