Friday, 22 May 2009

Studio Update, Parkgate Landscapes

Nearly completed another piece for the summer show in Parkgate. Worked this 60x60cm piece from the sketches I made last week. Just as well I got that work under my belt because the weather has been poor ever since and I've not had the chance for another visit... yes I know that as a painter, 'there is no such thing as bad weather only the wrong clothes', but fingers crossed for this weekend.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Passion For Painting

Re: The passion for painting nominations I should have added well before now but really got side tracked. See previous post where I was chosen as one of Jill Berry's nominations. In his own words a 'Painter of blight'. Inspired me to try and start a series of urban pieces on disappearing this space. Really good painter of still life, look out for his demos on you tube. Colourful works from Rio. Lots of inspiration for the pochade painter.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Plein Air Study

Back out on the marsh at Parkgate today and just had time for a quick pen sketch before being eaten alive by the bug life. Only had cartridge paper with me so a wash of watercolour just about sat on the surface to make some sort of colour note. After today I think that some of the follow up pieces could be done in a 3:1 format, this might best suit this large expanse of horizon and sky, keeping the detail to a minimum. I really enjoy painting outdoors as the response is about more than the subject, it's also about being there at that particular time. I tend to work a lot looser on site probably due to the challenges of a changing light. This speedier execution can result in fresher work as opposed to the measured approach that can sometimes creep up on you in the studio resulting in an overworked surface. I think the key to avoiding a response that is too labouredl lies in achieving a balance where the subject matter is considered and spatial and tonal relationships are maintained but the response is free enough to avoid a painterly mess.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Lanscape Painting And Back to Cornwall

Took myself back to Cornwall for the last couple of days...well a sort of mental and spiritual visit. I get out my sketches and small paintings, play the music I played whilst I was making them on site and hey presto, I'm almost there. I find that music is a great key to open up the memory of a place. How many times have you heard someone say , 'oh,.... this record brings back memories'. I usually select some music on site, preferably no lyrics and play them on a headset this becomes the soundtrack to the working session. Once back at the studio I find this is a great key to unlock the thoughts and feelings that were present at the making of the sketches and small paintings. Stuff I've used in the past include Moby, Lisa Gerrard, Philip Glass or classical, anything without the distraction of lyrics, it really does have to be in the background and not distract. Give it a go, really it works.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Plein Air

Grabbed another couple of hours out on the estuary today thought this might be a nice complimentary piece for the the other one I did. Got to get out all I can in May to make some more work for the show in July.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Plein Air

Good day today out at Parkgate on the Wirral Peninsula, out of the city and into wide spaces and big skies over the estuary. I managed a half decent start, a free study in oils that attempts to give a feeling of the experience rather than a description of it. I am reminded of the Cornish painter John Wells,
'...but how can one paint the warmth of the sun, the sound of the sea, the journey of a beetle across a rock? One absorbs all these feelings and ideas and if one is lucky they undergo an alchemistic transformation into gold, that is creative work.'
I like the sound of that, think I'll go back tomorrow.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Studio Update

Been really busy the last couple of weeks now that the teaching hours have kicked in again, however I have managed to get to the studio and work on this latest piece. At about a metre wide it's a bit bigger than I normally work on but it's coming on. Trying to catch that moment of anticipation before a large belly of water crashes into the shore. This is part of a series of coastal paintings for the July show at Parkgate. At the moment I don't want to change too much so I think it's time to turn it to the wall for a week or two...stop me fiddling.