Thursday, 25 July 2013

Table Mats

Sorry the blog has been a bit quiet of late, but I have been away for a bit of a break and am now fully occupied with preparations for the 10 day exhibition in Wells Cathedral. I have started a new painting which I intended to finish at Art group this morning, but when I got there, I found that it was the week when others were using our space. We had been warned but it had completely slipped my memory. I will try to finish it this week at home, but it is pretty hectic.

Not only do I exhibit framed and unframed paintings, but I also sell boxes of cards. Its a great way of 'doing' something with paintings when they are finished.
I thought I would share with you something new that I am testing this year. I have produced a set of 4 laminated table mats using 4 of my paintings.

I started by selecting 4 paintings which I thought went reasonably well together. I added an appropriate coloured border using the paint programme on my pc and printed them out on a standard office printer on an inexpensive 120gm matt inkjet paper.

I also printed little labels for each design to go on the back of the mat in the same way as you would print info on the back of a greetings card.

I places the A4 print in the centre of the A3 sheet and slid it between the sheets of the laminating pouch. This is the tricky bit as its really important that the image does not slip out of place.Once it is firmly between the two sheets, its fine as static stops it from shifting. I then turned it over and slipped the little information slip beneath the under sheet and the back of the mat and then fed the whole thing through a standard office laminating machine.

I fed each mat through twice to ensure a good seal and the job was done. All that remained was to wrap the four mats in the same plastic sheet that I use to wrap unframed pictures, and create a little label to stick on the front of each pack.

As this is a new project, I have only made 5 lots. If they sell well I will increase the number next year, and if they don't I will give them as presents to family and friends!

To go in the pack, I chose the following 4 designs.

My apologies if it is a while before anything else new appears but I am unlikely to do much painting over the next two or three weeks!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Rose Hips

Since my last painting, life has been a bit hectic, but I did want to produce something half reasonable after the less than successful experimental work . Because it has been so busy, I am afraid I did not take the time to photograph the various stages. I will try to give a brief outline of how I proceeded.

I began with the background colours except the bright red in the middle. I needed this to be as clean as possible so avoided adding it to the initial wash. When I was satisfied with the initial was, remembering that it would dry considerably lighter, I covered the wet paint, (Indigo, Apatite Green Genuine, Quinachridone Rust and Cadmium Yellow ) with a well crumpled sheet of cling film.
I allowed it to dry completely and then added the passage of Pyroll Red through the middle. Again, I allowed it to dry.

I then simply used the shapes created by the cling film to paint in the hips and the leaves, varying the amount of colour as much as possible to create some depth in the painting. I did try to wash out a little the lower edge of the red wash, but it is such a staining pigment, that I had little success. I will have to live with it.

Thursday, 4 July 2013


Time to experiment a little more. I have just been to Ann Blockley's exhibition in the Cotswolds and came home fired with enthusiasm. I also came across a technique whereby you crumple up a piece of greaseproof paper, then add paint to the ridges of the creases and then press it onto a sheet of dry paper to produce interesting shapes for undergrowth etc.9 I have lent out the book, but will give you more details when it is returned to me) I thought it was worth a go, but do not be fooled by what looks simple when the experts do it!!!

I had a go at using a variety of semi abstract ideas to paint a woodland scene, including the crumpled paper (in the foreground) and creating twiggy bits by blowing through a straw.

I did not know when to admit defeat, and so wasted paint and effort, when I could have given up and started something else. I will not, however be defeated in the long term, as it is really interesting to try these odd processes to create interesting and textured paintings. But it is a case of accepting that lots of time and effort will need to be spent on refining them to produce anything like the result I was hoping to achieve.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Corn Field

Another lovely uninterupted 2 hours to try something a bit loose at Avon Valley Artists last Thursday. This time I wanted to create a field of corn and summer poppies. I have not done much of this so I knew it would only be experimental, but I was sure there would be some discoveries that I could use in the future.

The idea was to create a series of random lines to act as the grasses and then to over paint the ears of corn and drop in very loose red poppies. In the past I have had trouble blending red and green together so I tried to think of a way to keep the two colours from running into each other.

The background was created by wetting the paper and then dropping in small puddles of paint at the edges and blowing them across the paper with a drinking straw. This is a very good way of producing twiggy shapes! Whilst it was still wet, I used a tissue to remove small ares of paint which would be the clean spaces into which I would paint the poppies.
I then covered the sheet with crumpled cling film and left it to dry. During the whole of this process, I consciously tried to take the eye into the centre of the paper, making it look as if the viewer is lying on the ground.

When completely dry, I painted in ears of corn, sundry grasses and the red poppies with almost darker centres.

                                            Fabriano Artistico Extra White, Rough and a
                                               selection of borrowed paints as I forgot
                                                                my palette