Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Crucial Ingredient

Some weeks I surprise myself with having several happy painting results and other weeks the pickings seem slim. There is however always the crucial ingredient no matter what the result and that ingredient is FUN. One of my other (used to be most important) pastimes was cooking and ingredients for recipes needed to be measured - not too much and not too little but when it comes to art I am at last realising that the ingredient of FUN must not be carefully measured but applied in huge liberal amounts. This then guarantees that I will come back for more regardless of the result of my last experiment with my brushes. I have not had the hours to paint this past week as I would wish but have had some lovely family time, friend time and preparation for new exhibitions but when I have had my brush in hand I have had some real fun experimenting with different combinations of colour, inks and Yupo paper. Hopefully I will be able to build on these experiments and come up with some good results to share.

I have always had a love of Wisteria with their pendulous blooms and often remember one we had in a garden of an old villa we owned some years back, little did I know then that I would take up art and have the opportunity to bring back the memories forever in paint.
The "paint it now" inspiration came about after having a lovely lunch last Wednesday with friends. We talked about Wisteria and later that evening I was emailed a photo Maria had from her holiday in Europe last year with a beautiful Wisteria climbing over the building they happen to be outside. I added to the painting experience yesterday by setting myself up outside in my garden to paint under the Pergola which when lost in the moment of creativity I imagined it was Wisteria above my head and not our lovely Glory Vine 
Wisteria Vine
39cm x 50cm

Monday, 22 October 2012

TheThree P's

Pears, Penguins and Promotion
An unusual trio, but as I mentioned in my last blog post I did have plans in my head for what I would paint but my Tree Peony bunch would not survive whilst I painted my choices but the lovely bunch is long gone and the paintings completed so here are two of the subjects I had planned last week.

Home Grown
SOLD11"x 14"
before matting and framing

The Pears are also my contribution to Virtual Paintout this month. The location is Croatia and I took some time on google street view locating some inspiration and I did in fact do a sea and boat scene but in the end I was a bit disappointed with it so I walked around some more and found in a place called Kuce in Zagreb County some nice homes and gardens and this one with some pear trees. Here is my map view if you would like to see for yourself. 
I chose a really loose style for my pears and the background colours of indigo and quinacridone gold when I left them alone merged and gave me some interesting fusion of colour and texture indicating the foliage deep in the tree allowing the viewer to imagine the individual leaves within.

One Fine Day
22" x 8"
before matting and framing
The Penguins I have been wanting to find a subject that I could use to experiment on a different size work and I saw an advert in a travel brochure for Antarctica and thought yes -  Emperor Penguins will give me that chance to do some distance perspective with this wide format. I much prefer to have some connection with my subjects but with this one this will never happen ( could never see Ian and myself rugging up for a holiday to Antarctica!!) so to me blending traditional art with the technology of the internet where there is no shortage of research material makes the impossible subjects possible!

and the last of The Three P'S
The Promotion
Off the Slate Gallery will be hanging a whole new exhibition in one weeks time. The new exhibition called Through the Looking Glass will feature glass artist Muriel Birkill and all painting artists will have new works hung. I am presently making my final choices of works for delivery next Sunday and the new exhibition opens on Wednesday October 31st. Find out more on their website which will feature Muriel when the new exhibition details are loaded in the next few days.

Also coming up soon Art@Goolwa will be presenting Summer Magic a new exhibition with an official opening on Sunday 18 November at 2pm. I have just another two weeks to finalise my choices for this one too so a busy time ahead

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Nature sets the Pace

My painting plans this week have been dictated to and not by me and I have not completed what I had in mind but was compelled to keep up with nature starting with buying a bunch of Peonies that were advertised on a florist sign in Adelaide last Friday. 
In fact when I went in to make the purchase they had sold out but said there was one more bunch coming in on Saturday. I arranged for them to be collected for me as I would not be back in town until Sunday. To my surprise they were not the variety I had always planned on painting, you know those lovely tight knit pink type that might last for some time.When I got home I googled Peonies to find these are a variety of Tree Peony. They are a very open bloom, paper thin, and over the next few days so very very quickly started to wither and fall apart.  My bunch was not a inexpensive purchase so my challenge was to capture them before it was too late. 

My painting process:

This is a photo of the bunch taken today so you can see from my paintings how I just use the blooms as a reference but compose and paint in a free and intuitive fashion and see where it takes me. In fact only the second one had the merest pencil lines as a guide for the more closed blooms but I prefer to not be restricted by drawing so that I can be free and expressive and not think I have to stay inside the lines. This obviously can end up in a disappointing result but more often gives me the unique expressive impression that I am after and I guess you can call it experimental. I cannot believe that as a person that has lived her entire adult life in control as a neat and exacting person has now come to prefer- not neat, not exact, not in control
let the water and pigment do the controlling- so much more fun! 

I hope you enjoy these three experiments and you choose a favorite

Monday, 8 October 2012

Fun with Feathers

Have been having so much fun with these little bird paintings all done on Yupo. I am really liking this slippery surface which allows me to experiment and if I don't like an area I can easily wash it back and add something different. I am learning to be more patient and let bits dry before adding more because if you go in when it is too wet everything just blobs in a puddle. This little fairy penguin was spotted last year on the rocks near the bluff at Victor Harbor.
I might be tempted to do some more little budgie paintings as they are so cute and whilst working on them it brought back memories of my own child hood budgie "Poppet"

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Three Challenges

I don't always share my paintings on my blog for various reasons - simply I do too many, I also have lots of failures, some I like but not sure if they are good enough etc. The journey I am on is such a roller coaster ride of highs and lows from elation, disappointment and everything in between. When I wake in the morning I am already thinking about painting. I fuss around a bit before I start as beginning always makes me anxious. Looking at that white piece of paper and wondering already what my endeavors will bring. Once I get going I am fully immersed and the experience is wonderful and I push on with the intention of course that my end result will be pleasing. When it is - oh boy do I feel good, when it isn't - well I just have to get a handle on how this makes me feel because with watercolour as my chosen medium I am going to have many paintings where they have a mind of their own and in more control than I am!
I am sharing these three challenges - 

Happy Memories
The first is the October challenge from my facebook friends Create38 and it was "Bridges". I have not painted much from our Italy travel last year so thought it was about time I did and this is so out of my comfort zone that it really was a challenge for me. I am pleased with my result given my lack of experience in this subject area

Kens Roses

The next two challenges I made for myself - My neighbour Ken has the most amazing display of peach coloured roses and though I have painted them a few times I have never been happy with my result. I try and paint loose where I can and with roses I find this does not come easily to me so I thought why not try them on YUPO as my expectations of the result is not known or expected as it is with watercolour paper so perhaps I can just have fun and see where the flow takes me. The results are even more unique on this surface and certainly unrepeatable!

Blowy in the Channel

I also experimented on Yupo to capture the view I had last Saturday morning whilst reading the paper in bed- yachts went sailing by on their way up the river and once again I have not found boats easy to do (such a shame as they are outside my front door) so having no expectations and forced to be loose on this slippery surface I am quite pleased with my finished piece. Painting outside ones comfort zone is the only way to grow and improve as an artist and finding ways to do this is the biggest challenge.