It’s Day 51 and that means 51 paintings! The movers are coming the day after tomorrow and today I packed the god-forsaken kitchen. I’m just so grateful that I live on a magical street. I put the weirdest stuff out there and somehow it vanishes. I feel like that’s my latent super-power that just emerged during the stress of this move. I can make people take my garbage/junk! Anyways, I was able to paint early this morning before packing. Let’s celebrate Peter Lanyon today and get back to packing!
(George) Peter Lanyon (8 February 1918 – 31 August 1964) was a Cornish
painter of landscapes leaning heavily towards abstraction. Lanyon was one of the most important artists to emerge in post-war Britain. Despite his early death at the age of forty-six he achieved a body of work that is amongst the most original and important reappraisals of modernism in painting to be found anywhere. Combining abstract values with radical ideas about landscape and the figure, Lanyon navigated a course from Constructivism through Abstract Expressionism to a style close to Pop. He also made constructions, pottery and collage.
Lanyon was born in St Ives, Cornwall, the only son of W H Lanyon, an amateur
photographer and musician. He was educated at Clifton College. St Ives remained his base, and he received after-school painting lessons from Borlase Smart. In 1937 he met Adrian Stokes, who is thought to have introduced him to contemporary painting and sculpture and who advised him to go to the Euston Road School, where he studied for four months under Victor Pasmore. In 1936-37 he also attended Penzance School of Art. In 1939 he met established artists Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Naum Gabo, who had moved to St Ives on the outbreak of war. Lanyon received private art tuition from Nicholson.
The character of his work changed completely and he became very involved with making constructions. Throughout the 1940s the influence of Nicholson and Gabo remained strongly visible in his work
From 1940 to 1945 he served with the Royal Air Force in the Western Desert, Palestine
and Italy. In 1946 he married Sheila St John Browne. Six children were born to the couple between 1947 and 1957. Also in 1946 he became an active member of the Crypt Group of Artists, St Ives. During the 1950s he became established as a leading figure in the St. Ives group of artists.
Lanyon took up gliding as a pastime and used the resulting experience extensively in his paintings. He died in Taunton, Somerset, as the result of injuries received in a gliding accident and is buried in St. Uny’s Church, Lelant.
In September 2010 Peter Lanyon’s work was honored with a large-scale retrospective exhibition: Peter Lanyon October 9, 2010 – January 23, 2011 at Tate St Ives. Curated by Chris Stephens, Head of Displays and Curator of Modern British Art at Tate Britain, it was the first thorough museum retrospective for almost forty years.
Biography is from wikipedia.
I decided to look up photographs for reference for my Lanyon piece…ideally, I
would’ve loved to go out and paint, but under my circumstances I didn’t really have the time to do that…maybe after my move I’ll do more of that. I’m thinking for Van Gogh that would be appropriate. I enjoyed doing this painting. Painting a landscape, but without the pressure of having it be perfect was relaxing. I think straight-up abstract expressionism has been a challenge for me, but somewhere in between is where I think I belong!
So I had to keep in mind that I wasn’t painting exactly what I was seeing so I made sure to add some colors and switch to “abstract” mode after laying down a couple of the main colors.
I hope you enjoy my finished piece! A part of me didn’t want to include my reference picture because I wanted it to be more abstract, but oh well…it’s good to know my whole process. See you tomorrow on Day 52!
It is impossible for me to make a painting which has no reference to the powerful environment in which I live. (Peter Lanyon)