Wednesday 26 September 2012

Cottage by the sea

Cottage by the sea

I have been laid up with an ankle injury for a while and this has meant enforced inactivity, not something which I relish, but it has meant that I have finally finished this canvas which was started some time ago


It began as a textured background and I lay down paper and washes, changing the tone as I went. Initially there was a bird of prey drawn out, but I felt that detracted from the small cottage so left it out. I wanted a patchwork of colour in the foreground so used pebeo liner to outline the torn paper around the trees.

 Below is a close up of one of the finished trees showing the paper layers. I'm not sure if the circles are falling leaves or rain...I think they are a combination of both.

Being incapacitated for a few days has also meant discovering the sketchbook challenge which I have added to the side of my blog. I often find as the nights grow darker harder to find inspiration for my sketchbook and thought this an excellent idea to keep me motivated. Each month there is a new challenge to fill your sketchbook, this months being pattern, so now I have lots of ideas to fill those pages.

Saturday 22 September 2012

The love of old doorways

The Old Byre Door
There is something very enticing about an unopened door,  even if it goes somewhere rather uninteresting. Behind the old byre door is a broken lawnmower, however with a bit of imagination it could be another entrance to Narnia! I like old weather beaten doors with peeling paint and discoloured stonework, It appeals to my love of texture. I used watercolour, pen and ink and watercolour pencil.


Greek Doorway

I bought this Greek doorway picture a few years ago in the Peloponnese, unfortunately it was not signed so I don't know the artist, but it is painted on fabric which makes it very unusual. It is from an area of Greece called the Mani. It is probably the doorway to one of the many beautiful Mani Tower Houses many of which were left deserted but are now being bought and renovated by rich Athenians. It was a beautiful yet stark landscape, and the ruined villages added to the air of forgotten wilderness. Even now this picture reminds me of the smell of searing heat, chirping cicadas and hot dry dust between my toes!


Monday 17 September 2012

September rose

September Rose

These are some of my favourite colours....magenta, cerulean and ultramarine blue .... I combined watercolour and pastel, scratching through the pastel  in areas to add texture,this is a technique I use in a lot of my work and all mediums, ranging from acrylic to watercolour. Then I outlined some areas in pen and ink. The combination of watercolour and pastel gives a very intense colour which I like especially for flower painting.

Daisy vase

The Daisy Vase Piece uses the same scratch technique, drawing into the pastel to create the texture of the fabric. Daisies are fabulous flowers to paint as I love the way they are so structured. They have a strong simple form which works well when combined with still life elements.

Thursday 13 September 2012

September flowers


When I'm a bit short of inspiration I often paint flowers, I love the colour and textures of flowers and foliage and find watercolour seems to capture their fragility.
Often I combine this with pen and ink drawing as I have in this piece, picking out the detail of the sea holly.The background was created by throwing liberal amounts of salt over the wet paint, then splattering it with an old toothbrush .Sometimes acrylic painting can lack the spontaneity of this type of approach and its quick, an added bonus!

Saturday 8 September 2012

A trip to the coast

Work commitments this week have slowed down my painting....My large canvas was getting me very frustrated, at this stage I put the canvas away for a week or two and then return to it with new eyes....In the meantime I got out my watercolour box and doodled around. Usually I mix watercolour with other mediums, or rip the painting up and use it for backgrounds to acrylic collage, but in this painting watercolour is combined with just a bit of watercolour pencil. A couple of years ago I visited Marrakesh...this watercolour was based on a photo I took on a day trip away from the searing heat to the coast...I love textiles and the colours and textures of this market display fill me with excitement!! I think I bought one of those bags, or one very similar.....and if I had taken a larger suitcase probably would have brought back a few more!



My number five is a sunny September sky filled with the red taken this morning from Morrison's car park!!

Sunday 2 September 2012

The ministry of craft

vintage extravaganza

    Visit to Preston Guild vintage weekend

I had an interesting day out at the vintage celebrations in Preston. The ministry of craft area was lots of fun and I almost mastered the art of fingerknitting.... I am very proud of my knitted rose, knitting has never really been my thing however that may change!! The tent was a little dark but my rose probably looks its best in dim lighting so perhaps this was a ploy by its organisers

cutting and sticking

I also had a go at image transfer, although had to get over the emotional hurdle of cutting up books. (There is something very sad about an unwanted book) but I guess photomontage is a fitting end, I still found it a challenge to take scissors to the pages.!! The end product was a little red riding Hood bag, the image taken from an old and tired ladybird book which looked very familiar, perhaps I had it as a child.... either way the image found me and not the other way round , I can see the possibilities for further use of image transfer, although it does have limitations regarding reversal of image and text.