Sunday, 29 November 2015

First snow

I was asked by Drift gallery in St Anne's for whom I have led previous workshop events, if I could make a winter themed canvas for an exhibition space in the town. I have a lot of work on at the moment but thought it would be lovely to be able to make a piece just for Christmas.

I  am presently working on a series of pieces for a solo exhibition next year  at Skyeworks gallery in Portree on the Isle of Skye. The volume of work  I have to complete sometimes seems daunting but I am confident it is achievable, and so far have kept all of the completed works underwraps. ( not easy for me ;) )
 As the series progresses I have noticed  my style is changing. The constant themes return again and again, but evolve. I think the very act of making a back to back series of works make this happen, but thrown into the mix are personal experiences and feelings.

The way an Artists style develops fascinates me. Picasso very famously went through his blue period 1901-1904 where his work took on a more sombre tone, his sadness during that time led to his use of predominately blue palette warmed only by a very small amount of colour. Of course the period was relatively short lived and soon the colours came flooding back.
 Mood and season can  influence in subtle ways.
My 'First Snow' piece began a few weeks back in warmer hues, paint, thrown, dribbled and sprayed in merry abandon.

As the paper layers went down, the seasons had begun to change,

A biting wind,
A hard chill.
Cold, clear, water,
Mist, damp.... Winter.

I am working more loosely, using palette knives and splatter teqniques to apply paint freely over collaged paper fragments. the physical application of paint mirroring the wind and rain.

Of course there is still metallic sparkle in my work. Silver flakes merge with ice blue paint, but it is more muted.

 The finished work was hung in the exhibition space in Aston Pavilion on Wednesday and sold, I am told, as it was being put on the wall! Yay!!!!!
I took the photo below of ' first snow' propped up on my sofa to help show scale a little better...

first Snow

Sunday, 15 November 2015

The path to brothers point

As you may know already I really don't like the cold. Much of my summer is spent outside photographing and drawing so that in the cold months of winter I can spend my days inside making. I think perhaps I would be better suited to hibernation, but alas that does not seem to be possible, so at the moment I am filling my dark days using many of the summer photographs as inspiration.
This is one such snapshot of summer, finished  a few weeks back.
It is a beautiful area of coastline on Skye which I paint regularly

It is quiet and peaceful, just the odd bleating sheep to break the silence.

I began by painting in the scene roughly with watered down acrylic paint.

I then covered the paint layer with paper fragments. I used pieces of old ordinance survey map as well as foils and hand made papers. ( you can also see my inspiration photo stuck into my scrapbook.)

I applied black gesso in my usual way.

 I decided to lighten the sky and sea and add moulding script to add more texture.

The foreground was filled with cow parsley and grasses using liquid pearls paint and gold leaf. You may notice the tea mug..... earl grey is what makes me function. ;)

Brothers point, mixed media on canvas)

Monday, 9 November 2015

A late autumn

sketchbook pages

Autumn is milder and later than normal, although recently the winds have picked up and the skies are changing.
 There have over the past weeks been crystal clear days where the dark berries sparkle.

And more overcast days where the warm colours are subdued.

The leaves have stayed on the trees longer.

The colours more vibrant.

The brambles are later, some still yet to ripen.

Soon the trees will lose their robes of gold.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Autumn at Loch Ard

Autumn at Loch Ard

  I mentioned I had been working on a commission and at last I can show the finished piece and it's journey.

A few weeks back It began as small fragments of torn paper and paint.

layers of gesso were added, this gives you an idea of scale.

 fragments of special memories were woven into the mix

A little boat, an autumn blanket.

The lady who commissioned the piece forwarded me some paintings of an area of Scotland called the Trossachs. An area of Scotland I have long admired but spent very little time as I am usually en-route somewhere and see most of it's beauty through the car window. It is an area of wild hills and lochs which have inspired many poets and artists. Sir Walter Scotts poem 'the lady of the lake' was written about the Trossachs region.

These photographs are mine which I took a few days ago as I drove through the area, it gives you an idea of how beautiful it is.