Friday, June 22, 2007

seascapes: Time and Tide

I've been able to get on with the paintings :>)


On the left is the first one I did this afternoon - it's 8 inches wide and about 3ft 6in tall. It's on one of the new canvasses my husband has been busy making up for me :>).



I got him to make the canvasses a different way. It's one that I have used in the past but not for a while. He attached hardboard (masonite in the US, mdf would do as well but is a carcinogen to work with) - we'd had B&Q cut it to size on their nice big machine. Then the stretcher bars are attached, lining them up perfectly, and then the whole is covered in canvas, stapling it at the back. It gives me a firmer surface to work on. It's a bit heavier with the hardboard but of course also stronger. The sides are quite deep as I don't frame them, so they need to look good as they are. I really enjoyed working on the firmer surface and I'm going to get him to do some more :>)


They were very difficult to photograph - I just used flash as the light is going now and I've corrected them as well as I can.


On the right is the second, 8 ins wide again but taller than the first, about 4ft 6ins, this time looking back towards the land from the sea, towards the dunes.


Today's 2 are in acrylic on unprimed canvas - I like to use unprimed canvas as it's possible to use the acrylic almost like watercolours, blurring, running, splattering and then going into thicker paint towards the end just where necessary. The hardboard meant that the wet canvas dried a little more slowly, which I really liked as it gave me more time to work into paint.

There are 5 others in mixed media on traditional canvas stretchers, again with deep sides.


This on the left is one of them, done from sketches and memories of sitting sketching on a cold afternoon, watching the gulls waiting for the incoming tide. It's a little less blue than this in reality - it was a cool pearly light, a little hazy with a veil of cloud.




It's acrylic underpainting, finished in oil paints.


I have sketched at the coast a lot over quite a long period of time and so though I don't reproduce sketches - I don't always even have them out - the memory of the light and the water is there to draw on.


I really believe it's important to sketch plein air if you want to do landscapes or seascapes. Photographs don't catch the colours and light that the eye sees.


So, 7 nearly finished and only 1 more to do for my 8 that I need. :>)


... and blogger is driving me mad again, closing the spaces between paragraphs - I've gone into HTML and still when I publish the spaces are gone :>( - so sorry for that long last para

7 comments:

jafabrit said...

I really like the format for the paintings, they are just wonderful.

I use mdf because it is supposed to be a great support for painting but yes the carcinogenic aspect of it concerns me. I wear a filter mask when cutting and sanding it, but even with a filter mask I wonder. Not sure I will be using it after I have finished this current series for my show in October.

vivien said...

thanks Jafa :)

oh do be careful with the mdf - can't you get the DIY place to cut it for you?


I do get some funny looks when I'm sorting out sizes for them to cut for me :) it looks like a trolley load of firewood!

Katherine said...

Vivien - I really like the first two.

I had a meeting this week with somebody who's a past tutor and he's keen for me to take up oils!

Have you tried getting one of those hand held flashes which you hold above your head to even out the flash effect?

vivien said...

I've actually got a good flash unit from my SLR - but I haven't charged it up in ....... mmmmmm ..... a VERY long time! and a slave unit somewhere as well (put away 'safely' so I haven't a clue where it is!)

I'll photograph them properly in natural light when they are dry. I've been working on them today and varnishing so may be able to photograph the 7 that are virtually finished tomorrow.

Part of the problem with photographing these tall canvasses is their size - I'll do some details tomorrow as well.


Yes - go for it! try oils :) they are luscious - especially if you mix media so you can bring in some of the techniques you use with CP's.

muddy red shoes said...

love the format, tall and thin strips of sea, I bet they will look good alltogether.

Lindsay said...

All of these are beautiful and ought to look wonderful together. My fav one is the pearl blue one with the birds. LOVE the colors and feel in both of them. The format reminds me of the view one might have from a old castle window. THe hard board is an interesting idea.

vivien said...

Thanks Sarah and Lindsay :) I'm hoping to get better pictures of them tomorrow, and the others will be dry by then as well.