I hope you all have a happy and safe New Year's night tonight.
Monday, 31 December 2007
I hope you all have a happy and safe New Year's night tonight.
Sunday, 30 December 2007
Saturday, 29 December 2007
Friday, 28 December 2007
I've also added a new list to my blog of art suppliers I use. More about them later.
Wednesday, 26 December 2007
My wonderful hubby rung me a few weeks ago whilst he was working in London, sounding very excited, to say he'd visited an art store and had chosen some gifts which he thought I'd love. Being excited about Christmas, or anything else really, is most unlike my hubby in general, so I was curious to find out what he'd bought.
When Christmas day came, I could tell he was excited again as I unwrapped my parcels (taking turn with him and the kids, as is tradition for us), and I found he'd given me a great selection of quality pencils, inks and sketchbooks. I was delighted, and told him as much.
In addition, the kids had given a canvas bag for me to carry my art gear around in, with great big deep pockets to keep things safe, and hubby had also given me a very compact digital camera, as my SLR digital camera is very bulky and, as such, is left at home on most outings, which is a missed opportunity when I come across things I want to make a record of. He is so thoughtful, which I forget sometimes as he's not the most expressive of people. What a gem he is, and how he understands me.
My cousin Amy made me a teeny blue sock monkey, who's job it is now to look after my art bag at all times. I've called him Terry, after the chocolate oranges the kids and hubby got from Santa.
I also got a staple gun from my big sister, so I'm now armed and dangerous. She didn't buy me any elastoplasts or germolene, so they must think I can handle it.
My younger sister gave us a selection of family board games; a superb idea which I hope she'll continue in future years.
So I've spent Boxing Day drawing in my new journal, playing Buckaroo at my auntie & cousins house, and eating lots of cheese that smells like my hubby's feet whilst watching the Doctor Who Christmas Special. Gangan (my dad) arrives tomorrow, so there'll be more present-giving to be done. I hope you all had a great day and are enjoying this holiday as much as we are here in Roker.
Monday, 24 December 2007
Sunday, 16 December 2007
Saturday, 15 December 2007
Monday, 10 December 2007
I've been fabric-painting on cotton sweatshirts for the kids, characters from books mostly. And I've been framing drawings for my dad. My younger sister is about the only person with a bought gift this year, though that was bought from the craft shop attached to Sunderland Library, so there's love and thought behind that one too.
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
Thursday, 29 November 2007
Monday, 26 November 2007
Sunday, 25 November 2007
Also, the whites in the upper areas weren't white but a very pale grey, the only area of true white was near the skyline where the sun was shining, under lighting the clouds. I won't change the painting at this stage as the paint is still very wet. I may put a slight grey tint over them when the paint's cured more.
In the next one the roofs will be on a smaller scale so that the sky looks even bigger.
The photo has pixilated the colours, but if you send me $5,000.00 I'll be happy send it to you, if you agree to pay the postage.
Saturday, 24 November 2007
Friday, 23 November 2007
When running downhill very fast, if you stop to think, then you'll fall over. That was the sensation I had when I was painting this. I think I held my breath for those 2 hours.
Thursday, 22 November 2007
Then, starting top left where the deep grey cloud bank was, I worked my way gradually down. I worked with my eyes half-shut sometimes at this early stage to sketch in the areas of deepest greys and blues. I was amazed at how twisting and contorted some of the areas of cloud were.
Wednesday, 21 November 2007
Monday, 19 November 2007
Sunday, 18 November 2007
Friday, 16 November 2007
Thursday, 15 November 2007
Sunday, 11 November 2007
Today is the first time I've really thought about all the services held at this time of year, and it's the first time I've ever bought a poppy.
I have always considered myself a pacifist. And I have never involved myself in Remembrance Sunday because I have never been able to reconcile my own personal feelings about war and violent conflict with the idea of celebrating the fact that men and women have died for mine and other's freedom.
But this year, earlier this week, it clicked for me. It was a simple poster I saw of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, and the words were along the lines of 'Remember those who lost their lives in conflict'. It didn't mention any specific war, battle, or period of time, or whether it were referring to soldiers or civilians, or to guerrilla action, terrorism, oppressive dictators.....
Anyway, as I've done no painting today, only spent time with my immediate family, I thought I should still post something, and this is what has been at the back of my mind today.
Lest we forget.
Thursday, 8 November 2007
My favorite there I was a lively and engaging study by Perdita Sinclair called 'Aileen'. The two others I loved were 'The King of Spain' by Diarmuid Kelley, and 'Christa' by Jaime Valero Perandones. They're all on the National Portrait Gallery site, as I've just found.
Photo-realism was popular, but some left me cold. The winning portrait was a large painting of an elderly gentleman. Although this one could also be descibed as photo-realism, rather than just reproducing what was seen the artist also put a lot of atmosphere and feeling into the painting. It wouldn't have been my personal choice to win, but I don't disagree passionately with the decision.
It didn't make me want to seek out more of his works though, like the Perdita Sinclair one did.
Wednesday, 7 November 2007
I am very excited. VERY excited. In fact I'm driving my hubby mad because of it.
Today, as I drove into work after dropping the kids at the childminder's I had to turn off the radio because I found it distracting. There was something in my head, and I didn't know what, and I needed time to think. So I thought. And I looked. And I thought some more. You know, I really shouldn't do that whilst driving; it's just not safe.
And then it came to me, in an expansive and awe-inspiring and urgent way.
When I pulled up in the car park I started drawing, too tight to start off with, and then I got it, and I would have carried on all morning, only I had to get into work.
As I drove home, I was bitten by it again, and by the time I got home I was fit to burst and was jibbering excitedly to my husband after a brief peck hello.
So, here's one preliminary sketch and, in the words of Rolf Harris "can you tell what it is yet?".
Tomorrow I'm intending to put brush to canvas, and maybe charcoal to paper. But for now you'll just have to trust me. This is going to be big. In fact I can't think of a subject matter that's much bigger. Any ideas yet?
Tuesday, 6 November 2007
Monday, 5 November 2007
While wandering round the Leopold Collection, I walked into a room and was drawn into a corner by a painting called 'Man with a fur cap (my brother the animal)' by Albert Birkle. The contract with light and dark, the strength of the painting just gripped me. Here's the drawing I did whilst stood looking at it. Unfortunately I can't find a reproduction of it, but the weaselly face, the depth of colour in the dark background, the strength of drawing beneath the painting, evident in the ears and eyes. I sound like a late night channel 4 arts programme, and I feel like I should be wearing a black polo neck under a grey jacket. But I mean all I say.
It's coming across paintings like these that make me want to visit every art gallery I can.
Oh, and if you read about a theft of a dozen or so works from the Leopold galley, it'll have been me. I should create my own fantasy art collection.
Sunday, 4 November 2007
It's good to get things out of my head and down onto paper, and it's good to have them all in one place, where I know they are, instead of on scraps of paper all round the house. Keeping a journal has also helped cement the idea that my thoughts and ideas, sketches, observations, hopes, regrets, and all part of an ongoing creative process for me.
Saturday, 3 November 2007
At The Leopold Museum, Vienna, I also saw 'House With A Shingle Roof', an oil painting of a house in his mother's home town. I had no idea that Schiele had painted such strong landscapes. The tiles on the roof were a multitude of colours, but were unified by the graphic black outlines. Again, I stood there for an age peering at it. Then I started drawing it, working from the left hand side, and I started to realise what a complex composition it was.
The museum shop had a very good postcard, which I bought, but I've been unable to find a good picture on-line to put on the blog, so instead I've posted my study, partly done from the original painting, then using the postcard.
Friday, 2 November 2007
Thursday, 1 November 2007
Well, he kindly obliged to be photographed by my dad, and here are some preparatory sketches I've done so far. I also did an ink drawing, but I'd mailed it to my dad before it occurred to me to photograph it for this blog. Because I'm a nincompoop!
It struck me to do some lino prints from the studies. None of the photos have inspired me to do an oil painting. Maybe when I next visit Eire I'll ask him if he'd pose for me in his work van, or in dad's woodwork shop. He strikes me as a great 'Poseidon' maybe.
Sunday, 14 October 2007
I'm know in trouble for not updating my blog for yonks.
What have I been doing all this time? Reading about art in Vienna, because I'm visiting there soon. Staring a journal, because of a great book I recently read called 'The Creative Licence, giving yourself permission to be the artist you really are', which is quite a light read, but has extended my concept of what a sketchbook is, what's it's there for. It's also widened what I 'allow' myself to put in mine.
There will be pictures to follow soon, but I just wanted to update my blog today. I'm working in bursts, but I'd like the blog to be a more regular thing I do. So I'm going to extend slightly what I include in it. Instead of just my drawings and paintings, I'm going to include a whole range of creative experiences I have - from books that inspire me, or exhibitions I visit, to ideas I have and what I'd like to do in the future creatively.
Saturday, 22 September 2007
Here's the lastest stage on my self portrait. I'm very happy with the nose and chin, and the far cheek, but the mouth needs some work and I'd kindly ask you to ignore the eye for the time being. When I was working round the eye and forehead I found I needed to blank out some of the underpainting with the background colour. Whilst doing this I decided to paint in some texture on the background - verticals to the right and some ceiling along the top.
Having just added the image to this post I can see there's still more structural changes to be made. But I felt I was getting to grips with the paint this morning. So much so that, having tonked off some thick paint from the forehead, I found I'd over tonked the chin so that the under painting was showing through more than I'd wanted. That's life, as they say. Or, as the French say 'Une absinthe, garcon!'.
Wednesday, 19 September 2007
Having taken another look at the under painting I saw that the planes of the face weren't clear, so I brushed on ultramarine blue and lemon yellow, as they go on thinly and dry quickly, to map out the main shadows and highlights. I'm lighting my face with a spotlight mounted on the top of my easel, with a mirror propped next to the canvas, so my head is only about a foot or two away from the canvas I'm working on.
Sunday, 16 September 2007
I've started on a self portrait in oils today. I found that I was frowned when concentrating furiously, and I liked the wrinkles at gave me. So I stopped painting and did a charcoal study. Then I continued the under painting, tonking* at the end to remove the thickness
I'm excited to see how it will end up, and I hope Bill in Ballaugh will bear with me during these early stages.
* Tonking is laying paper over the painting and rubbing all over with a scrunched up tissue, so that the thickness of paint transfers to the paper, leaving only a thin layer of paint but still most of the detail, on the canvas. This enables the paint to dry relatively quickly to enable you to get on with the next stage, and stops a huge build up of paint in the early states when working fat on lean - which I'll explain another day.
Friday, 14 September 2007
Well, here's the finished painting. Thank you to my fantastic hubby who was there to keep me free of distractions while I worked on this.
The last few hours I managed to work on it in my back garden on the lightweight easel I have, so I was in daylight, and not under striplights. Now I want to rip off the roof of the garage and cover it in clear corrigated PVC stuff, to let the light in. In my dreams I think. Actually, in my dreams I'm in an airy attic studio at the back of a hugh victorian terraced house, with the windows open, and the sounds of the kids playing in the garden filtering through a massive cherry tree, the smell of coffee on a hotplate, hubby in the kitchen preparing the fish for dinner....... I have some great dreams.
But don't knock the reality; I have a room of my own, time to paint, money to buy paint, I have my health, so I can paint. Life is good.
I didn't want to start another project, with two already on the go, so I'm working again on La Mothe, and it's coming on well.
Today I started work on the hotel facade, to get that cracked, defining the roof, balconies and metal work detail. Then I moved to the pavement and shadows there, and lastly I've gone over the tree branches, as they're key to tie it all in.
Next I'll finish the foliage and highlights to the foreground, and I think I'll be done.
It's started to take on a life of it's own, and I'm finding myself looking more at the painting than the photo I'm working from. I'm also checking it out with my eyes unfocused, to see if I'm achieving a sense of depth.
Now I see it on screen I don't like the roof, and the house on the left is too bright. I also think the sky is too dark, too 'blue' but I don't want to have to over paint it, or it'll fudge the branches. Damn. We live and learn. Maybe I could add a wash to the sky to make it even darker, so the house really stands out!
Any suggestions anyone?