When I saw “Serenity” by Maggie Frampton I thought ‘What an appropriate title!’ and I think it’s rather nice when the perception of the viewer matches the intention of the artist. I asked Maggie a few questions about this artwork and I was surprised to learn that the inspiration for this artwork came from the artist’s father! I will let you discover why:
Where did the inspiration come from for this piece?
Definitely my father! He adored boats, especially small ones. He would want to get close, curious about each one’s build and then explain the craftsmanship to us, his two daughters. We always assumed it was the Viking in his Highlander blood. Now, we both have that same love of small boats, especially if they look a little solitary, it’s something to do with that mystery of where they may have travelled? What is their role in life on the water?
This particular sail boat is often moored on the salt marsh beside Keyhaven near Lymington, tucked in behind the shingle bank that forms a causeway to Hurst Castle. The waters there are tidal but very sheltered, and when the boat swings around on its mooring rope, it almost hides itself in the reeds. And it was playing peek-a-boo with it, early one morning on my walk, that started my need to get home and paint it.
What is the creative process when creating your art?
My painting process usually starts with about a thousand photos, my mobile is my constant companion, and I can fill it’s entire memory on one early morning walk, watching the sun wake up, the colours in the sky and the reflections on the water. From there, the images mellow off in my mind, I have them captured safely in the camera, so I let myself think them through for a while.
By the time I’ve got back to my studio, the painting has already mapped itself out in my mind. My paint palette is moved closer to my easel, along with a cup of coffee, and I’m off!
My studio is a small haven of calm itself, much like Keyhaven salt marshes, if I have any sound at all, it’s usually from videos of waves or inland waterways and waterfalls, courtesy of Youtube. My old studio was in the New Forest with views of ponies and woodlands, but we moved recently to a modern house nearer to town, and my new studio is a beautifully converted garage attached to the house. Warm and cosy in winter, airy and cool in summer, with perfect light over my left shoulder, (I’m right-handed!) Here, I lose myself for hours at a time. What a way to live, I always count myself so lucky.
How long would this work have taken you?
This little boat went onto the canvas as though it wanted to. Layer after layer went down, often before the last was dry, this way I get a softening of the layering, a little like a watercolourist might. Initially, I think it took me no more than 5 hours through that morning to complete it to where I was happy to stand back and take a look at it, although I do remember fiddling with it a little afterwards, it was such a joy to paint, I hadn’t wanted it to end.