Emerging Artist Award 2020

Conrad Clarke


Jackson’s Painting Prize 2020
80 x 80 cm

“With this piece I was looking at ways to escape the really familiar landscape composition, and up close at how plants were somehow thriving a marina bank. Next I created pencil studies to decide on the colours and composition. I rarely use the true colours, as it feels too familiar again. Instead I use new colour combinations, with similar tonal values. I decided on a warm red base, and then using colour triangle theory choose the other key colour ways; blue-violet and green-blue. The study also helps create an exaggerated reality, which is more interesting in the final piece.

The painting process is very time consuming, 90% done using a small brush. Rather than working into wet paint, I build up layers of clean colour, leaving glimpse of what went down before. I also describe the nature and volume of a plant or material, using patterns and by doing the negative space around it last. This means cutting in afterwards; like if you were to create a drawing by doing the white of the paper last. In turn the magic of this environment and the seemingly mundane plants, are celebrated by the attention to detail and the process.”