Only 16 days to go and I’ll be hanging these paintings for my exhibition. Time is really flying now! I’ve been working 8 plus hour days in the studio and this last week boats have featured on the easel. I’ll be posting a catalogue page on Monday for those who can’t get to the exhibition.
With only 3.5 weeks to go until my exhibition time is flying and I’m madly painting. This is today’s acrylic on canvas which I’m pretty happy with. Just loved the light the day I took the reference photos and feel I’ve managed to capture the morning magic.
I’ve been suffering with the flu and bronchitis over the last 2 weeks. The worst of it is the coughing which is persistent, wracking and brought on by talking, moving, sitting, lying down, also ,thinking about talking, sitting, moving,lying down and everything in between. At last it’s easing up a bit and I have whole hours in the morning when the cough is silent only to release itself with a vengeance when I sit down on the couch at the end of the day to quietly watch a bit of TV.
During the worst of it I really couldn’t do more than curl up on the couch with a book and my laptop. I tried to catch up on some research and had good intentions of posting a blog but I was just too tired to be bothered. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so weak and pathetic and although I tried to focus on being grateful for how healthy I usually am, I mostly dozed and coughed.
I did get round to putting in an application for gallery space at the local arts precinct. They take applications for next year round about now and it usually takes a couple of application rounds before you get a space on the program. I was very surprised to get an email saying they’d had a cancellation and would I like 2 weeks at the end of September, THIS YEAR!
It’s a wonderful gallery in an old colonial wharehouse building. It’s right in the heart of a major tourist area and just upstairs from the iconic Salamanca Market . There are thick wooden beams overhead and beautiful wooden floorboards underfoot. A quality space that I’ve exhibited in once before and really enjoyed.
So , of course I said yes. I didn’t let a little thing like needing to have 40 paintings ready in just over 5 weeks stand in my way! I did a quick count of paintings I had ready to go and I probably have another 20 to finish in the lead up to the exhibition.
Surprisingly, standing at the easel and concentrating on brushstokes, colours and shapes must have some effect on the cough centre of the brain. I found that my coughing eased while I was painting (even though it came back with a vengeance when I put down the brush.) What a bonus!
Now I’m in full blown painting mode. Into the studio every morning and working straight through to lunch, a quick soup or sandwich, then back for another session till dinner time. I’ve started with small canvases and am working my way up to some bigger sizes. The studio is beginning to fill up and I’m loving the process. I finish a canvas and then use the left over paint on the palette to prime the next canvas- it’s a great way to get a sense of continuity between the canvases.
I’ve settled on “Water’s Edge” as the title and am enjoying working on a series of waterscapes large and small. It’s a subject I’m passionate about and I’m hoping this comes across in the finished works.
Will keep you updated as I go. Back to the studio now!
I had a request from a client for a large impressionist portrait of a cow with horns last week. He wanted a bit of collage as well and for it to be colourful and loose. This is not the sort of subject I usually do but I was up for the challenge!
I couldn’t find any patterned paper that I felt was right for the piece so I created my own by printing out info about cows ears and then ageing the paper with a mix of sienna and yellow ochre inks. I used the paper inside the ears as well as on the flanks.
I knifed on the paint after mixing it with some modelling paste to give it extra thickness and texture but the background I left smooth for contrast. Then I mixed up some pinks and reds for the nose and mouth and added a splash of green at the side for a bit of zing.
and here it is all come together….
Waiting now to see what the client thinks – there may be a bit of revision to come!
I’m heading off to Newcastle to visit my father-in-law tomorrow and have just about finished my “to do” list. This post is the last thing left ( besides putting my jammies in the bag).
One of the jobs has been nagging me all week. I entered 5 paintings in a charity art exhibition for next weekend some time ago, and I only had 4 of them painted. Still, there was plenty of time, so I didn’t feel too rushed. Suddenly I had a complex commission to do and the days sped by, next thing I knew it was yesterday and no painting started! I primed a canvas late last night and went to bed feeling OK.
Today I’ve been at it all day and finally cleaned my brushes just after dinner, washed down the palette and photographed the end result.
I spent a messy, arty day with on of my sister’s this week. She’s a neat freak ( self confessed so she won’t mind me saying this) and yet she gladly covered her kitchen bench with garbage bags and let her ditzy, messy, paint dribbling sibling- spatter, drip and splodge the day away. Doesn’t that just typify the special bond that sister’s have?
I spent a good part of the day creating diversions while I surreptitiously mopped up great swodges and dollops of red and orange paint off her shining black tiles. I was as happy as a pig in…well… a pig in paint. Claudette restrained her natural desire to tidy as we went , although she did have a little outbreak at lunch time and did a quick round up of the stray cups and a bit of a turn up on the plastic on my side of the table where I’d let a river of paint pool, thereby averting an imminent waterfall. I wasn’t entirely oblivious to the almost cascade, just a bit too interested in what was happening on the canvas to pay it the amount of attention it properly deserved! It has to be said that Claudette’s side of the table was far less arty than mine ( code for – on my side there was a lot more paint smeared over the plastic, the floor, my jumper and everything within a 3 foot radius of my hands whilst her side had a few demure drips in a well contained 6 inch radius).
Not all our artistic endeavours were keepers but my sister sure is!
I was pretty happy with my first attempts at acrylic pouring on canvas. Well- if we don’t count last nights fiasco – which I ended up scraping off the canvas into the rubbish bin. I don’t know about you but I’m definitely not counting it.
It’s a very simple but unpredictable artform which I’ve been meaning to have a go at for some time. In fact ever since I bought a bottle of the pouring medium at my local art store about 6 months ago. It’s been sitting on the shelf in my little studio tempting me and I finally succumbed at 10 o’clock last night. Probably would have been better to wait till this morning but there you go- when the muse strikes she’s very insistent!
Basically you fill a few plastic cups with different coloured paint and then thin it down with some pouring medium and water to a thin pancake batter consistency. Add a squirt of silicone, stir and ten layer the colours in another plastic cup starting with white and randomly dropping in the other colours. Then sit a canvas on top of the cup, with said cup centered on the canvas and turn the whole thing upside down. Now just slowly and cleanly lift the cup away from the canvas but NOT straight upwards – off to the side a little.
The whole lot glugs out creating beautiful and random colours and patterns. Tilting the canvas moves the paint around to exaggerate sections of pattern and cover the canvas. At this stage the paint starts dripping down the edges and the mess gets messier. It’s not called a dirty pour without reason! Using a blow torch to run over the surface helps to pop any little air bubbles and create small “cells” where the denser colour (white is densest) drops to the bottom and the lighter colours rise to the surface.
I love the chaos and random beauty of these- not sure if I’ll keep doing it but really enjoyed the process. Let’s see if they dry OK before I make up my mind.
I got such a positive reaction to my recent pastel painting of Adventure Bay that I did another for my Mum’s “World’s Greatest Shave ” fundraiser auction. There’s already been anabsentee overseas bid for it so I hope it does well for the Leukaemia Foundation on the night. This photo is on the dark side- need to hone up my photography skills a bit .
A friend saw the first pastel on Instagram and asked if I could paint a small canvas for her as it brought back lot’s of childhood memories of holidays spent at Adventure Bay.So I went ahead and painted this one today. I think it’s my favourite because of the lively colours in the shadows on the sand.
Then I decided to break out my new Schminke watercolours and try a large (for me) painting. I really only use watercolours for pen and wash sketches these days so this was a bit of an adventure. I did find I’d forgotten a lot of the techniques but was happy I’d remembered any to be frank! I like the reflections, the clouds are OK ,the shadows are too pink and the foilage is overworked.
It was interesting trying the same painting in pastels, acrylics and watercolours and made we want to brush up my watercolour technique and try a few more. We’ll see how that goes!
I painted a small pastel of these wooden boats a few years ago and this week I scaled up a bit and did a 70 x 90 acrylic canvas of the same scene. It took much longer than my usual seascapes because of all the detail in the boats and the mooring ropes. I’m pleased with the finished painting as I think I’ve captured the light on the end of the first two boats which is what first attracted me to the scene. I also like the repetition of the boats and the patterns of their internal wooden ribs. The ropes add some horizontals and vertical accents and the reflections in the mirror like water give a tranquil feeling to the painting.
Here’s a few shots of the painting as it progressed.