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Mick Whyte

I am interested in the physical qualities of the paint and the effects of light on the forms. My work dances around the boundary between reality and the abstract, the representational aspect of the art of the past and the flatness of the modern.

I think it is important for an artist to own their subject so that it becomes a part of them. My still life subjects I own, the sketches I make during my walks in the woodlands and wetlands, that are the basis of my landscapes, I own. In the snooze time between my morning alarms, the memories of my woods and my still lives form behind my closed eyes, remembered and begging to be painted.

I am really interested in the materials and techniques of oil painting and the history of art, as well as reading about these, I do practical research by making studies of masterworks at about the rate of one per week. This helps my understanding of the techniques and compositions used by the masters and applying these lessons to my own work.

Although I enjoy painting when I am actually dancing at the easel, I carry out much preparatory work and decision-making before actually getting to the easel so that my works are the result of much hard work as well as the enjoyment of the dancing. I like to think that only the enjoyment of the dance shows through in the finished work.

Almost all of my paintings take around ninety minutes, I call it the football process. Having trained and prepared and researched all week I am at a fever pitch. In the first 45 minutes, I establish my dominance over the canvas or board, at halftime, I have a plastic cigarette and a glass of wine and look hard at my progress in the first half, allowing the painting thus far to guide me into finding a resolution of the objective. I then apply the finishing touches to get the end result. I have found that my high concentration level is around 45 minutes, so working around this fact helps in the process of producing my work.

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