Monday, 20 January 2014

More Creative Play in Watercolour

I strongly believe that you will produce your best work if you allow yourself to have a short session of “warming-up” before a more serious painting session.  As any sportsperson would gently stretch and warm-up muscles, we can do the same artistically with a 15 minute session of fun stress-free painting.  For me, there are a few simple rules.  I am not aiming to produce a great piece and I tend to use “old” paper which removes any feeling of tension to produce.  I usually set myself a time limit of approximately 20 minutes but, as this doesn’t allow drying time, it is highly likely I will return to it at the end of the day to “warm-down!”   The play session usually has an aim, I tend to have a challenge in mind.  This may be a new technique, a new pigment, a different brush, using only one colour….the list is endless.
Here are my eggs, taken from the fridge with an idea in mind.  I would like to “eggs”plain, but I need to play further first!  I have lots up my sleeve and today I made huge progress on producing the online tuition that I know many are waiting for…..not too long now hopefully!!  Thank you all for being so patient!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

A tidy studio!

Quote "The studio is less important than other things, like the burning desire to paint.  If you don't have this disease, you can't catch it from a nice studio" (Warren Criswell).

I am very lucky to have an outbuilding to paint in.  I haven't always painted in there.  For many years, I had a portable pasting table that I could set up anywhere that was warm and light.  I whole-heartedly agree with the quotation above and, although I do now appreciate the peace and tranquility in my studio, I know that I don't have to paint there....I could be anywhere.

So for anyone less fortunate who doesn't have a place to escape to, remember that's not really the important thing - it's the desire to create that counts!

I have kept one of my New Year's resolutions today and tidied my studio but I know that it won't look like this by the end of tomorrow!  Artist's are supposed to be untidy....aren't they??!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Creative play with watercolour

Meet the gorgeous Cujo!  

With so many wrinkles and that dark patch over his eye, I thought an "upside-down" demonstration painting of Cujo would make a great addition to my article in the Sept Issue of SAA Paint.  

So without further delay, I will direct you to the Youtube video (which you can also click on the right side of this page).

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

A portrait out of the blue


Following seeing some inspirational photographs from British Polo Day, Mexico 2013, I selected an image that I loved for the relaxed stance.  I thought it was perfect for trying to capture with watercolour.

With two large brushes, a "dinner plate" with blue watercolour paint and a vertical piece of watercolour paper, I painted fast and loose,  with freedom and enjoying the cascades of water running down the paper.  Exciting and unpredictable!

Whilst it was my initial intention to overpaint the blue with different colours,  people were beginning to say “Stop, we like it as it is”.   A few finishing touches and darker tones  pull the piece together. 

I wish to thank British Polo Day again for taking the most wonderful photos and also to my charismatic and inspiring subject!

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Friday, 3 January 2014

Spring Magnolia

Original (Reserved)

Spring Magnolia
Watercolour 370mm x 370mm

Living alongside the Somerset Levels, we are no strangers to water here but this latest run of windy and wet weather has encouraged me to turn my brushes to spring flowers in preparation for a small exhibition in January.  It is amazing how, simply by picking up some warmer colours, it can change your mood and help you to look towards warmer and hopefully drier months ahead.  I am very lucky that a neighbour’s garden at the entrance to our road houses the most gorgeous magnolia and each year the blooms are simply stunning.  Another neighbour has hollyhocks and another has some beautiful red tulips and small blue flowers (which I think may be grape hyacinth).
I can’t think of any spring flower that doesn’t lift the spirits and they do provide such a wonderful subjects for painting in the early part of the year where we are so very close to “turning the corner”!
All my new spring flower paintings will be displayed in beautiful white wooden frames and will hopefully  brighten a chilly spring morning.

Tulip Time - National Trust