In two contrasting places, the West of Ireland and Northern Italy, I found subjects, people and landscapes that have inspired this new body of work.
Painting the Atlantic Ocean from the West coast of Ireland and knowing that there is nothing then for the next two thousand miles until America, had always been attractive idea to me. There is a wild romanticism about it and one I felt would demand a great deal from a painter. Like the lone figure in Casper David Friedrich's painting 'The Wanderer,' I stood on the rocks looking out at the ocean contemplating how I would deal with this huge, ever-moving sea and the force of the Atlantic weather. I realised I had to I capture something of the sprit and essence of what I was experiencing. I became captivated by this dramatic stretch of coastline around Brandon in Dingle, especially as the weather changed so quickly often concealing the mountains in deep blue showers of rain before revealing them again in crystal clear sunlight. I felt a deepness here in a landscape that was dazzlingly beautiful, raw and unforgiving.
It was quite a different experience painting in Italy, but one equally charged with sprit and energy. The medieval Piazza in Orta San Giulio on the shore of the Italian Lake Orta, brimmed with life, light and colour. Every day there were crowds of people enjoying the sights, restaurants and sunshine. Many stopped to look and give their opinion of my work in a language I knew little of. Surrounded by purple mountains, deep lakes, and icy rivers this was a landscape that was filled with delight.
David Atkins, October 2019