Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Afternoon on the Water

The best things seem to happen without being planned.  I had worked all morning and was walking the dog, down through the woods, into the little village of Helford then up past the Sailing Club when I was ambushed and persuaded to go out on our little boat.
What a beautiful day, sun sparkling on the water, a light breeze.  I found some old watercolour crayons, some paper, and a scrappy old brush, the dogs bowl for water and did some sketching.  It soon gave way to a bit of dozing in the sun, sipping white wine from an old tin mug and generally relaxing.
We saw a flock of gannets falling out of the sky over and over again, diving on mackerel.  We saw dolphins leaping through the water, so fast, in joyful packs.
Big Dave does all the work, reefing jibs and hauling mainsails, I am still telling myself that I will learn to sail one day, too busy drawing right now, oh yes and snoozing, and being generally lazy.  We sailed right across the bay to Falmouth, where we went ashore, like salty sea dogs and had a supper of the finest fish and chips from Rick Stine's fish restaurant and then a beer overlooking the harbour.
   We came home just as the sun was dipping behind the trees on the Helford river, bowing out on the longest day of the year.

Monday, 21 June 2010

The Thames at Embankment

Charing Cross Bridge & Parliament from Cleopatra's Needle, on the Embankment
11.5" x 17", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Large Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I have a fascination with trying to find the spot where Monet painted the Thames and the Houses of Parliament from the west (as opposed to from the opposite bank in the room he had at St Thomas Hospital).  This is too far west because ths sketch of Embankment Pier was done from the base of Cleopatra's Needle.

However it does provide an excellent place to sketch the Thames without having people peering over your shoulder!  You just need to avoid being on the lower terrace when the tide is coming in!

You can read more about this sketch and location on my sketchbook blog Embankment Pier and Thames at Charing Cross

Friday, 18 June 2010

and some more fish - though stylised

Digital play with the lino below
lino cut

digital experiment

I've been working with a couple of students doing linoprints and decided to have a play myself - it's not something I do very often as I prefer collagraphs as they are more painterly.

Before it gets messy I thought I'd scan the lino into the computer and then of course couldn't resist playing with the image in Photoshop. I think I can do more with this.

Over the weekend I hope to make time to have a go at printing it in oil paints. I'm not so interested in straight roll up prints but may do some later. I like the potential of colour changes with using oils and the brush marks and textures that happen.

It might work to have a shoal of them, or a line of 3 or 5 - lots of room for experimenting.

Sam's book is progressing well but recent illustrations haven't been water so I haven't shown them here. I thought it was high time that I appeared with some water related work :>)

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Painting With a Story in Mind

This is the collection of paintings that have now headed off ready for the Summer 2010 exhibition at Beside The Wave.  With this set of paintings I have tried to let them tell a story.  It is not complicated, it is the walk down to the sea.  It is a walk that I do often, through every season and every kind of weather but here it is early summer.  To me, a walk to the sea, through rich deep green lanes and paths, past billows of wild flowers and beneath towering beech trees, is an essence of Cornwall and hopefully it will say similar things to other people, wanting to buy a little bit of that to hang up at home.
Putting the collection together as I have done here is a very useful excercise.  It lets me see what my painting habits are, what colours I rely on, what strengths and weaknesses are in my painting style, where I need to concentrate more, where I need to loosen up.  It also lets me enjoy my own work, after all this might be the last time I see these paintings, I am always sad to see them go but also very happy that they have sold.  There is nothing quite like the buzz of selling your work, (someone else likes it enough to want to live with it!)  I suppose it is a bit like children, you bring them up as well as you can, hoping that they will be lovely rounded people who want to leave home and who are nice enough to find someone else to share their lives with and be happy... but you still miss them, and you miss their littleness.  So it is with a painting, that excitement when you start, the descisions that you make that make it work, that make it stand on its own as a thing, an entity, a little window into a slightly more magical world.  Gosh!  What responsibility!
Anyway, if you dont do it already, try it, put a little collection together and see what it tells you about yourself as an artist.  It is interesting!