Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Near South Stack, pastel plein air

South Stack, near Holyhead, A3 pastel plein air 

This is at the framers at the moment,  in preparation for an exhibition, along with lots of other work from the week painting in Wales.  It will be going in a lime washed frame.

Vivid memories of a lovely day sketching on the cliff with friends somewhere near, doing their own views - that's a steep drop down via the path and then another steep cliff edge.  One friend was working down there, another much higher up looking way down at the lighthouse (just out of sight on the right).  What did we do before we had mobile phones?  so easy to coordinate coffee breaks and moving on when we spread out and aren't near each other.

I used a sheet of Sennelier sanded paper for this and the Rembrandt and Inscribe pastels I'd thrown in at the last moment.  Oh dear, I did NOT like the Sennelier paper - luckily I'd swapped a sheet with a friend as she didn't like it and I got to try it without having to buy a pack.  I am also not a fan of hard, flaky Rembrandts so it was a battle to persuade the materials to behave as I wanted.  I like my Unisons - and Inscribe are good for a cheapie pastel, nice and soft.  And so it's back to Fisher or Colourfix for the paper in the future.

I've been juggling getting work ready for 6 exhibitions that overlap, plus images and statements, along with the lung infection from hell  for the last 3+ weeks and feeling very sorry for myself.   Dizzy, nauseous, pains all over, lungs sounding like bagpipes with every breath, coughing, nystagmus one night - where lights wouldn't stay still and moved sideways quite a distance no matter how I tried to keep them still and my eyes focused, a little diorientating!  So I'm now on a  second dose of antibiotics and steroids and a new tablet for asthma - and the steroids and new tablet have horrific possible side effects listed on those worrying little leaflets.    Need to zap it fast and stop taking them,  Feeling much better than I was but still very tired.

Looking forward to collecting them on Friday and seeing them with a fresh eye with the frames setting them off.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Another from the Ogwen Valley, low clouds on the mountain tops

Ogwen Valley, Low cloud on the mountains, A3 mixed media

After the charcoal sketch done in the morning my friends walked up to a higher lake, I painted quietly on my own.  So peaceful with the clouds drifting by, the steep hills cut with tumbling waterfalls and the single track road winding up and down throught the rocks.  I love the drama of the contours of the land and the rocks, barely covered by soil.

We really didn't only have rainy days!  though the mixed weather meant beautiful skies and challenges.

Big black Welsh cattle with their huge hooves lumbered by, followed by calves scrambling uncertainly down those steep hillsides.  I'd always assumed that this was the old, original road (main road is across the valley) but a lovely friendly lady told me it was built by a lord of the manor so that his guests had a scenic carriage ride when they came to stay.

Just as I finished this, the friends phoned to say they were back down the mountain and we joined up for coffee and cake at the National Trust cafe.  A lovely day.