Thursday 27 February 2014

More Paintings for the Burford Gallery

I took advantage of any sunshine we had this month and have managed to complete six paintings done at the allotments, some took more than one trip and some were finished in the studio, just the finishing touches really. I tend to put them up and live with them for a couple of days and if I notice something doesn't look right, I adjust it. Having said that, there is always the risk of tinkering with it too much, then all that immediacy is lost, so I take care not to do much after the painting session.
Varnishing on the kitchen table

These are my latest six, all 10 x 12 inches, landscape format (although the photo suggests otherwise) which just goes to prove that photos do lie!

They are all framed and I delivered them to the Burford Gallery this afternoon, they went straight on the wall as ALL of my winter paintings had sold which is fabulous. 

Although I would love to paint all the time, alas, life is not like that, I have workshops to plan, articles to write and I really must catch up on all sorts of things, so if you are thinking how 'it must be wonderful to be an Artist and paint all the time'…. I doubt if there are any who manage that! What ever time you have to paint, grasp it and enjoy it.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Writing for Leisure Painter magazine this week

After some wonderful feedback from various Art Societies and groups about the simple way in which I demonstrate flower painting, I thought it might be nice to share these ideas with readers of the Leisure Painter magazine, so I am currently working on a series of three articles to be published in June, July and August this year. If you don't have a subscription, do look out for these publications.

I cant reveal exactly what they will be about, that would spoil the surprise, but I have had such fun this week using wet in wet techniques and sumptuous colours.

That's the beauty of painting, you can do it indoors or out, so when I don't want to paint outside in the wet weather, I paint in  my studio. 

For those of you interested in workshops later this year, I plan to offer a 'loose flowers' day which will include similar techniques to those used in this image, I cant wait to start planning them in March!

Friday 7 February 2014

Sunshine....I'm off to paint!

The calm before the storm, bad weather is forecast so when I saw the sunshine this morning I took my opportunity to go back to the allotments and complete the painting I began a few days ago.
This can be risky, you need to go back at the same time of day and who is to say things haven't changed? Especially on an allotment! It seems to look different every time I go, buckets moved, plastic sheeting put up, lovely coloured plastic bottles have appeared this time (but that must be another painting)

So working on my tonal base, I begin by adding the brightest colours I see, this is going to change, especially as the light changes but I need to establish these now.

This may not look too different, but I was aware that I needed to take photos and once I start painting it can sometimes be hard to remember to stop and take them. 
The lights go in next, the sky and anywhere the light hits, incase the sun goes in (which it will)

Now I start to work on the background area, focussing on the canopy of branches and twigs. This is when I need to stop myself from over doing things.... time just flies by when you start to add twigs!
Next its blocking in the mid ground.

The sunlight is quite bright on the right and its filtering through the trees, so I want to get that diffused light, those sumptuous mauves. In go the branches and twigs as well as more darks, warms and background bits.

Now I got a bit carried away at this point and concentration was total, so I forgot to take any more stages. Each time I stop I have to put the painting on the ground to take a photo because the easel gets in the way. It breaks up my concentration so I am afraid before I know it, Ive finished.

So this is the finished painting, you can see how the shadows have changed from the start of the painting, there is now light on the side of the shed and the lights have gone from the left of the water butts, but once those first tones are in I don't chase the sun, I stick with what I've got.

I also realised, I have no photo yet of the finished painting, I was so keen to get home and have a cuppa! It was surprisingly warm and I had such a nice morning, so this little painting is another lovely memory banked.

My walk home takes me along the river Windrush, you can see how the footpath is now totally under water today and we are due for storms over the week end. 

Monday 3 February 2014

Another trip to the allotments

We had some sunshine this week end so I raced off to the allotments again, it wasn't very warm though, so my snug fingerless gloves were perfect. I find I can happily paint for an hour or two then begin to realise that I am feeling cold, that's when the concentration goes and I pack up and go back home.
This is my favourite 'pinny' (apron to most people) I can keep my brushes and kitchen roll in the pocket. 

This is the finished painting, I made a few changes, but essentially it was how I see it. I  really like these two little sheds and all the allotment clutter, there seemed so much to get in, so quite a lot of it I left out. 

On Sunday I began a second painting, I only got the first stage done but things turned cold, the light changed and I got no further. I am now hoping for a break in the weather so I can rush off again and finish it. Once that happens I will let you know!