Tuesday, 29 September 2015

AVA 'Along The Track' and 'Wild Life'

The studio is at last nearing completion and I am looking forward to painting at leisure in it when all the 'stuff' gets unpacked.
In the interim, I share with you the last two weeks at Avon Valley artists Group. They are not spectacular paintings but there are bits of bath that I am quite pleased with, and lots of room for improvement for me to work at.
Firstly, the subject was 'Along the Track' and I selected a photo taken along the local disused railway line which id now a lovely walk between trees.

This last week it was time for some 'Wild Life' and I chose to paint a sedge warbler, mainly because I was attracted to the lovely sprays of sedge in the picture which I found in an old copy of a wildlife magazine.

Both paintings were done on Fabriano's Artistico Extra White 300gm paper with my usual palette of colours

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Playing with Texture

Every now and then, I have this urge to break away from the norm and try something new. I use the Avon Valley Artists group as a time to try out these new things, not least because I respect their comments, both positive and negative (in the nicest possible way!)

The studio is completely upside down, undergoing a major restructure, so it was a case of whatever I could lay my hands on, and as the subject was 'Flowers', too much resource material was not required.

I used a piece of heavy paper as I felt there was going to be lots of water involved, and I collected scrim, gesso, gauze, and cling film to provide the textural imput.

I pasted the scrim, gauze and gesso onto the paper, especially on the LH side of the sheet, and when they had dried, I washed over the paper in three distinct bands of colour, and covered it with cling film, pulled into vaguely stem shapes.
 I left the whole thing to dry over night.

I lightly sketched  a stem of foxgloves in the central gap, but became aware that if I continued in this way, I was in danger of producing a 'copy' of a well known artists piece of work
I'm not sure how this came about; maybe I had seen the piece recently and subconsciously been influenced by it.
Anyway, I changed the flowers to simple daisy shapes and painted these the paper in a freehand way.

I kept adding the flowers until I felt the balance was right, and added the centres and a good deal of splatter, and it was time to finish. Not my finest hour, but an interesting exercise, and as usual, lots of fun to do.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Hollyhocks and AVA starts again!

Hi everybody!

I am so sorry that the blog has been quiet for so long, but I think I must be getting back to normal, as I have been thinking about painting again.

The garden is beginning to lose  a lot of colour, although I notice that the roses may be about to give me a second showing. Poking above it all, I can see the top heads of the Hollyhocks, opening their last few flowers, and they seemed a simple and pleasing  subject to get me back into the habit of painting.
There is nothing complicated about what I did to achieve this painting, just a simple series of washes, letting them dry thoroughly where I did not want colours to bleed, and in this instance painting the background after completing the basic shapes of the flowers. ( The question of when I paint my backgrounds was the  most asked question at my recent exhibition in the Cathedral at Wells)

The leaves were darker than the painting, but I kept them deliberately light as I wanted the whole painting to be very delicate. Maybe that, in hindsight, was a mistake, but I could darken them even now if I decide to do so at a later date.

Paints and paper were as usual, Fabriano Artistico Extra White, 300 gm.


By complete contrast, Avon Valley Artists met formally for the first time since the summer recess ( they continued throughout the summer months to meet, but without any programme of subjects0
and of all things, the subject was Transport/machinery.
Having not painted for a couple of months, there could have been nothing further outside my comfort zone than that. So my instant reaction is to tighten up and paint far to 'realistically' for my taste, but I post the result so that anyone who has the same problem can see that it happens to lots of us!

'Approaching Train'
The train was like painting by numbers and is as tight as I could make it, but I did have fun with the steam, the major reason why I selected this photo!!