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Lindsay Pickett’s gorgeous oil paintings of warped and distorted cityscapes transcend and confuse our orienting reflex in deeply surrealistic and magical ways.
My main practice involves painting with oils on canvas, linen and board. I start with a basic study of a composition idea, usually in the form of a basic pencil drawing first, then I take it further as a small watercolour painting as a final idea and then develop it more as the finished oil painting.
For finding ideas as inspiration, I also use photographs to create a visual reality that can be convincing at times and especially if I want to get the likeness of a person or a landscape. It has also been good for me in the fact that it has taught me to use observational skills a lot.
A lot of my current practice is something that I have mainly taught myself and also ideas that have stemmed from dreams. I find that producing my ideas can only work if the photographs or images online that I try to find lends itself to the idea of something Surreal.
To create a warped landscape or some other kind of impossible reality the chosen idea or theme must create one impossible landscape and for that, the lighting has to work together and not look too much like a collage. This is often the longest part of my studio practice as finding ideas can take time. The two or more landscape images must blend together in a subtle way. A lot of my ideas also come from some films of the science fiction genre. Especially when seeing films that have a lot of cinematic scenes in them. Whereas such images are mostly created on computer, for me I like the challenge of creating something impossible by hand. I find it much more challenging and stimulating. This is also where I feel my work stands out.
The historical influences in my work arise from Surrealism and fantasy art. Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Brueghel, Rene Magritte and M. C. Escher are also influential. With Escher, metamorphosis is a recurring theme as it is with Salvador Dali and this drew me to their work. My painting practice started when research into Hieronymus Bosch and Salvador Dali took place. This occurred when I was still quite new to painting during my BA Hon Fine Art Degree.
My own contemporary concerns include the use of warped cities and impossible landscapes that otherwise do not exist in reality. They usually depict a recent dream I have had and they totally ignore all concepts of the laws of physics in terms of the real world we know. In my work there is no way of knowing what is up or down.
I also like to look at fantasy artists who paint images for science fiction illustrations and particularly like looking at the alien landscapes they create, artists such as Wayne Barlowe, Jim Burns and Stephen Youll come to mind. I also feel that my more recent works may appear to a wider audience of people in terms of the landscapes themselves featuring famous buildings and landmarks such as Big Ben for example. This also has been a good way for me to sell my work and make money. I have managed to do this by being commercially successful in some art exhibitions that I have had recently and also producing prints of my work and selling them on a part-time basis to private clients.
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