[7] Peter Doig

“Maybe the surface is an abstraction of the memory of being in a certain frame of mind under certain weather conditions and in certain places.” -Doig

His somewhat abstract landscapes take me to a dreamland, a paradise. His use of broken colour, bleeding and contrast creates an enchanted landscape. They are striking and his use of subtle mark-making shows his imagination whilst painting the landscape from photographs. Doig is a jewel of genuine imagination, sincere work and humble creativity, his paintings influence me as they take my mind to far-off, forgotten places. Tranquillity and magic are apparent in his landscapes, they make me feel calm and fascinated.

They remind me of dreams and happy memories. How your mind remembers a memory and the happier the memory the more vivid and magical it appears, I want to incorporate personal feelings from my car journeys in my portrayals. I believe this reference will help me to explore my own imagination through the representation of the landscape, my aim being to use Doig as an influence to create magical landscapes with a sense of movement and ambiguity. There is no question that his representations of the tall linear trees and white snow in some of his landscapes (especially the skiing paintings) which were painted in London, influenced by his years in Canada, an already beautiful country which has been enhanced by his imagination and dazzling mark making.

“Doig’s paintings are noted for their intriguing balance of figuration and abstract surface qualities. Often working from photographs and films, Doig uses a broad range of subjects, exploring the general theme of man’s relation with his environment.”


Doig uses photographs to paint from, often paint would get spilt or sprayed onto them. This would add an unexpected layer that he would then refer to. The reality of the original is less constricting and provides an opening. It takes the reality away from the photograph and turns it into a more abstracted image. He experiments with the material he uses to paint with, he thinks about the effect of a material and how that could be used to suggest weather or describe the conditions of weather.

I am most drawn to Doig’s use of colour. The colours he uses compliment each other and conveys a mythical scene rather than a scene from reality.  His small specks of vibrant colour and his blotted parts make the paintings seem as if they’re taken from a memory and are euphoric. For my own paintings, I want to explore my use of colour in a similar way to Doig, I think that because of the concept I am aiming to portray it seems necessary. I am documenting my landscapes through my eyes as a transcendence, a physical and spiritual journey back to my home.

Peter Doig. “Gasthof zur Muldentalsperre” 2000
Peter Doig. “Blotter” 1993
Peter Doig. “Red Deer” 1990

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18 years old, first year fine art student in Cardiff :)

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