In 2011 I was commissioned by GE (General Electric) to create a painting of Blenheim Palace during the triathlon that was taking place there. I walked around the grounds to see if I could find a possible view. During my research I discovered that Randolph Churchill - Winston Churchill's father had said that Blenheim Palace was 'the finest view in England'.
I eventually found a view from the banks that I liked.
I suggested that the triathlon could be featured in a very subtle way in the central distance. So in the centre of this landscape, you will see some activity of people in sporting effort in the triathlon.
The chance element that occurs in this painting is the lovers on the bank.
The Painting Process
I knew that this paintings creation was going to be recorded by a timelapse camera so I designed it accordingly. I used an English red base colour for the canvas. This is an actual colour name which is like the colour of red brick. It worked well as a ground against which a blue sky could be added. I took many photographs in preparation.
The majority of the painting of Blenheim happened over the two days, from life. As I had prepared everything beforehand I roughly knew the steps I would take. I added the finishing touches in my studio.
If you watch the timelapse here, what you may notice is how much the painting changes as I paint it. The sky was changing all the time. It was breezy, sometimes inclement. I wanted a feeling of movement and the breeze. Everything is moving in the image to reflect the energy of what is happening in the Triathlon in the background.
The final sky is a distillation of everything I saw and something over that time.
It is rumbustious and typically British. Sometimes the brightest day doth have a cloud as Shakespeare said.
Lord Jamie Blandford bought this painting after it had been commissioned by General Electric and it now hangs in Blenheim Palace.