Saturday, 20 July 2013

Cecil Rice Paints on BBC TV

Brighton-based artist Cecil Rice who we recently worked with on our recent DVD release Painting The Light In Watercolour is to star in an upcoming episode of the popular BBC One programme Countryfile. Cecil was approached to paint a scene at a country fair in the Cotswolds. Here's his story:

"I was asked to paint a view of the country fair and I set up under a gazebo for the day.  The challenge for me, as you will appreciate very well, was making the painting last for six hours. My usual approach would be to paint for a two hour stretch, fairly instinctively and quickly establishing essentials of light, tone, movement and form, possibly without much embellishment.  Because the light is completely different beyond this it is really dangerous to keep working on a plain-air painting in case you are tempted to re-state everything on top of your original impression.  I hit a compromise whereby I started very slowly, only establishing pockets of shadow and detail that wouldn't really change much. I also did a small but useful quick impression on a separate sheet of paper so that I could refer to this later on.

The final painting was OK but might have been a little livelier if I had not had to stretch it out for so many sweltering hours. But the result was quite respectable and I may be able to produce a more spirited interpretation in the studio.

The filming started in a very encouraging way. Matt Baker spent some minutes asking questions and I was able to give my name and to answer that my concern was with capturing the light and other qualities.  I was filmed for five or ten minutes getting started. Initially it seemed that Matt would return to do a conclusion with me but as the day went on it became clear that the crew had a great deal of other work to do. Camera-men visited every so often, filming the gradual progress of the painting. At the end I gave Matt Hill a copy of my book and DVD and I know that he was very pleased about this.

It's absolutely impossible to know how much or how little of all this they will use but I did receive an e-mail thanking me for my efforts and encouraging me to watch the relevant episode, which is due for broadcast on 28th July. "

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