News

In this blog I talk about the different series of paintings, what I'm working on at the moment and what's behind the process of painting for me. For some people it's important to know "the story behind the painting", I will endeavour to tell it. I will also be updating and adding new paintings to the site and will be talking about the ideas, feelings and inspiration behind them. Having painted all my life there are so many different pictures and sketches in my studio I hope to bring some of them to life via this site. I hope you enjoy your viewing.

“Horizons” - Landscape Energy Series

Published 13 November 2014 - View in art shop

What is this series about and when do I know when to stop?

Long Dark Storm
Brown Storm
Blue Storm
Dusk
Fenland Storm
Landscape Energy 2
Landscape Energy
Sand Storm

What is this series about?

Firstly it’s open ended, as the landscape itself is so varied, this is just a glimpse.
Secondly, this is not about an image i.e. a photographic likeness, but about the energy, movement and change around us shown in the shifting shapes of a view.
If we think of paint as a pigment, colour, which is floating in a ‘vehicle’ i.e. oil water etc; rather than just a paste out of a tube. We see it can move, flow and stop depending on the amount and thickness of the oil/turps or water.
I use this quality so the paint can move, creating different surfaces,some smooth and flat, some textured, creating sharp and soft edges.
Another important element is chance, which cannot be imagined but can be taken advantage of!
By always having a horizon line, an “anchor” point is created for the “observer” ,and enables me to be more ambitious with the marks.
This horizon line also provides a separation, sky to sea or land. These two elements can oppose or reflect each other.

How do I know when to stop?

When there seems to be a balance throughout.
When the final sense or mood is familiar and strange at the same time.
When, despite having resolved some of the colour relationships etc, there is always a sense of mystery.

The Organic Series

Published 3 November 2014 - View in art shop

In these paintings there is always movement and interlinking in an organic way. Always an attempt to link elements by their form, colour/and motion. A feeling of being in nature rather than looking at it.

Battle
Just Setting Off
The Landing
Don't Sleep with this One

Interface Series

Published 30 September 2014 - View in art shop

The thinking behind the interface is that it’s where two faces meet and what happens at that point. For instance, where the sky meets the sea or the sea meets the land; at any point of change there’s a lot of activity going on almost electric energy occurring. It can be two fairly calm surfaces that produce a lot of activity when they meet. This analogy can be applied to other scenarios ie two people meeting and their reaction - more on an energy level than an image level.

Interface Electric
Interface with Turquoise
Interface Flora
Interface Purple & Turquoise
Where Air Meets Water

I am searching when I’m painting, not in any way trying to represent a character, but just to see what it looks like in a moment in time. Different from a photograph a painted portrait reflects the moment in time of both the person painted and the painter. It could be said that all paintings are self portraits even though you are painting someone else, you are allowing yourself to paint in just the way you feel. You’re not wanting to make it pretty, you’re just doing what you are doing at that moment.

Figures By the River

Published 23 September 2014 - View in art shop

This collection moves more to the abstracted image of figures by the river.

Waiting by the Chassezac
Home Time
Waiting by the Chassezac
Bathers by the Chassezac
Getting Dry

Here the figures by the river are simplified and abstracted. Small paintings like little windows into a world. The slight gestures hinting at possible relationships. The colours are moving away from the realistic, using the colour to influence the mood and the connection between the figures and the surroundings.

Three Figures by the River

Published 23 September 2014 - View in art shop

Three Figures by the River and the Story behind them...

3 People by the River 2
3 People by the River 4
Waking Up
3 People by the River 8
3 People by the River 9

These paintings relate to the time when we first came to France. We used to go swimming in  the river. It was warm and sunny and sometimes I would fall asleep. Waking up one time I saw three people by the river, standing  together and it stuck in my mind. I did a little drawing and later started constructing these pictures of three figures. A white haired lady in the middle. Did these people know each other? I started to paint them changing their positions and colour. As with the cityscapes the simple motif helped me to investigate the effects of colour changes  and any slight change in the positions of the figures, changes how you interpret their relationships.

A turn of events years later, I saw practically the same group of people and I realised that the white haired lady was in fact a man with a towel around him. I had misinterpreted  all along thinking it was 3 women, which made no difference to what I was doing, but it put another slant on it, making  me think that it isn’t necessarily what you see, it’s what you are doing with what you see that is important. As with many of the series, after a period of time, I tend to pick up where I left off and continue.

By The River

Published 18 September 2014 - View in art shop

This collection of paintings, just uploaded onto the site, were painted between 1998 and 2001. Enjoy...

Friends
The Island
The Island 2
The Pool
Two Sides of the Coin
Drying
Drying 2

The Cityscape Series

Published 25 February 2014 - View in art shop

This is so called because the paintings seem to resemble a city in the distance and notably have a horizon.

Room in Hornsey with Goldfish 1966
Heat at Sea
Cityscape Blue Flags
Cityscape Autumn
Cityscape Windy

Limiting myself to simple blocks of colour seemed to open up more possibilities.

Originally, in 1966, I did a small painting which was about objects in a room (see first painting above). They were sitting in space, no detail, just blocks of colour and they were floating in a grey background. Using only blocks of colour to indicate the objects in space. Then, years later I began to do a painting with simple blocks of colour, very similar to the original. In these later paintings there is a sense of a landscape by the introduction of a horizontal line i.e. the horizon. The blocks of colour were the only things in the painting and I began to realise that once you limit yourself to just a scenario of a number of blocks then you could really start to play with the colours and see what they did to each other and within the little area of the canvass I gradually realised that the moods and tensions were set up by these blocks of colour and their positions. Limiting myself seemed to open up more possibilities. The paintings range in size from a few centimetres up to two metres by one and a half metres, the small ones have  a gem-like quality, the large ones began as images of the smaller ones, but I soon realised they were totally different. Their impact seems to be either meditative or they appear to expand. I'm still working on this!!

  • First Painting above shows the original painted in 1966
  • Second painting show examples of tension caused by colour
  • Third painting shows a larger expanding image
  • Fourth painting is an example of moods of colour
  • Fifth painting is an example of the form (of blocks) going, and the colour and texture taking over

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Phone: +33 (0)4 66241569
Email: info@colin-baxter.net

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