Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy 2010

Happy New Year to my Watery-Arty-Pals, thank you for the artistic support and encouragement.  I wish you all a very creative year, full of exciting challenges and extrodinary experiments.  I hope that in this new decade (blogger puts a spell check thing up) and we all get further along the path of paint and pastel, with pencil and pens as walking sticks.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

A star in the east

No, not another Christmas story.  This star is a sea star that I found on Middle Cove beach today.

We've had a couple of days of wild weather which whipped up the seas and sent waves crashing up the cliffs to the tree line.  It was too wet and windy to try to get photos yesterday so early this morning I bundled up and went down to the beach in Flatrock, Torbay and Middle Cove to watch the water and take some photos.

This little sea star was ripped from its ocean bed and placed on the beach, overlooked by seagulls and crows luckily.  I immediately thought - gyotaku printing! and the little fellow came home with me.

I've played around with prints on several papers, including watercolour, card, print paper and tissue.  I will continue to experiment over Christmas to see what I can come up with.  I rather like the effect on tissue paper and recall seeing some experimentation with a sort of collage technique using tissue and printing over it.  I just need to remember where I saw it!

I put a slideshow on my blog of some of the photos that were taken today and will try for a video once I can get it uploaded.

Have a wonderful holiday everyone and the best of new years.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Monday, 21 December 2009

Cold and watery Norway!

On a ship traveling northward along the Norwegian coast, earlier this month, I made sketches of some of the wondrous things and some of the ordinary things I saw. Here are a few of these sketches. Norway, night harborView from the ship, coast of NorwayNorway, first day of my coastal voyageNorway, Alesund harbor lighthouseNorway, Bergen fishmarketEn route to Nordkap, Norway On this cold and wintry note, I wish you all happy holidays and a brisk, stimulating year of wonders ahead!

Monday, 14 December 2009

Winter blues

The north Atlantic in winter is a formidable place that has taken its toll on many ships and many lives. In winter, the ocean takes on a wilder, freer form in terms of strength, form and colour.

A visit to a local beach gave me inspiration for a sketch which then turned into a painting.  The sketch was started on a piece of gessoed terraskin paper that I hadn't meant to use, but was at hand at the moment.  I hadn't sanded the surface so the resulting lines almost make it look like it was raining.  However, as a sketch it worked to keep the scene fresh in my head.

The watercolour is a crop of this same wave.  The light was fading that day, nearing twilight and increasing the depth of colour in the water, turning it inky in the shadows.  The foam sprayed upward with the force of the wave hitting the shore and being carried by the wind.  It made me think of those lost at sea and how cold and impossible it would have seemed to be caught in that, making me glad I was standing on the shore.

There is a tangible reminder of the reality of such a situation on the province's north coast at Martin's Cove, where the skeleton of the SS Ethie still remains washed up on the beach and the legend of Hero, the phantom dog.
In 1919, the Reid Company steamer, Ethie, was transporting cargo and passengers up and down the West Coast of Newfoundland between Bonne Bay and Battle Harbour, Labrador. She left Cow Head fully laden at 8:00 p.m. on December 10, heading for Bonne Bay. Shortly afterwards, she ran into one of the worst blizzards ever recorded in that area. The crew slaved all night to keep the engines stoked, heading northwest away from rocky coastline, but at daybreak they had made no progress at all and fuel was low. The decks were swept clean of cargo, the life boats damaged or lost, and a thick rind of ice covered everything from deck to mast top, including livestock lashed to the deck. All seemed doomed. But Walter Young, the purser, knew of one spot where they might manage to beach. Captain Edward English made the courageous decision to steer for the sandy cove tucked behind Martin’s Point. Around noon, he thrust the ship on to the sharp-ridged reef, known as The Whaleback, at its entrance. A surging wave carried the ship up and over the reef and jammed it on the rocks; but a hundred yards of raging sea still boiled between ship and shore.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Lavender, Viridian and Amber: Dawn


finished (?) painting

I've been incredibly stretched lately with family ill health, exams and not feeling great myself :>( so sorry for my absence.

Today was the first day painting for ages. This is a Christmas present for my eldest daughter who has moved to a new home and decided to have 'white walls and lots of seascapes'. mmmm

This is based on sketches done in Cornwall, combining elements of several - and choosing the images for the colours - to match her rather gorgeous eau de nil/pale jade curtains 8>O !

Unusually for me it's entirely in acrylic. I started out in acrylic inks and then moved on to acrylic paint. At some point I may do some canvasses based on the details as I like their simplicity. I think I would have to use oils for those ...... or .... maybe not. I actually quite liked using these today, whereas I don't normally complete a painting in them because I get to a stage where I just need oils.

It was done with Liquitex acrylics and I really like their texture for the way I work. I also like the way the plastic caps don't get grunged up and refuse to go on again like many metal tubes :>)

I know Tina loves her acrylics and gets incredibly subtle veils of paint with them - how about you?