Friday, 28 September 2012

Felt tip drawings

I was lucky enough to be given some art materials this exciting! and as I was going through them I came across some very colourful children's washable felt tips. The range of colours in felt tip sets are generally limited and a bit garish and in this pack I only had eight colours which consisted of bright pink, red, yellow, two blues, two bright greens and a brown. Nonetheless I thought I'd see what I could do with them. The challenge was to introduce some degree of subtlety into the colouration. Although the extreme brightness of the colours can be a disadvantage, at the same time, even when water was added to the colours, they kept their vibrancy, much like ink does but unlike watercolour which has a tendency to dry lighter. They were definitely interesting and fun to use...I would recommend them! 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Sasha and Doug at the exhibition

'At the Show'
oil on board
6" x 6"

This is a painting of my daughter and husband made from a photo that I took with my phone camera at the exhibition opening last week at Gallery at St Martin's. It was a great evening with a great turnout. The wine kept flowing and needless to say a merry time was had by all! Thanks to all those of you who came along and who helped to make it such a successful evening. And thanks too to the other artists in the exhibition Janis Mitchell, Jo Slone, Jenny Hammerton and Carol was a pleasure to 'hang' alongside you! 
Getting back to the painting...this is the smallest figure painting I have attempted but I'm happyish with the outcome and plan to do more as I enjoyed introducing a bit of narrative into the work. There was quite alot to include in the composition. I wanted to keep it painterly and on such a small scale it became even more about mark-making and the old adage that I'm always spouting in my classes, 'less is more'. 

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Chloe looking very serious!

The above drawing is a 15 min study of Chloe, my grandaughter that I did yesterday. I captured her with her very serious face as she watched something on TV. Usually it's difficult to pin her down for more than 5 mins as she is always on the go like every 9 year old! So I took the opportunity to attempt a study and then worked very quickly. I also did a very quick pencil and watercolour study. It's always a challenge trying to capture a likeness in a very short time period but I find that if I don't let 'likeness' monopolise my thinking and keep focused on putting down what I see in front of me then I more often get a result in capturing something of a likeness. I tend to do alot of looking and mental noting before I put any marks down on paper especially if the sitter is someone I don't know that well. For me portraiture is a fascinating subject as it's not just a record of the sitter's appearance but also a visual interpretation of a person's inner character. It's almost magical and brings a tremendous sense of satisfaction when a portrait emerges that captures both the outer appearance of the subject and their true inner nature. 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Pepper with Lemons

'Pepper with Lemons'
oil on board
8" x 12"

Sorry this painting has been a long time coming. I managed to finish it Tuesday but was too late to photograph it. Then Wednesday I was teaching in the morning and wasn't feeling too brilliant when I went in. By the time I returned home I was feeling like rubbish so didn't do much of anything that afternoon. I think it was probably a mild virus which today...hooray!...seems to be going. Tomorrow I'm in Gallery at St Martin's all day invigilating our exhibition (last day Saturday). Look forward to seeing you if you can pop in.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Pepper still-life

First stage with artichoke extinguished!
8" x 12"

I started this painting at around 4.45pm this afternoon. I borrowed an artichoke from the kitchen not realising it was part of tonight's dinner! I was happily painting away when I heard an irate voice from the kitchen enquiring very loudly whether anyone had seen the artichoke! I was already losing the light (it's become very overcast this afternoon) and knew I wouldn't have time to finish the painting today, so reluctantly I relinquished the artichoke and replaced it with two lemons. In total I spent about 30 mins on the painting and had just enough time to mark in the lemons before the light failed completely. I'm not sure I'll be able to get back to it until Tuesday as we're hanging the work for the exhibition tomorrow, but as soon as it's finished I'll post it for you. My aim in this particular painting is to produce an outcome in as few brushstrokes as I can manage so that every brushstroke counts. It's a useful exercise to avoid overworking a painting. One thing I've realised this afternoon is that I'll have to organise some proper lighting with daylight bulbs for the winter months or I'll either be painting in the dark or have to stop halfway through the day!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Exhibition at Gallery at St Martin's

'The Return of Peredur - 2'
charcoal on creased and scored paper

This is one of the pieces I'm putting into the exhibition '5 Artists' at Gallery at St Martin's. It promises to be a very interesting exhibition showing a broad range of work from the five artists participating. You'll find details of the show on the invitation below. Please come along to the private view and join us in a glass of wine (or two!) If you can't make the private view then I will be in the gallery all day Friday 21st September...I would love to see you and have a chat.
Gallery at St Martin's is situated in Garmston St (even though the postal address is Hungate) at the rear of The Cheese Society. 

Gallery at St Martin's
37b Hungate

Sunday, 9 September 2012

'Days after the Wedding'

'Days after the Wedding'
oil on stretched canvas
40cm x 30cm

I haven't been able to blog for the last few days as I've been catching up on 'stuff'. You know the kind of thing...emails, paperwork, exhibition preparations, preparing for forthcoming classes etc, etc, etc, and...since being back from Spain, I've attended two weddings, one of which was my son Charlie's...and what a brilliant day it was!! We were fortunate enough to be able to bring home some of the wonderful flowers which of course after a few days slowly began to show signs of wilting...very sad (but at the same time interesting to paint!) So I decided it was time to paint some of them to keep alive the memory of the occasion before they faded away forever :(