Saturday, 16 December 2017

Whispering greys (3)

These were the photos of the small 15 cm sq. trees. Loved them.
















Whispering greys.....had ordered 10 canvas panels at 32 inches square. Trying to paint the ten over Christmas and New Year, to help my techniques of painting on the canvas develop. Hard work but enjoyable. Mixed some greys and off I went. Theses were the two I painted this week but I am sure I will paint them over, I didn't actually like them as much as the ones done on the old canvases last week. Mmm. Typical.

This was the first one. I was trying really to think about three previous painting, which I actually hadn't liked that much anyway. I don't  mind this one....TODAY...live with it.....I like... The drips ( as always ) ... The greys....the scrubbed in thin washes of paint......

This was the second but doesn't have much going for it at three moment....but, in a way, I like that I am painting rubbish paintings knowing that they will be painted over, so I could think of these as a first layer. 


Sunday, 10 December 2017

Mark making - trees

So, for me one of the most rewarding studio activities is the mark making, the small 15 cm sq pieces that I have done masses of. They are like my sketchbook, familiar, challenging, rewarding, exciting. Wondrous...I could go on.

I am thinking about trees.....love trees, love living next to the woods. Love the feelings that I have walking in the woods. It's very special and in no way can I ever actually put that into paint. But, I keep trying.

These are my tools today.....old dip pen ( for scratching really ) containers with inks in, green soft plastic cake decorating tools that work a dream with the paint, water spray, pencils.


So, I love the mark making and when it comes to a larger painting, I love the ,' making marks,' that appear as the painting is created. I love ,' catching,' marks too. I put cartridge paper underneath what I am working on and often love the accidental marks that appear. I cutt the paper up afterwards.




These are a few of the first ones this morning ( of course, I don't show you the ones that I will paint over. ) will take the photos of the others later when they are dry. Sometimes they kind of die when they dry. Strange.

Above. This was the piece of cartridge underneath my work. Will crop it all to produce 15 cm pieces that I can work back into if needed.

Poor photo of the second batch of 9. Mark making about trees. Love the process. Love a lot of the images too ( always helpful )

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Whispering greys ( 2)

So, this week I was trying to make the earlier grey paintings bigger. Tried canvas, I had two old 32 inch canvases spare. Massive differences painting on canvas than painting on board but need to try them over Christmas and into the New year.....I love painting on board but manhandling the bigger boards, 33 square inches is hard, they are heavy and bulky compared to the canvas. But my painting process is vigorous and the techniques I use will have to change. On the board, I can beat the paint into submission but not on the canvas....have to have a lighter touch.

Was also trying to smoothly blend the tones from dark to light. Herd, hard, hard. It's much easier to do this in oils .....but as artists we don't want easy. Eases boring.Mmm

These were the two canvases.


This was the first one.... You know these paintings come out as they come out, painted intuitively....I was supposed to be looking at greys but that didn't happen did it ? Although it came out similar to lots of other paintings I have made, I didn't dislike it....maybe just hold onto it for a while with a view to painting over it if needed. Or just live with it.....I like.....the composition, the contrast in tones, the watery ness of it. What could be improved.....we'll the transition between the light and dark tones.....that needs practice and research ( Richard Whadcocks tonal transitions come to mind ) these transitions are a little , ' jerky.' Try to make them smoother. Order some more canvases  then I will have lots to practice on over Christmas. 


This was the second one and did have many incarnations, although the final image ( final, for now ) looks smoother than the first, it took a long time to get there and it's niggling me now when I look at it displayed in the Art lounge ( back room. )
I like....the greys, the subtlety, a lot of the ,' making marks,' that happen in the painting process. Tonal contrasts were subtle.



I had wanted to paint two paintings to display together on the chimney breast. ' linked paintings.' Maybe these aren't the final ones but they are ok, for today. Try painting greys on the little 15 cm sq pieces that I love, see if hug at helps. Also research poetry and other grey landscapes.


Monday, 4 December 2017

Whispering greys (1)

Have temporarily abandoned the Urban boxes project. Not achieving anything with it, just repeating myself in paint ! Feel a failure ( get over it ) because it beat me.....but I am sure I will return to it , I have made lots of boxes....just had to get the greys out of my system !

Saturday was such a grey day , the trees peeped out of the mist, gorgeous, gorgeous. Drove round, walked round , just being in the grey. Loved it. Loved the photos taken through the windscreen ( I wasn't driving) and just painted all weekend.

Mixed greys, a favourite pastime, mixed the complementary colours first....but will continue the mixing. I mix the colours on an old painting then I can use whats left over repainting the piece. I have mixed these greys using opaque white, try also this week , to mix with the mixing white which is more transparent. Also try the fluid acrylics.


Photos through the windscreen.
















I mix the colours ( acrylic ) on old paintings and then put them into screw topped pots I buy from ebay



 52 cm sq. Acrylic on board. ' Whispering greys .'



52 cm sq. Acrylic on board. ' mists of grey.'



52 cm sq. ' winter grey.'




52 cm sq.' A landscape of darkened grey.'



52 cm sq. ' Contrasting greys.'


Saturday, 25 November 2017

Urban boxes 4

Another week gone ...these Urban boxes are a lot slower ( obviously ) than doing the work on paper. He ho. Need to make some more boxes which of course slows me down. That's not neccessarily a bad thing....it makes me take my time and go in the direction that I really want , rather than just responding to each piece on a daily basis.

This one started off with the phlourescent pink that we used in the Art group this week as a base layer. I didn't really the phlourescent paint but it does give you something to almost work with or 
 Fight against. Strange to think in such terms.
Using the Golden liquid paints allows a lovely glaze using the acrylics .But it wasn't exactly what I was wanting. I am sure I will paint over these but for the moment they are allowing me to build up the number of urban boxes. Some are more of a landscape image.

Again , using the liquid acrylics as a glaze.

Went back to the black and white work, rather than using colour. Preferred this work....today....keep going.

Again black and white with an addition of burnt sienna mixed with black. Although , for this project of urban marks, it felt a little cluttered , I didn't dislike it. Keep going.

I am nearly half way to the 30 in numbers but not in finished images that feel, ' right.' There's only a handful that do feel, ' right.' 

Reminded myself what it was I did want by re reading the blog.....I wanted ....
An urban feel
Simplified compositions
Finished pieces without frames or mounts
Limited palettes.

Try to keep that in mind with the next ones....but also be aware that it might well take me a lot longer that 30 days to do the 30 urban boxes !

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Urban boxes ( 3 )

Had a poor week in paint ! He ho. I think it's often what happens when you start a new project, in this case the urban boxes and it goes well initially. Then there's a swing the other way and I think it's because as artists we feel under pressure to produce a painting as good ( in your own judgement ) as the last ones. Mmmm. In a way as Artists we do put blocks in front of ourselves, often no one else puts them there. Mmm. To overcome a block maybe the last thing you should do is NO painting. But for some reason , it's easier not to go into the studio , or to go in and do nothing. Added into that this week , I was trying the Golden liquid acrylics and that seemed exciting but a little daunting.

I did try the acrylics but they didn't go well for me. I have toiled over these two pieces and will surely paint over them on another day. This piece was 6 inches by 12 inches. I had made a frame out of wood on the back and about 12 coats of gesso later tried a print start with the gelli pad and acrylic paint. Didn't work so well , so have had loads of goes at it with the fluid acrylics. The acrylic soaked right into the gesso, nothing like the paper.

Urban box no 7. Acrylic on board.


Urban box no 8 . Acrylic on board, 12 inches sq.


I started with random golden fluid and put down acrylics on top. This type of intuitive painting is , for me, about putting the paint down and watching for something to appear, preferably a mill or an urban scene.

What did I want from these ? ......shapes....feelings.....colours....memories...
How did I do.....ok
What did I like ? The shape and size of the pieces, the fact that they are finished pieces in their own right and don't have to be framed,the colours, some shapes.....
Where could I go next ? Continue with the fluid acrylics, make some more boxes, don't be too hard on myself....be a bit more definite about the shapes to include......

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Urban marks on boxes (2)

So this week was the start of a next 30 day challenge. Urban marks on boxes. I was trying to get the urban marks to work in a more robust piece of art....often with the work on paper, I don't do anything with it, I stack it.....I often don't like them in frames and I don't like them behind glass....but yet as a surface in themselves they are often fragile and vulnerable.

It's been completely different working on board or cotton covered board. I needed to make the boxes first of all which is a feat in it's own right. Some , I covered in cotton, others primed in gesso and then acrylic.that massively slows down the Art.....not neccesarily a bad thing. With the paper ones I could create one a day but the boxes are a different matter, slower, more space inbetween each coat of paint.



Above....boxes in various stages. I had the Mdf cut into 12 inch square pieces at B and Q. Lovely man that cut them and I came home and got going.....but when I am making the frame for the back, I use the pieces of board to mark the frame wood....hence I hadn't noticed until I had painted each piece and come to hang it up completed, that each piece is a slightly different size....just an eight of an inch here and an eighth of an inch there....It will mean that I cannot hang the paintings butted up to each


other...I will have to leave a space !




The first 6 on boxes, 12 inches sq. Hung in Hope Gallery, Redbrick Mill, Batley. Love the hanging...I wouldn't have hung them in a vertical grid but I like it..


Urban box! ( working series title, need to look at titling this series  ) no 3 Acrylic on board. 12 inches sq.



Urban box 4 Acrylic.12 inch sq.


Urban box 5 Acrylic 12 inch sq.


Urban box 6 .Acrylic, 12 inch sq.


The first ones hung in the Art room. Maybe they are too close together, they maybe need more space between them. Will work on that.

Love these at the moment. Where I live ( which is my muse) the centre of my town is in the distance, urban, gritty , poor town. I live on the hills, the glorious landscape of woods and hills that surround me. In a way, I am trying to marry the two aspects of my landscape. Big ambition, we will see.

I am aware that I am using the acrylic paint in a way that it's not designe to be used...very thin washes and glazes which dilutes the pigment. So, have ordered some Golden fluid acrylics today, which, they tell me, has the same concentration of pigment in a liquid form. Looking forward to that.