A Fort on a Misty Day …

Yesterday I didn’t know what, if anything I was going to add to this painting, style and colour scheme. Today however I decided to paint it bigger and add in the ruin of a fort :

I used a wetter mix than yesterday and I like the effect this has had on the tones in the painting. I also dried the painting at an angle, hence the water marks at the base. I’m really pleased with this, it’s much less ‘try hard’ than I’ve been painting recently. I look forward to painting another in a similar style either later today or tomorrow.



Happy Mothers Day …

I hope that all mums out there but especially mine, have had a lovely Mothers Day today. In honour of you/us all, I painted some more flowers this afternoon.  For my inspiration I used a yellow-orange gerbera that makes me smile each time I see it, it’s like a ray of sunshine in my kitchen:

My painting today took several hours – there were so many layers of colour, each layer being more intense than the last. I used cadmium orange as my base, viridian, burnt sienna, alizarin crimson and lemon yellow were each then added to separate pots of the orange.

I wanted to add some patterned paper (am liking my forays in to ‘water collage’) to further enhance the colours. I chose the stripy  pattern as I saw it as being the complete opposite of anything floral, I like the contrast it creates.

So here you are, a virtual bouquet of sunshine:

Modern Art for a Modern Boy, part 2

Having planned the designs I hoped to use for some modern art to go in my son’s re-decorated bedroom, I had to decide how to best recreate them. I wasn’t convinced that I could get the required shape or texture with simple watercolour paints. I therefore decided to try using pastels. I was pleased with the initial results but felt that the image was lacking something, I had a play with some pen and ink as well as with just a dash of watercolour.

Here are the results:

I’m really pleased with these final images and more importantly, so is my son. I had done some research in to getting the original computer aided designs printed on to canvas and was stunned to find that each one would set me back £50! As it was, I used materials I already had (paints, pastels etc) and following a trip to a local arts store I spent just £12 in total on the three 12″x12″ canvases. A bargain for me and something unique for my son.

Why my paintings are like buses …

it’s because I’ve not done any for quite a while and then I paint 3 in 1 afternoon! Unfortunately, I didn’t like the first two at all, I’ll be using the reverse side for practising at some point in the future. I think I just tried too hard to create abstract images of a hydrangea ‘head’, the results were not good at all, one was way too blurred, to such an extent that the image faded almost completely into the background, the other was so abstract that it didn’t make any sense at all.

On the upside however, I think I learned from the mistakes I made earlier this afternoon and I’m really pleased with my third attempt:

I chose a small collection of flowers that were in different stages of decomposition and I loved the colours that were created. I tried to get as close as possible to the natural colours, as with all things natural, the colour combinations were all sumptuous. I feel very relieved as part way through the afternoon I was beginning to feel quite downhearted, thinking that because I hadn’t been painting for a while, I had lost my sense of creativity.

I hope to paint again next week, when the Christmas festivities are over and before the New Year ones begin in earnest, hopefully I’ll still retain my creative mojo.

Less is more!

I think I may have found a style to suit me. I like detail but more often than not I allow this to overwhelm my work instead of focussing on the balance of the painting. I also like the idea of painting a rough estimation of what I remember rather than a non too perfect representation of what is actually there:


I love the simplicity of this painting. When we visited Westonbirt recently, the first trees we saw were a row of beautiful and elegant pine trees. The sun was incredibly bright (hence the yellow ‘ribbon’ winding through the trees) and as we walked through the arboretum there were many sudden ‘shocks’ of brilliant red acers.
I had hoped my painting would be somewhat more abstract, however, for a first attempt at letting go of rigid lines and dimensions, I don’t think this is too bad!

Trying to find my style …

I’ve read recently that developing a painting style is a bit like developing your own style of handwriting. This helped me put my recent frustrations with my painting in to perspective. I’ve been reading lots and feeling inspired by several different artists but have found it increasingly difficult to work out how I’d like to be able to paint.
The painting below is indicative of this. I used paint and watercolour pencils and I also dabbled in a little decoupage, as a result, whilst I love the colours, I feel it lacks cohesion.


A natural beauty.

Having visited Westonbirt Arboretum at the weekend, I felt totally overawed by the sheer beauty of the trees. The autumn colour was just beginning to appear and with the sun shining bright but low in the sky, the whole place took on a really magical quality. It looked stunning:




I used the acer as the inspiration for my first painting from Westonbirt. The shape of the leaves and the colours they had turned were beautiful. I was able to use many of the colours in my new paint sets, I also decided to use some pastel as well, to increase the definition of a couple of leaves: