Dugald Stark 1st April 2022
Impressionist Garden in Oils
Dugald Stark has been painting in various styles for some 50 years. He became an art teacher before moving to Trebarwith Strand which used to be a source of inspiration for him.
Unfortunately an earlier accident increasingly restricted his mobility as a result of which he moved to a N. Devon bungalow with a magnificent Victorian walled garden.
But all was not lost. Like his painterly hero, Monet, he had found his Giverny and now focuses on repeat returns to certain views in different seasons and times of day, all conveyed in an exuberant and expressive style.
Here are a handful of his generously proportioned canvases
A detail showing the brush marks and, in the background, one of the old Victorian greenhouses some of which are now partially overgrown.
Dugald often likes to use a basic set of oil pastels outside to capture the essential feel of a time and place. Working from such rather than photos in the studio, he is better able to work creatively and expressively without the distraction of minute inessentials.
For us he worked from this oil pastel sketch.
Dugald's palette for the evening was titanium white, lemon yellow, cadmium yellow, cadmium red. alizarin crimson, magenta, cobalt blue and veridian [as opposed to 'veridian hue' which is rather overpoweringly intense].
His way of working in the early stages was to suggest each of the areas of colour in succession, progressively evolving a patchwork of forms and working freely around the canvas in an unprecious manner.
The subject matter was a garden path, in magenta shadow disappearing into a mysterious hollow while later touches of yellow add to the blues and green and suggest patches of sunlight.
The overall effect by the end of the demonstration was fresh and unfussy. Whether this was the final finished piece is unknown. Dugald says he may return to a canvas as many as sixty times before it is 'done'.
Apologies for the quality of some of the photos here. The picture below is out of focus and the colours aren't right either.