I've been working on a series of watercolour moodscapes recently. The technique is wet into wet and I used a limited palette of Indian Red, Raw Sienna and Indigo. The form of each image emerged as the painting progressed so even I was surprised by the outcome! Hope the moods resonate with you
We have just launched our New Collections 2013 Exhibition
at Art & Soul. Below are some photographs of the work, including
atmospheric landscapes and skyscapes by myself, evocative black and
white work in pastels and pencils by Stephen Ormerod, dramatic photographs of
Skye and Pendle by Phil Darby and vibrant, spontaneous watercolour and acrylic
paintings from nature by Gill Fox. The Exhibition is on until the new year so
why not come and take a look?
Also if you click on the link below, you can see a short
video introduction to the exhibition which was produced for InPadiham.org by David Hines and Nick Howley
I've returned to the skyscape series this week. I really enjoyed this one as it just seemed to flow. The mountboard surface holds the pastel really well and so I could create depth through gradual blending and layering.
In this second of the Pendle series, I've zoomed in a little so that the hill is slightly more dominant. Again, it was the lighting effects around the hill that I wanted to capture. This will also shortly be available as a signed limited edition print
Here's a taster of Art and Soul from our friends at Art Tutor.com. They introduce the clip as Burnley rather than Padiham but as they're from the distant land of Liverpool, we'll forgive them. Hope it gives you a sense of what we're about. Just click the link below and cross your fingers that it'll work :)
As promised, here's the first of the Pendle series: 'Sunset over Pendle from Roughlee'. I'm pleased with this one because it captures the light effect as the sun begins to disappear behind the horizon. Also I'm always struck by the way clouds catch the warm light of evening. I've turned this one into a limited edition print which will be available in three different sizes.
I'm still working on the Pendle series which I'll add to the blog soon but here's a painting of Sunset over Southport Sands that I've finished off this week. It had been waiting for me to finish it for a while but as I sold it last week, I thought I'd better finally pull my finger out. I'm pleased with the outcome and will be producing a limited edition print run from it before our exhibition in September
Here's the final Piece, finished a couple of weeks ago. Quite pleased with this one and looking forward to doing some more on a large scale. I've also been working on a sunset over Pendle series which I will start posting on my blog soon. Watch this space....
The large skyscape is getting there now I think. The blue-greens (which look like dark blue in the cloud area) have come out a bit strongly on the photograph - they're a bit softer in reality and I have some more softening and integrating to do yet on those areas. I've also got some work to do on the top right section. I put some blue-green on and took it off again yesterday in the right hand area of the clouds, so that will need reworking too. Sometimes it can be like that: backwards and forwards until hopefully it starts to fall into place. We'll see....
I've returned to colour and skyscapes these last couple of weeks. I'm working on a decent scale and with oil paints so it takes a little longer (with drying time, etc). I felt a bit stretched by it on Tuesday but managed to get a bit of a flow going on Wednesday in between workshops. More dark to go into it of course but hopefully over the next two weeks it will come to. Watch this space....
I came into the studio last week after several weeks of feeling under the weather. So I was still physically and emotionally quite low. I had a commission to make a start on and just didn't feel in the 'right space' for it. I'd also been reading a book called 'Dark Nights of the Soul' by Thomas Moore and in it he suggested that it can be helpful to articulate a dark night in whatever way seems natural to you - whether that's through poetry, music or painting, etc. He also suggested selecting materials that are in sympathy with the mood or whatever it is that you're trying to express.
So I decided to try and draw from that place and chose to work with black pastel/charcoal on a cartridge paper with a bit of tooth. I tried once again to let go of control and to see what wanted to come through. These are the three pieces that came in fairly quick succession. I could try to analyse them in words but I think that part of the beauty of this kind of work is that the images are open to personal interpretation. So I'll leave the response to you - I hope they 'speak to you' on some level.
The drawing below was done several weeks ago and I was experimenting with a range of Derwent pencils called Graphatint. They are watersoluble but when used in their dry form they appear as coloured greys. I really like the depth that can be acheived and the effect reminds me of drawings by the French post-impressionist artist, Georges Seurat.
Art & Soul had a visit this week from a couple of the team from arttutor.com - Hannah and Jon. They came to film us in our 'natural environment' and asked us if we had any thoughts on filming content for the day. So I decided to work on some ideas in my sketchbook for future work on waterscapes - both for myself and for arttutor content later in the year. So below are the pages I had begun for Thursday's filming. They are 'work in progress' involving images from the work of other artists, water images and some rough sketches and studies of my own
These pages focus on the dramatic movement in Seascapes and the rolling wave image towards the top left is one of Maggie Hambling's. My own rough studies were about capturing a sense of movement through gestural mark-making. In the right hand image, the top study is in pastels and the lower one is in watersoluble 'Derwent Graphatint' pencils
I carried on with the gestural approach over the next pages. This study was produced very rapidly using acrylic paints and a broad brush. It was based on the work of another artist (image bottom left). I'm afraid I don't know who it was but I liked the movement and the energy and it felt good to flow with the paint in that way.
To the left, I did some pastel studies based upon Monet's impressionistic approach to water. The lower one is just mapped in ready for some more work. To the right, I collected some images that were more about pattern, some of them done by other artists, and they lift up to allow me to do some studies underneath and around them
These images are all about 'going with the flow'. I'm looking forward to using these as inspiration for some creative play - experimenting with energy, flow, movement and of course, different materials
Being a moody artist, I couldn't pass by the opportunity to collect some evocative images by two of my favourite artists - Whistler and Rothko. I've linked these to some of my own photographs and I'm hoping they will lead me into some very subtle painting. In contrast to all that movement and energy, these will be about contemplation and stillness.
So that's it so far. I'll upload the pages again as I develop my own studies and experiments - hopefully something interesting will develop out of the theme!
I thought it was about time I updated my blog with some of my recent work. I hope you like them.
As you can see, in these first two, I've returned to the theme of skies. I liked the drama of the 'Fiery Sky' and the shaping of the clouds in 'Red and Blue Sky'. I worked on dark toned paper for both paintings which gives them added depth I think.
Red and Blue Sky
The next series of images are painted with acrylics on canvas and they began with the idea of working with a limited palette to evoke certain moods. Sometimes landscapes reflect the way we're feeling - the outer world resonates with the inner world. In this small series, I tried to allow that to come through. I had no clear idea of an image when I started - just a certain range of colours, a few emotional undercurrents and some memories of landscape. From that point, the paintings just seemed to emerge. Their lack of detail gives scope for personal interpretation, I feel.
Floating in the Dark
Clouds Sweep over the Moors
In the painting below, I have attempted to capture something of the poetry of light. The subject was the reflection of a vase of flowers cast on the wall and I was drawn to the shimmering light. In a piece like this, I like the balance between the busier areas and the seemingly empty or blank areas in a painting. I'd like to develop a series of images along these lines that perhaps have a contemplative quality to them.