For the longest time it seems I have been focussed on the people in my work, character, expression and what we are about. But I have also had a long held fascination with the places we occupy, the places we come from.
It is something I am really exploring in my latest work – figures and communities with the story also being told through the backgrounds and their environments but I have also wanted to work on some landscapes too.
I have built up a fair amount of reference photos from visits to harbour towns and villages from holidays and places near my hometown and it has been great to dig these out and use them for some small pieces.
I tried to work loosely – not wanting to forgo that haunting atmosphere that is such a central part of my work. Still wanting there to be emotion – a presence – an idea of the people that lived there. The landscape art that I connect with the most is that which says ‘someone walked over this land, lived in these houses’ the relationship between people and the places we walk or reside in. The way humans have touched the land and depended on it and changed it, for better or for worse.
It was also fun to work in a series – painting four at the same time. They are only little (7 x 5 inches) but I can really see these marks and lines translating to larger work and can’t wait to try some bigger pieces.
I will have them for sale (£45.00 each) at the Holmfirth Art Market this coming weekend – mounted but not framed – so really affordable original art! Have worked on a few more today and hope to have some larger ones available too.
So many new and upcoming exciting things to share but whilst I get my blog posting sorted here is a latest obsession of mine.
I have always painted by instinct really, just doing as I feel and getting to know what works by trial and error. But now that I am taking my painting a lot more seriously I am realising how much I have to learn.
One of the main things I am curious about is colour mixing – how different colours work, tinting strength, opacity, unusual and unexpected mixes, finding the best way of reaching a certain colour out of any number of paths.
So a few weeks ago I began this colour mixing bible – a moleskine (can’t think I would ever use anything else now) and every colour paint I have, mixing them in varying strengths with various tints just to see what happens. It is fascinating and I am learning so much! Two new pages everyday that I am in my studio – it is going to take a long time but I am having fun making new discoveries.
I have been asked a few times about the colours that I use in my work so thought I would attempt a wee video to explain my palette and some of the colour mixes that I use.
Please excuse my shaky voice, all the urrmmms and errrs and over use of the word ‘beautiful’.
I hope you enjoy it and that it is of some interest to you.
Incidentally all this novice video making is slowly building up to a rather large and exciting project that I am currently working on which won’t be revealed for a while but all in good time!
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The weeks fly by and I pootle along oblivious. Just working away as usual in my own wee world.
I have a few projects on the go at the moment and am changing some of my work habits and plans – part of which is continuing to make the best of my studio time, continuing to persevere with oil painting, making plans for future work and keeping painting the days away when I can and learning as I go along… always learning.
Above is another amateur video of a journal page in progress. (Learning… always learning)
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Before Christmas I purchased a long awaited video camera with to begin recording some of my works and progress. This is the first video I made back in January and have only just been able to start learning how to edit etc. I have alot to learn and a long way to go!!
But here it is – click here to be taken to the video and remember I am very much a beginner!
There is something so freeing about painting in a journal or sketchbook…letting go of the pressure that this painting must be good enough to exhibit or sell. It is just for me. There are no expectations. I can take my time or work quickly and intuitively. It might inspire future work, or it might remain hidden, only to be seen on those occassions when I flick through those thick, rumpled pages. But sometimes it is also nice to share it and show another side of my work. But always with that melancholy nature and the attempt at creating atmosphere and emotion
I admit to an addiction. Moleskines… with their perfectly black covers and the paper inside that in the sketchbooks is smooth and takes pencil so well… or the watercolour books that take any amount of paint and water and mixed media and are so forgiving of the layers and layers that you can keep applying.
Another studio day today and I can’t wait to get started!
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I have been wanting to play around with making videos of my in-progress work for a wee while and although I would love it if I had something a bit more polished to show you, if I were to wait for that to happen we could all be waiting an awful long time! I took this a few weeks ago when I was in a flurry of making new characters. As it is this took me half a day to even work out how to edit it (I use the term loosely as really it just meant chopping a bit of at the beginning and end) and save it to my computer. But we all have to start somewhere right? Baby steps, baby steps…
So here it is in it’s simplicity (and nope, I haven’t figured out how to embed it into a post yet…so here it is on my brand new Vimeo site)