the Blue path painting collection

View the the Blue path painting collection

The Winter 2020 marks the twenty fifth anniversary of the creation of paintings that would become known as the Blue Path. Created by the English International Artist Denis Taylor. 

It was an art exhibition that was first mounted in Stockholm Sweden in 1996 and consisted of some 32 water colours and a number of large oil paintings. Subsequently the Blue Path was exhibited three more times in the UK and Sweden, the last being 2007 in Manchester UK. 

They are now available as Signed  Limited Editions framed high quality giclée reproductions, printed in Sweden and framed with an Oak wooden frame with a passépartout. These limited signed reproductions are limited to 20 issues from each image and the cost is £245 each

signed limited editions -art of Denis Taylor

Catalogue for the exhibition is below: Tip…click on the angled arrows to the right of the green background to go to full screen:

Here is part of an interview given by the artist in Manchester 2007 at a retrospective exhibition (the last time the Blue path was exhibited).

How did the Blue Path paintings came about ?

“…the Blue path came about after I had visited with my girlfriend (Marianne) who lived in Stockholm, in a City apartment.  I came over from Greece, where I had my studio. I was invited to exhibit  two exhibitions of my [Greek] work in Stockholm City. The shows ran for three weeks which meant spending a lot of time in the large Swedish Capital, which was Ok but,  became too much for me.  I’d escaped the big city life in Manchester, many years before and had rejected it for the solitude. I needed to create and live devoid of any other influence other than the creative force of nature. I felt as though I had forsaken my vow never to live in a city again.”

How did you get to Vaxholm and start this project?

Luckily, Marianne exchanged her apartment for one on an island [Vaxholm]  – And I was happy for us to stay there, while continuing to exhibit in Sweden. We had planned to return to Greece and my Studio villa. So staying in Vaxholm was a compromise for me to extend my time in Sweden and mount more exhibitions.  Neither I nor Marianne really knew if it would work out. 

The first obstacle to overcome was the lack of studio space available in the small archipelago town. The local artists community rather suspicious of outsider artists (especially non-Swedes) But I needed to paint. (perhaps only painters will understand that overpowering need ?). 

Why did you decided on watercolour paintings?

After some thought I decided to treat the lack of studio space as a positive outcome. By chance I came across a great art book from the Vaxholm library I had strayed across. The book was the complete  (lifetime) watercolours of  J.M.W Turner. This gave me the inspiration and the idea to start a series of water colours based on the beautiful environment that I had moved into.”

What music did you listen to?

“I went for the Classic, four seasons, by Vivaldi, it seemed appropriate.”

How did you decide where to start?

Marianne had shown the area on the Vaxholm island, so I started there on a place called Ekrisö This led on to another strip of land called Bogusund. I was really taken with the peace, quiet and the simple beauty of the colour contrasts of sky, water and land.”

How did the name ‘The Blue Path’ come about?

“the name ‘Blue Path’ was the first thing I wrote in in my sketch book on the first day of my solo walks. The name derived from the way the community had this idea to mark paths in the archipelago with a colour code (to avoid people getting lost or of overtaxing themselves I guess).         Yellow was a short walk. Green was a medium walk and Blue was a long walk. Initially I followed the path marked out (on the trees) with a blue circle of paint. After a while I sort of created my own path, which encompassed the many small islands in the Vaxholm and Stockholm archipelago, ones that could be reached by foot bridge or ferry, but the original title for the completed project sort of stuck.” 

How did your process progress?

“I read that Turner book voraciously. It was a full explanation of how he painted watercolours. The essence of which was to make quick topographical sketches and then develop these with pure imagination whilst painting. Turner would prepare four or five mounted edge fixed paper supports on board and start the process by laying in a base colour that would dictate the time of day, the weather and so on.  He kept creating his water colour paintings of a specific size and style. The small kitchen table in the new apartment Marianne and I had moved to would prove to be the ideal space to create this type of work.

After the extensive walks around the island of Vaxholm and topographical sketches (just as Turner had done on his European tours). I wore headphones and played Vivaldi  each time I ventured out into the stunning natural environment. Each week I painted four  at one sitting and listened to the same music that I had sketched to. This was an experiment to see if I could transpose the subconscious feeling and atmosphere from reality to paint on paper.”

You painted 32 watercolour up to 2005 – why did you stop?

“Honestly, I became tired from too much of a good thing and needed a challenge. I’d made a friend with a younger man who like me, was a stranger in the Town. He wanted to live in an apartment – which was literally around the corner from where Marianne and I stayed. But the rent was a little too much – So, I offered to pay one third of it if I could use the large bedroom as a studio – I needed to paint in oil again. Thankfully he agreed in around the end of April – and I used the studio when I wanted from May 1995 on wards.”

So is that where you painted “Stepping Stones.?”

“Yes, that’s right. The bedroom was a good size – but I wanted to paint big So it was going to be very difficult to see it as it happened when I was making on a canvas of that size [Denis pointing to the painting Stepping Stones] – So, the water colour gave me a sort extended subconscious advantage – I didn’t need to sketch, nor work out a composition or have anything in my mind at all – I just slapped on blue paint and kept working – I sort of knew what the the stroke [of paint] was right and where it should go. It was the first time I had experienced this so strong – so sure of my inner self – I allowed the creative power to work and enjoy itself – and I played music to my conscious self.”

What music?

“..the album Ten by Pearl Jam.”

Did you exhibit the paintings of the Blue Path?

Sure, many times – 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and  – and 2004 (Mulberry Gallery Dorset), and now here in Manchester [2007].

Go to the exhibition click here

Tubes have websites with magazines, catalogues and Artists Solo exhibitions – please click the following links:

Magazines: painters TUBES magazines 18 issues

Catalogues: Tubes Catalogues and artists interviews

Online VR Galleries in the UK

the Blue path painting collection

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