Monday, 28 February 2011

Where do I go from here?

If you saw my blog last week, you'll know that I painted my artistic ambition, a picture of the crucified Christ.

So where do I go from here?

Again the dancing days show me the way - straight from a medal test back to normal practise.
So straight from my ambition in art to practise pieces .. giving me time to think before starting a new painting - and that cooling down,  warming up time is I think very necessary.

My last was very emotional - and I tend to paint from the heart anyway.
I need to feel a connection to paint something well. Sometimes that emotion needs a rest, so we have some practice pieces.

Two three minute warm ups.. painted from the cyclamen in my garden, no drawing, this is just for fun  - not looking for perfection, just an impression

Painted from life, a beautiful plant given to me from a dear friend. The main leaves are green, but as spring arrives, it throws up pairs of pink leaves. It came in a beautiful pink hessian bag . Still not looking for perfection, but a little more control ..

Darkest leaves at the front, two colours mingling, mid tone above and the palest at the back to give a feeling of distance. Shadow under pot stroked in and then the edge brushed with clear water. Shadows help make a piece. Under ten minutes. Nice loose, practise.. flexing my brushes :)

Now a question for you - do you need to feel a connection before you paint something?

Friday, 25 February 2011

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Stages 4-6 of Immolatum

the painting progresses with stages 4 - 6.
Whilst I was happy with the face, I was not too happy with the arms.
They do get changed within these stages and in the final stage too.
Sometimes I leave an area if I am not happy with it and change it right at the last.

4) More work around the face and beard

5) deepening the darks

6) under wash on crown of thorns

I have to finish up the crown of thorns and then make any  adjustments necessary - and you will see the finished painting on Friday.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Stages 1-3 of Immolatum

Here we are with my artistic ambition.. to paint the crucified Christ.
This will be a one colour portrait, and the colour is Burnt Sienna from the Windsor and Newton artist Quality range .
Paper is Arches Aquarelle Rough and the size is quarter sheet - 15x11 inches.

Stages 1-3 on this post

1) The drawing

2) The background, wet into wet

3) the beginning of the face

Friday, 18 February 2011

The Great Scheme of Things and Artistic Ambitions

When I was 20, I decided to learn Ballroom and Latin American dance.
I remember clearly the first exam, taken at bronze level. Looking over at the seniors on the opposite side of the practice room and wondering if I'd ever be that good.

A few years later, I am taking another exam, first star, and I am at the far end of the practice room from the beginners. Practising before being called upstairs and joking around with one of the men, confident enough to play silly fools.  When I stopped practising and sat down, I saw a beginner on the other side look at me in a way I recognised. Would she ever be that good? That's when it struck me how far I'd come, but still there was lots to learn.

Art is a bit like that too.
I started off learning because I wanted to. Complimented recently on my art work, I look back and can see the improvement.

Art though, has so many varied facets, it would be difficult to be proficient at all of them in one lifetime.  I follow blogs when people paint in oils, use graphite, use photoshop, scratch board, and some who are very loose and some so photo realistic you'd think you could touch the subject.  In those arenas I would be a mere beginner - there is lots to learn.
In the great scheme of things, everything is relative - and it keeps your feet on the ground!  I would like to thank all my artist friends for that.

Like my dancers, we all have three things in common,
a love of art, a willingness to learn and we go at our art "affettuoso"  - with feeling!

Now, all the time I've been painting and learning, I've had one artistic ambition.
Not letters after my name, just a desire to paint one painting.
I've always wanted to paint a picture of the crucified Christ, but never thought I was good enough to do Him justice.
But , with the encouragement of my painting friends on my recent portraits ringing in my ears,  I've given it a go. Next week, I'm going to post all the stages and then the finished painting.

So how about you? Do you have an artistic ambition?

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Miss takes centre stage

We haven't been out to new exciting places that I could take photos and share with you, the weather's been against us. So instead I'm going to show how this lovely girl makes me smile.

First off, here's my Missy conserving her energy

and here's little Miss listening intently as she can hear her daddy on the phone loudspeaker!

Lastly, here's the lunatic Miss having raced to the door to greet daddy - haring back to get to her toy so she can play with him! :)

Monday, 14 February 2011

The Alphabet Paintings: F

F is for ...................


When I first saw this photo, it struck me exactly HOW large a whale's fluke is. That was because the seagulls seemed so tiny in relation to it. Having seen many seagulls - they are not small!
I must also tell you, watercolour is just the best medium - things happen and you think wow! I had one of these moments with this painting. The background was a wall of rock in the photo and I was going to paint an under wash to help give texture to the rock - but when this under wash dried, I was amazed by it and left it - as the background you see now. My wow moment!
I hope you like it too :)

Friday, 11 February 2011


Made purely from Ink.. and done in a Pollock style..

my newest painting (inking?)

The Quest for Reason

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Alphabet Paintings: E

E is for.................


The Eglantine rose is found in hedgerows; its thorny and the leaves smell of apple. Pretty little flower followed by beautiful rose hips.
Eglantine is sometimes called Sweet Briar.

Monday, 7 February 2011

The Alphabet Paintings: D

D is for..............


This is 11x8 and its already hanging in my house! 
I love the different colours in the facets, very geometric. 
Its quite striking in real life. I'm particularly pleased with this one !

Sunday, 6 February 2011

I've been featured!

How flattered am I?
Today I have been featured on another blog.

My paintings of St Nicholas, our local church, and Wilbur, A German Shepherd dog have been featured on Ann Nichols' blog.
My photos are first an image from the work in progress of the church; secondly Wilbur hanging in his new home. The complete village church painting can be seen on Ann's blog, as can the close up of Wilbur.

You can go here to see Ann's blog.
It is a blog about St Nicholas and Christmas - and once a week features the most darling cat - Edward :)
I have been included in the feature St Nicholas Around the World.

Friday, 4 February 2011

The Alphabet Paintings: C

we're onto C.

C .... is for Canoe

Paddling my own Canoe

I love the serene feel to this . Water in paintings can be so calm and restful.  Unless of course, you're painting a storm at sea :) 
What about you? Do you like to see paintings with calm waters in them?

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Are you a solitary painter?

Mostly I paint alone in my summerhouse studio.
Not quite alone, I have Missy with me :)

I think raw sienna is called for, mummy!

Once a week I do go to an art club type of class, where we all can do our own thing, or follow a demo and the tutor is always on hand to help, should you need it. It takes me about 25 minutes to drive there. It recently re-started after the Christmas break - and that made me realise how much I miss painting in company!

I also belong to an online painting forum called Painting Friends.
Some live close enough to meet, some don't. Within the forum we have monthly challenges on different themes. Encouragement and help is given on personal projects. So even though you may paint alone, a community is at hand.

How about you? Do you prefer to paint in a group or alone?
Do you even have a class/club near you?
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