Monday, 27 March 2017

Snowdrops Dilemma

A day in the studio that should have been dedicated to painting has turned into printmaking. With the Arts Trail only 3ish weeks away I thought I would push on with the Snowdrops and get them drying in the lovely warm sunshine we have this week.
Layer 11 had already been printed last week in a haze of jet lag and I had been reasonably happy with the casting shadows on the leaves, but I was about to shoot myself in the foot.
'Snowdrops', Layer 11
I cut away the mid-tones of the leaves thinking there would only be one more pass of green and then a background colour.
The penultimate cut 
 I checked the green against my colour swatch and all looked good,
A very dark green
In fact it does look fine in the print. The green tone works perfectly making a lovely shadow on the leaf. But then it dawns on me...this is a very dark green, so what next? This layer of green was where I had hoped to end up and I still have one more pass to go. 
'Snowdrops', Layer 12
I am now scratching my head as to where to go next. Should I deviate from the plan and print a different background colour or should I go for something closer to my original plan and go for a transparent turquoise to set the flowers off. Luckily I have quite a lot of painting to work on so it will give me time to mull the problem over.

Monday, 20 March 2017

New York, New York

I escaped the studio for a few days to take in some of my favourite paintings in New York!
I can't resist an American landscape so was very excited to see a couple of Hopper's and some Winslow Homer's at the Met.

'From Williamsburg Bridge', Edward Hopper

'The Light House at Two Lights', Edward Hopper

'Cannon Rock', Winslow Homer
'Maine Coast', Winslow Homer
'Moonlight, Wood Island Light', Winslow Homer

I was also introduced to the Still Life's of William Michael Harnett who made these stunning Trompe L'Oeil paintings. These had caught my eye as I was pondering over making some contemporary Still Life's in the future.

'Still Life-Violin and Music', William M. Harnett
William M. Harnett

Now it's time to get my head down again as Deadlines are looming and my break has put me on the back foot.

Only one month to go before the Arts Trail starts!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Series of Nine Paintings; Part 3

This painting is the third in the series of nine. It is hanging in the studio waiting for its final glaze. 
Slowly, things are starting to come together and look like a body of work.

'Evening Light'
Greenfinch Notelets have been tweaked and wrapped ready for the Arts Trail. This is a set of 8 Notelets with Kraft Envelopes. He is looking very smart with the added details I made to the engraving.

'Greenfinch Notelets'

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

A Series of Nine Paintings; Part 2

My Studio will be open during the Emsworth Arts Trail on April 22nd, 23rd and 29th 30th and May 1st. If you want to see more details about the trail follow the link I have posted under Forthcoming Exhibitions.

This week I am concentrating on getting on with the paintings. 'Under Ice' is one of the smaller paintings I am working on as part of a block. It's nearly complete with just a couple more glazes to pick up the sky but not too much as I want to keep all the subtle layers.
This photo doesn't show it too well but there are lots of textures in the sky that are coming through with each glaze I add.

'Winter Paths'

Monday, 6 March 2017

Golden Horizon

Last seen 'Golden Horizon' was looking a little worse for wear as I had created too much contrast between the yellow and blue in the sky. It was looking flat with little composition or perspective, so it was a case of having a break and coming back with fresh eyes to tackle all the problems.

'Golden Horizon' in February
The first job was to work on that alarming blue. I toned the whole thing down so it had some relationship to the light source (in this case the sun melting into the horizon) and made sure that the subtle changes of colour became seamless across the whole sky.

Detail of  'Golden Horizon'
While I was working on the sky it seemed appropriate to have some highlighted clouds reflecting light back. Having these cutting across the top of the canvas means I now have a defined composition, so I have added white flecks to the light source and am now waiting for it all to dry before glazing and repainting.

'Golden Horizon' with highlights

Thursday, 2 March 2017

A Series of Nine Paintings; Part 1

While I'm waiting for my prints to dry I am working on a series of nine small canvases which I will hang as a block on the Arts Trail. This one is half way through and looking good.
The storm clouds have taken on a whole life of their own...

'Rain Storm'

'Rabbit' has also been completed and added to the website. I shall print 100 before destroying the block. He will also be in the Arts Trail.