Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The struggle of working big

So this one is big - 24 x 36 Inches and has been a few different paintings. The original painting was landscape, with some interesting shapes and some painting that I liked, but the subject was ultimately unappealing to me.  So I turned it portrait direction and in Bob Lahotan style I looked for something, somewhere in the original painting to begin with again.  Eventually it happened but the second image referred to a 5 minute sketch from life drawing and although it had potential, I didn't believe it. In Septmeber, I  had thought I'd do a series of hat paintings based on a trip to a day of open gardens when I followed a hat around.  That felt like another place to begin again  so I painted in the figure. It needed more stuff, so amoung other things, our bowl, lamp and sideboard appeared today. 

I continue to struggle with tight and loose, how much to define, colour and grey, line and all that decorative.

I think my mother would recognize similar painting on her folding screen, so maybe this is how I paint, my handwriting?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Clearing Snow

Having used the pure pigment of gouache, these Akua intaglio inks are a bit pale by comparison, but I thought they might be able to approximate snow light in their own way, so I moved aside the oils and began.  Even though I find making monotypes so arduous at the start, as I begin to finish there is usually a sense of wonder and delight.  They take time, focus and luck. I love rubbing the paper with the wooden spoon , lifting up the corner and seeing what it all means in reverse etc...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Snowlight colour studies under the influence of Hiroshige

No sun up this morning while walking the dog and the colours and light at the end of the lane reminded me of Hiroshige. I wondered whether using Horoshige's colours in one of my colour studies would create the feel of snow. I tried to think about colour ratios, very loosely, and grabbed, tore and cut paper quickly. I wanted to keep away from reproducing the structure. Clearly missed an opportunity to use my favourite melon orange, in my haste, though.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Snowlight by woodshed

These 'snowlight' oil sketches have become a part of my day.  The snow is still pristine in our Nayland Farm micro-climate. the original is a bit duller, a bit more like the grey snowlight of today.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Snowlight in studio

Heavy snow last night and overcast today. I only have titanium white, I wonder what lead white would do? 

Also making snowlight mailart, drawing on colour studies and gouache painted paper.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Snowlight (inside) 2

The snowlight is flat today.  They say snow is coming and in 'pathetic fallacy' terms the snowscape looks malevolent, not playful.
I realised I don't have a col red (carmine) in my oils, so found it difficult to get a low key fuscia.  In the end I turned to my neocolour.  Love the colour studies book! Also finding it manageable to do 5 X 7 oil sketches.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Snowlight (inside)

This snow light is beguiling! That high key blue-green white-light through the window changes everything. Another tiny 5x7 canvas.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The light of snow

I'm spending my evenings working through David Hornung's book COLOUR: a Workshop for Artists and designers. As I often point out, I am terrible at following directions so this morning when the weather station alarm woke me (-10C), I suddenly realised I had been mixing my chromatic greys/grays incorrectly and the first thing I did after taking pictures of the pink trees and the blue sky etc... was to re-do last night's assignment. 

I think I was primed from that and was about to work one of my ongoing projects when I noticed the snow light.  I found a canvas 5 X 7 and tried to record it. They say it will be snowy for a few days.  Beautiful light!

making Pauline's covers

Pauline is a Suffolk writer who asked me create the cover for her first book, Utterly Explosive.  If you want to read her book go to:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Waking to a New Year

Listening for Children

Upstairs I rake sounds through floorboards
tweezing the prosthetic ‘a’ to make sense
of chirps below.  My cheeks decipher walls,
a toe tug and time between years.
I count vertebrae,
sink through baklavaian sheets,
sleeping between teenage sounds,
wonder up aisles of half centuries,
while threading chain to sprocket
with bare hands.

RG 1.1.13

Young people sleeping in the studio.  Limited by the trash in the office bin.