Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Finding the swan

12 x 36"  acrylics

Sometimes it is difficult to move past the ugly stage of a painting.  Often it takes some time to pass before the mood and inspiration comes to help ease it along to where it should be.  Most pieces have their swan in them, it just takes a bit of coaxing sometimes to get it out into the open.

I thought I'd share the final images of a couple of pieces that I showed here in varying stages which are now complete.

The first, Landwash, is in acrylics on a 12" x 36" gallery canvas.  From the last piece I had shown here I added some glazes of colour to the sea and shore to give it interest and break up the expanse of silvery water.  The sun hitting high points of the water and glittering across the surface completed it.

Earth's Eye
6 x 12 oils

The second piece was a study of a the water surface from an image taken at Gallow's Cove Pond late last summer.  I had put down the values and hadn't done much more with it, posting it here with another reflective water surface painting.   I hauled the canvas out again and added some detail to it.  The painting was done in oils on a reclaimed canvas 6 x 12" and the surface was a little uneven, so this will likely remain a study.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

River and hills: Experimenting with an old collagraph cut off

River and Hills, 14x 4 inches, collagraph and cp, Vivien Blackburn

details to see the texture:

I came across this 14x4 inch collagraph in the 'do-something-with-this-later' drawer. I think it was an offcut from a larger collagraph plate, cropped before it was printed and then printed with the same inks that I'd been using (green and yellow), just to see what happened.

It had originally been vertical and part of a seahorses/underwater series of printmaking. Looking at it horizontally I saw a landscape with a river winding through.

Using coloured pencils I worked on it in warm rosy hues to contrast with the cooler green. I want to darken and cool with deep blue the area around the right hand tree a little before I'll call it finished I think. What do you think?

Coloured pencil works really well over collagraphs as it gels with the graininess of the print - which I'm pretty sure was on Fabriano Rosapina paper, which has a nice velvety feel adding to the grain. I've never been happy with the results if I've used watercolour or oil over them because of the sharp difference - the way it fills in the grain unlike the printed surface.

After working a bit too tightly sometimes recently :>(, it was very freeing to simply play with an image, pulling the landscape from the abstract shapes.

If you are interested you can see other collagraphs and the process here

Monday, 7 March 2011

54 paintings later

February 2nd  7.30am
My project carries on, dragging me with it.  I am into the third month already with 54 paintings under my belt.  I have discovered gouache, or body colour, which is a medium that I haven't used for years and one that offers many possibilities for the plein air painter. 

March 2nd.  Gouache.
I have also discovered patience, enduring day after day of grey mist and very wet Cornish drizzle, then finding out that I actually love the grey misty rain.  I am patiently waiting for the Spring and in the process, I suppose because of a heightened awareness of my environment, noticing the tiniest stirrings of fresh green shoots in the woods and fields as I walk to my vantage point.

21 February  Watercolour and Gouache.
 I am trying out different techniques, finding confidence in and a familiarity with the media that I am using that I havent felt before.  I am also becoming bolder and minding not a fig what passers by think, in other words, happily inhabiting the role of "that mad artist woman"  (painting at night often brings that remark!)

February 8th.  Starry Starry Sky.
Apart from local interest I have had some from further afield and a venue for exhibiting the finished collection.  So this project, a few short months into it, has already begun to acheive much of what I had hoped it would.  As a direct result from all this painting activity, I am holding plein air painting workshops here in Cornwall throughout the summer, my blog will have the links,  if anyone is down my way, give me a shout, we can go painting together.  I shall also be at the Bristol Affordable Art Fair in May with Beside The Wave Gallery  (I link you to their blog as I am the official blog reporter!) as their token artist, if you are in the Bristol area why not visit, seek me out, I shall be there, in my best bib and tucker with a label on me for identification purposes.  Very soon I shall be making another little film, this time of the actual painting process, on location, as I am testing QR codes for use with the gallery.  I shall post the film here and, hopefully, explain the QR code properly.
As a final note though, I must say just how afferming and valuable is the interest from other bloggers, artists and non artists.  Never underestimate the value of commenting, it helps to keep me going and I know it does for other artists too.