Sunday, 3 June 2018

Back to the landscapes

Well, which comes first...the idea/ concept or the art/ paint. On different days, it's different ways and this week , the differences in my approaches to my painting were highlighted.

At the begimming of the week, I was again interested in using up work on paper. I never do anything with the work on a paper in terms of framing or making into finished pieces, so I have always got piles and piles of work. I thought this week that I would try and make some sculpture with them, a kind of 3 d painting but of course when you research 3d paintings the majority of the images were about highly complex illusionert paintings....not what I wanted at all.....keep going ......the first two sculptures were absolutely awful so all that work down the pan......but of course, it isn't really down the pan at all, everything you do feeds into the next work etc, so nothing is wasted and I hope to come back to them, with a better idea.

The first one is built up of  small off cuts of wood wrapped in paintings and put together to form this kind of tower. Ugh ! The second, I made a box shape with off cuts of wood and thin mdf that I cut to size with a knife. again , I wrapped the box in a painting . Ugh ! Try again. This was definitely an example of an idea that was better in the concept stage, rather than the reality.

This was a landscape I decided to paint over ,52 cm sq. the one below was the painted over piece. This was in direct contrast to the week where the idea came first, I had no idea with this one where it was going to was much more about the physicality of the paint, rather than anything else.Mmm. Will live with the. Before deciding....

' A time and a place,' acrylic on board, 52 cm sq.

' A Sunday afternoon,' acrylic on board, 52 cm sq. Love the paint and that was what this one was about. Lovely day in paint, in and out of the garden pottering in the paint.

This one is one from a few weeks ago that seemed to be related to thrones I had completed this week. Will live with them for a while. Trying almost to plug the gaps in the displays at home of the ones that have gone to the galleries.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Painting small figures with a knife

So, this week I wanted to make a birthday card for my Granddaughter who is two next week. I like to make a painting instead of a card because it's something individually, next week in the Art group we are painting figures with knives and this today, painting my Granddaughter was practice.Mmmmm.

I like to paint small figures with a big brush or a knife, you can't fiddle then and it's the fiddling around that kills a painting , for me , anyway....much better to put it away for another day and do another one.....with that in mind, these were the ones that weren't too bad !

I wanted a brighter palette than I would use for my Northern figures. The colours of May. Gorgeous light olive green, beautiful pinks and as I started off I thought it might work if I did a little concertina book of sketches instead of the birthday card. The book could stand up with the cards on the day but then hopefully be kept as a painterly reminder of a second birthday. Well that's the plan. I haven't yet done it so will add to the post when I have made it.

The paintings are all small and those that are bigger I will crop them down, I think , to 15 cm sq.

Setting off on an expedition. They come as a pair, Granddaughter and Mabel bulldog.

Granddaughter in sandpit

Granddaughter in the wild garlic flowers

The girls are here for tea

Welsh poppy and buttercup. May flowers.

Sketch of wild garlic flower. I sketched in charcoal , painted over it with gesso with a bit of acrylic in and then tried to put the paint down with a knife. Mmm.

Finished sticking everything together. I used card blanks to make the concertina book, just adding a piece of card on the back to stick the card blanks together. Over many years of Community art with Bernardo's , I have so made too many concertina books and if I make them from scratch I just don't get all the folds precise. Much easier to use card blanks.

Stuck it all together but will wait for it to dry before  adding any words. 

I like it. Ok , I can critique the paintings and think I could have done better but the fact is, it's just a little painterly record of a lovely few weeks in the garden for my Granddaughter.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Back to My North

Had a week in  My North paintings. 15 cm sq. on paper. Acrylic and inks. Found it massively hard to get the figures anywhere near. He ho. That just tells me I have got rusty fingers that need to practise. I can't pick up and drop different genres of work like I do and still keep the expertise. Rusty fingers. Mmmm. These were the most successful.

' Pals,' acrylic and ink, 15 cm sq.

I think that these paintings are better with a title to give a viewer more of a clue. The process is just putting the paint down and watching for something to appear. Doesn't always work and often, when they are dry, I can't see what I saw in them the day before. 

' Play,' acrylic and ink.15 cm sq.

I love the mixes of ochresa and umbers. I mix them into pots with screw topped lids and I like that I can't mix the same colour again, so it has to be slightly different. This one reminded me of play. Our lives were about play, we didn't have the same pressures that the children have today.

' A solitary figure with layers of  memory,' acrylic and ink, 15 cm sq.

We alter our memories don't we ? I know I do because over time , I remember many more things fondly. As I paint these small snatches of childhood , words and memories come to mind. It's very pleasing to do this but frustrating on the painting. Side if I can't just get it. Practice needed.

' A world of crofts,' acrylic and ink, 15 cm sq.

The crofts and demolished mills were a treasure trove of exciting finds. Spindles, dug outs, bits of was our world....

' A different skyline,' acrylic and ink, 15 cm sq.

Lots of the mills gone , a different culture now here in the North West. When I was young it was buzzing, vibrant, industrial, 

' Space in time,'

Time stretched out in the Summer holidays, in such a lovely was all about the play..

' Our world,' acrylic and ink, 15 cm sq.

This was our world. The backings. They are all gated off now in the terraces. 

' Where to go ? ' acrylic and ink. 15 cm sq.

There were lots of people living in the terraces but there was always some alone time. How ?

' Grandma with the sewing machine 1' acrylic and ink.

Grandma had her own chair...well all the family had their own seat to sit on as we gathered round the television in the evening. This was Grandma in her middle room ( I think we called it the living room) her sewing machine always at the ready.

Definitely repainting this one !

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Quiet landscapes May 2018

So, this week I am just trying to replace paintings in my own home that have gone to galleries. I like to put the paintings up all round my home , to live with them....and so that if a gallerist wants to visit to see my work, there is something to see. Well, that's the plan anyway. I work from a home studio, well, we live in my studio and that's fine for me....some artists like to keep a separate studio space and I have done that for many years but I still worked at home anyway.

I have been painting 52 cm sq. landscape paintings. I have a lot of boards this size from doing a years daily paintings in 2014. Many of those have been repainted but some still remain...interesting how things move on and change....I have read somewhere this week that if your painting is the same 10 years on then there's been no progression.Mmm. Makes sense.

If you set off aimlessly with no aims in a painting then often you get an aimless painting. I think. I set off thinking about orange and how I avoid it. It plays no part in my paintings and I though that I could explore mixes of orange. Well, best laid plans, because I covered all the orange and orange mixes up and became much more interested in light effects in the landscape. We looked at light in the Art group and I felt very strongly that I don't paint light. I just paint tones that can be interpreted as light effects. Interesting. That said, I have been looking at artists whose interpretation of light effects I adore, Turner and Richard Whadcock come top of the shop.

' A gentle light,' acrylic on board, 52 cm sq.
I really enjoyed the mixes of umber, black and white this week.

' A light spills,' acrylic on board, 52 cm sq.
Very subtle, maybe too with it for a while.

No title yet. Acrylic on board.52 cm sq.
Textures subtle.

' The light just danced this morning,' acrylic on board, 52 cm sq.
This one had many incarnations this week but I like

' Distant light,' acrylic on board , 52 cm sq.
This one too had a lot of incarnations but it feels right today. Looks massively different in different light. Mmm ...need to try them in different spaces to see how they look. Some may look too subtle. Need also to make the cradle frames for the backs of them.....

There are lots of works on paper this week. Ran out of cartridge to order some.....

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Collections 3

Lovely , sunny day. Hope that filters through and makes my palette lighter and more colourful. The paintings this week seem somber and serious.Mmm. Will keep going this week to see if there is a natural change in my colours or if I have to do something more drastic ( like hide my natural, go to colours of grungy greens and umbers.

The first two are the 32 inch canvases. I have them displayed in the Art lounge and I keep flip flopping about whether I like them or could just be the context they are in, the colours in the Art lounge may not support them.i know enough about my creative process to know that just because I am undecided about them does not mean that I reject them entirely. Just live with them.

Among the dark hills. Acrylic on canvas. 32 inch sq.

A distilled sky. Acrylic on canvas, 32 inches sq.

Sketch. I have managed to paint/ sketch every day to build up a collection of work on paper to make the collages from.

So, this is a collection of sketches / small work stuck together. I am looking at ways to display the work on paper without glass so I have stuck the sketches together as I wanted them, drawn round them onto mount board and made a wooden frame on the back of the mount board. I am just at the point of letting it dry out now but the intention is to stretch cotton canvas over the frame and then mount the sketches onto the canvas. I like the idea of the different shaped canvas and I like the idea that I could then make them into a longer piece by making another canvas and displaying them together. Will see if it works. Hope it does and feel quite excited about it.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Collections 2

So, continued to work on sketches / small paintings on paper. Still quite a gloomy palette but I feel that the work is quite free because I am thinking whilst I am doing it that I may well cut it up for the next,' collection.' We will see. Very conscious that I am pushed for time at the moment ( family living with me ) so have to be very focused about the work. That's fine too. These were the small pieces this week.
50 cm x17.5 cm. acrylic and sumi ink.

32x30 cm. acrylic and sumi

35x21 cm acrylic and sumi

23x42 cm acrylic and sumi

33x29. Acrylic and sumi

This was a 32 inch sq.still work in progress.

Sunday, 22 April 2018


So, this week I have carried on with the sketches / small paintings. I have enjoyed them but would have benefitted from a bigger space to spread them all out. I have played around with display on an old 34 inch square frame and although have enjoyed that have felt that it's swallowed up a chunk of time. They are time consuming to arrange and it seems to be one of those areas that's full of infinite possibilities so I have felt that I am putting the sketches down and rearranging them repeatedly. Perhaps that's something that , if I continue to work in this way, I will become more decisive. It's uncertain territory at the moment. I like them though and I like the fact that I would be using work on paper that I never normally do anything with because of the framing aspect. I often don't like my work on paper framed, although I like others framed.Mmm. Strange.

These were the sketches , sizes vary, media varies but I often end up in the paint.Mmm.

Sketch or small painting ? Well maybe neither....just work on paper, that covers it all really. I don't want to devalue the work by calling it a sketch, although the call is mine.

Like the white paper showing.

Like the texture and the warmth. The work on paper seems gloomy this week.

This was part of the underneath piece. The paper was so wet and I loved the piece when it was finished but I laid it to dry on thicker card and the paper was so wet, it stuck to the underneath card. Grrr.

Maybe I will work back into them because I seem to want to make each a finished piece before I put it into a collection

Wanted to try and get canals but unsuccessful so far....need a field trip

Also liked ripped edges alongside the cut ones. I like that I can leave the uneven edges. Just as they are.

First , 'Collection,'....I like that name , it says it all really and I like that I have used older work too. Old and new. Mmm. I like the space contained within the frame, it clarifies the collection and focuses the eye.

Collection 2.... Well it's a Landscape collection....some of them seem to be Canal collections.

Collection 3. I like the final work put seems more readily able to be put together. The colour seems to make it harder.

This was thoughts of a small one. I just laid them on a donated Ikea frame, 50 cm sq. to get a picture of what they would look like. I wouldn't use an Ikea frame for the gallery though. Like feels kind of like a slice of a landscape.

So, the first one I glued the work on paper with acrylic Matt medium. It seemed to make the piece as a whole quite solid. The second, I used Pritt stick because I didn't like the wetness of the acrylic Matt medium , it makes the paper a little cockles and wavy. Not sure which way to go yet.