It always starts with a seed of an idea, something that sparks my interest and a story begins.
Lately I have been drawn to trying to create a sense of time and place, a certain atmosphere. Something that will draw the viewer in and encourage them to think that they may have been there at some point in the past. These photos are from my recent visit to Calke Abbey, a national trust property that has gone to wrack and ruin over the last decades but that is in a constant process of conservation to keep it as it is rather that restoring it to its former glory. There are lots of dark corridors with peeling layers of wallpaper and paint and it has an incredible beauty and atmosphere.
Of course there always has to be a character, someone that could be me, could be you or someone you know or have read about or have imagined.
I never tire of drawing and painting faces. They are a combination of self portraits, images of friends, from inspiration but also from my own imagination.
With this painting I wanted to create a real sense of light and shade so took lots of self portraits with the light the way I wanted and sketched from those.
The image started to come together in my large moleskine sketchbook that I use for painting in (someday I will do a slideshow of all the pages). Here I can work big, with no expectation, just enjoying the texture of the page and the feeling of the paint.
I prepared a lot more for this painting that I ever have before as I wanted to paint big (well bigger than my usual at 60 x 80 cms) and wanted to get the scale and perspective just right so I worked on yet another drawing and played with light and shadow too. Then time to start painting – but that is for another post!
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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Hello there! Thanks so much for all your recent comments – I am terribly behind with replying to them all (as ever) but hope to get it done soon.
Today is a day of appointments, my creative writing meet-up and odd jobs. I have been busy sculpting away this week in preparation for all the events I have coming up and I need to prepare for my upcoming workshop this Saturday so it is just going to be one of those days where although I am bobbing about everywhere, all I really want to do is sit and sculpt or start the next painting. Oh the life of a self-employed artist. I am glad to be on annual leave from my part time job this week so that I can get caught up.
Hope you are having a wonderful week!
Well that would be the dream now wouldn’t it? But today I have not managed to pick up a paintbrush as unfortunately when you are a self-employed artist there are so many other jobs that need to be done. Today has been a day of applications and as always I am scrambling to get them done at the last-minute – some things will probably never change.
It is always strange at this time of year to be applying for Christmas shows but I guess if there are any that I am accepted for, it means that for the rest of the year I am reassured by the fact I know where I will be and what I am doing. So far today I have submitted 4 applications – 3 for Christmas and 1 for a show in June that was extremely successful for me last year so fingers and toes are crossed.
Above is the recent progress of my painting – a detailed shot. I don’t know where these characters come from and this lady in particular has been a strong feature in my most recent drawings. I guess she just needs to have her story told.
I am really close to finishing this painting and hope to do so tomorrow so will share the progress shots once done.