Emerge Progress with Paul Foxton

My favorite work

Mail from Paul:

November 20 2023

Hi Michele,

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to where we start with this. In a lot of ways, it’s been more difficult for me to see a clear way forward for us. But that also makes your program the most interesting to me – because it’s the most challenging.

So, the most interesting thing that stood out for me when we were talking was the treatment of the light.

The reason I think this is interesting is that it can enfold all the other things we talked about within it, if we approach it right.

I have some ideas for more expressive and explorative ways to light setups that I’d like to try with you. This would mean me putting together setups for you, from which you could choose ones that particularly interested you to try.

It’s hard for me to get this across without any visual reference, so I think that’s probably the best place for us to start.

So, I want to put together some trial set ups and references that I think will open things up a bit for you whilst being aligned with these things:

  • Light
  • Shape (i.e. design)
  • Space

From there I’d like to start producing initial compositions from the ones you choose, see which of those resonate most for you, and then push those further.

Hopefully in this way, we can start wide and then refine as we go. What I’m hoping to move towards for you, more than finished pieces, is for you to have an approach that will allow you to be a bit more explorative in your setups (also how you treat them) when you want it. So, assuming you like the ideas I’ve got for the set ups, I’ll share with you how I put them together so that you can do some too.

I’m hoping that we’ll be able to push much more into abstraction and texture in large areas, and I want to give you the licence to do that within the program, with pieces that only you and I see to begin with.

I realise that this probably sounds a little vague at this point! I have a mental image of what these initial references will look like, what they will include, that obviously you won’t have until you see them – so I think that if I can put some ideas together over the next week, and share some pics with you, we can perhaps have another zoom chat then.

I do want to see you painting some new stuff that’s different to what you’d usually do as soon as we can, but I want to make sure that we’re heading in a direction that’s going to work.

How does this sound? 

Best wishes,


On 2023-11-29 14:29, Paul Foxton wrote:

Hi Michele,

A few reference photos here I’ve been playing with, looking for light
and shadow shapes that go a way beyond the usual form light.

There’s a time of day in the new studio, when it’s a clear and sunny
day, when something quite magical happens to the light. I’ve been
taking a few photos and playing with cropping them different ways.

What do you think of these? I was thinking that something similar
might be interesting for us to work on as part of the program for you. Something lit this way, at least – these are
kind of exploratory pics.

The purple rose one was taken in the old studio before I moved, which
could have a similar kind of light sometimes.

Also I’ve included a piece I’ve just started, the wipe-out stage, from
a ref photo taken in the same light, but a little later. The photo is
grainy since the light was fading ans I had to bump up the ISO to get
an image. I thought you might be interested to see what I’m beginning
to try with these images. Scraping and scratching stage will be next

My Thoughts:

Where do I want the oil painting to go?

What can I not convey that I want to convey?

What do I want to convey?

What do I want to experiment with?

Different lighting.    High-key,  low-key,  compressed values.  Soft edges.

And what do I want to do?  Lots of light.   Dramatic setups with large high-key low chroma areas and smaller high chroma areas with deep shadows.

Paul’s Reference Photos

My Wipeouts and Second Layers

Zoom Call December 19th 2023