Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Rose Bay Willow Herb

I have been dog sitting this week and have spent more time than usual at home so have been able to do a bit of extra painting.
I have been tempted over the past few weeks by the bundles of random dyed silk strips hanging on the studio door. They got moved and so the colours were slightly different. Hanging out the bottom of the bundle were some strands of the most beautiful cyclamen colour and I felt the time was right to give it a go.
I am sure I have posted a photo of the silk strands but cannot instantly find it to say which post date it is in, so I am including it again here. Sorry to repeat myself!!

These are two bundles of habutai (?) silk strips which I bought at 'Patchings Art Festival' a couple of years ago without having any idea of what I might do with them

So, using a piece of 500g paper, I roughly pasted the surface with white gesso and applied the fine strands of the silk edgings to the gesso surface. To do this, I simply ran my fingers through the strands and pulled off any loose threads. There are lots, so it is easy to do..
I tried to arrange them roughly in flowers spike shapes. Be warned.... the whole of this process is very messy on the fingers.

  At this stage it does not matter what colour they are as the silk readily absorbs the colour of the wash which is applied once the gesso is completely dry. I used a combination of Ultramarine Pink and Alizarine Pink for the flowers and Pthalo Blue, Pthalo Green and Quinachridone Gold Deep for the base.

I allowed this to dry completely and then added more paint to create the flower shapes and a bit of the undergrowth. At this stage, I thought maybe the painting was finished as it was without the silk, so I did no more.

That still left me without a silk collage so.....I repeated the process from the beginning, but once the background wash was dry, I used only the silk, cut into tiny squares to create the flowers. This gives a much more abstract look to the painting. I used pva medium to attach the fabric and then I added a little acrylic white gouche to give me a few highlights.
I think they are both finished, but I will live with them for a week or so before giving each of them an antique white mount.

It is a good job that I do not have to decide which one I prefer!!

Monday, 3 April 2017

Agave and Wisteria

This week I painted the second of the 'Flowers and Foliage' at Avon Valley artists. I chose to have another go at the sunlight on leaves and selected a picture of an Agave plant as the subject. I was quite disappointed with the result as I felt it was too tight and too contrived and lacked any real centre of interest.

I do not always expect success, so was happy to have had a lovely morning with the group and the painting will join a pile of others destined, maybe, for the bargain browser at the summer exhibition.

A direct result of the Agave effort was a desire to paint something loose and wet in wet and to have a bit of fun with the paints.
I browsed my resource box and found a number of blue and pink wisteria photos......was not aware that wisteria could be pink!

The idea was no drawing, no pre-planning and just plenty of paint and water.
On a piece of Fabriano Artistico Extra White rough paper, I sprayed plenty of water in the central area, and dropped on plenty of cobalt blue pigment. I allowed the paint to run where it felt inclined and then added a few patches of white acrylic ink to create a few muted passages and left it to dry.

The next process was very hit and miss. I used the brush head to create the flower shapes, adding darks and lights as I went along and simply created the falling fronds of the wisteria across the page. It was as simple as that.
I added a few leaves and stems at the top and a few extra darks and lights ( using the acrylic white) and I made myself stop before it became over worked.
The flowers were all produced using Ultramarine blue, ultramarine violet and acrylic white.
There is very little detail in the bulk of the flowers, only in the ends of the stems and this is only very simple blobs of paint using a smaller brush.

A very satisfying couple of hours or so. Just a bit frustrating waiting for the layers to dry!

                                                              Wisteria     27x37 cms