Sunday, October 29, 2006

progress ....

The paintings are progressing but unphotographable at the moment as the paint is wet. I'll update the blog when I can take some pics.

I've been checking on the website of one of my favourite painters, who also paints my favourite part of the world. I lived in Cornwall when I was young and the hedges were one of the loveliest things - especially in May when they are ablaze with flowers. KJ has now done a series of work on the hedges, with a really interesting write up.
it's well worth looking at.

Monday, October 23, 2006

progress with the poppies etc

Several canvasses are now mid-way but these are almost finished

first the poppy

This is very similar to the research sketches but on a larger scale.

Then an abstract from flowers. These are both on canvas, the poppy is about 18 inches square and the abstract is about 20/22 inches square.

then a mixed media piece on paper - it's in this frame to stop the pastel on it smudging but it needs a bigger frame to 'breathe'.

I like working on paper like this as it enables me to add more drawing and a wider variety of media. It isn't quite finished. The trouble is that I really don't like glass in front of work as it distances you from the work and the shine, and mere presence of it, spoil the velvety textures and marks.

There are several other canvasses in progress but not really at a photographable stage.

I also plan to do some more mixed media pieces on paper, a couple of much larger canvasses to finish and some smaller pieces.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

groups and talks

This week I went to a talk by an artist who'd won a prize at a prestigious pastel show in London. It was organised by the local Pastel Society. The members are very good and many are professional.

The talk was disappointing, The artist was a very good illustrator but didn't have the insight or imagination to move beyond that. The light and form were good - but he had a 'style' which ls and he continues to produce similar paintings again and again and ag again, never experimenting or learning, moving forward. He assured us in one breath that he was lucky as what he liked to paint sold. When we suggested that we preferred his work at the loose sketchy stage, before he tightened it up he admitted he'd tried showing that but it hadn't sold. so .... he is allowing the market at particular galleries to dictate his work and instead of trying the looser work in another place he just gave up :( I do appreciate the talent he has but it seems so sad that it won't develop into something deeper.

He was quite smug and patronising and quite unaware of the talent of the people watching. He had no idea of the lack of insight that some of his replies revealed.

So different from real artists (to be said a rich rolling voice like Richard Burton's :) ) such as David Prentice, David Hockney, Kurt Jackson et al, constantly experiment and try new ideas and develop their work, challenging themselves constantly, keeping things fresh and exciting and considering the language of paint, colour, marks and materials, building an ever wider 'vocabulary' and not worrying about failures on the way to new ideas.

Several conversations lately, with a variety of people, have been about the benefits of art groups. To belong to small and/or larger art groups has a wide range of benefits. You are in touch with like minded people of varying ages and can exchange ideas, work together plein air or in the studio, set up joint projects or exhibitions, have speakers or demonstrators visit, go to exhibitions, crit each others work .... groups can be just a small informal group of friends or a larger formal group with minutes, constitutions and agendas - each has its benefits. I've made friends, gained contacts and exhibition opportunities, seen interesting work, had interesting crits and learned lots through membership.

I wouldn't have thought of myself as a 'joiner' but realise I'm in several. There's the 'prestigious' large local society, membership by selection, The Pastel Society, also by selection, a sketchclub that's strictly about enthusiasm, no selection but a long waiting list, that contains amateurs through to professionals and puts on an really good variety of talks, demos, crits and trips and a small group of friends who meet up once a month at each others homes and crit, exhibit, have artists in to talk and go out in small sub groups. I've gained so much from being a part of them all. When a degree finishes it's easy to be isolated, missing the buzz of other artists, to discuss with and see the work of, it leaves a void. Being a member of a sutiable group gives the same contact and feedback from peers - and it's fun

Sunday, October 08, 2006

progress with the poppy

I managed to work a bit more on the poppy canvas yesterday. It's nearly there.

There's a bit more thinking and resolving to do first.

I also managed to start a few more canvasses so that I can work backwards and forwards between them as I wait for paint to dry.

This one has been done in Alkyd Oils - I like them for small canvasses because of their quick drying properties and the fact that they handle just as well as 'normal' oils.

The tubes are too small to use them on larger canvasses though - I'd have to squeeze virtually the whole tube out at once - or sometimes more than one tube :(

I've also been playing with the new camera :) I love it!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

playing with those macro flowers in photoshop

I put thos macro flowers into photoshop to see how some worked in black and white. Black and white photos can have such a beautiful quality with the right images. I think that it really enhances the shot of the lavatera - using 'levels' and 'brightness and contrast' to give the image more punch it creates a far more interesting result :)