Sunday, December 30, 2007

Serbian Exhibition Poster

I was sent an image of the poster from the Exhibition in Belgrade, Serbia. It is an interesting poster..... I am not sure of the relevance of the angels, but it is probably something to do with Christmas and the New Year.
It is nice to get copies of the posters as well as the catalogues from the exhibitions you take part in. I must start a scrap book one of these days. It is almost new-years eve so I will wish you all a prosperous new year.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Solstice Morning..

I have painted a couple of small works this week. I had a few enquiries for some "affordable" paintings as Christmas gifts. I will try to finish off one more before the day so I will be busy enough. It has been very cold the last few days, but the heating in the studio is more than adequate, I thought the metal skin may create a refridgerator effect but the double walls give enought insulation from the cold. I am on here while waiting for the heater to warm the studio before I start work, that usually takes about 30 minutes and it will be pleasantly warm when I go back in. The sun was hidden behind clouds this morning, but at least it is getting brighter now and I will have good light in about half an hour. It is winter solstice today, (a day later than the calender date) the shortest day of the year. From today on it will start getting brighter again, it helps shorten winter knowing summer is on its way.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Just over a week to Christmas and I am not doing much painting, a little fishing but mainly meeting people and attending end-of-year meetings and get-togethers. It's all go! Party season is upon us. Bearing this in mind, Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year!, just in case I don't post in the next week.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Only 3 weeks to Christmas...

It's December already, I have been busy. I had to pack and ship a few paintings, mainly to ensure delivery before Christmas (some were to the USA) and now I can get back to painting. I want to go and get a few more canvases etc. also, I am running low on them and want to ensure I get them before they are all sold out. It is surprising how much art materials are sold coming up to Xmas, obviously as gifts for people. I am working on an idea for a work based on Cruagh wood, up the road. We took the dogs up for a walk last week, the leaves had just finished falling and the colours were just at the stage of a deep russet reflecting in the light against the green timber.

I may go up during the week with a sketch book.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

another Tunisian coast seascape study, step by step

Blocked in

reworking the sea
into the shallow water
and next I work the rocks
some general highlights
more highlights to give the movement in the water and wave lines added

final highlights and details
about 12 inches square, acrylic on canvas. I am building up a collection of these small works, soon I will start on a large scale piece on the subject.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

two small seascapes

Here are two quick studies, acrylic on canvas, about 10 inches square. They are both based on the mediterranean coast again. They are just basic square works, but divided in half, blue and green. This has been varied by splitting the top square again, the lower one in half again above and graduated colour below. In the first painting, the movement in the water and the cloud in the sky have broken up the stripes, thus disguising the geometric form of the painting. In the second, less worked piece the cloud does not break the top strip to a great extent leaving it stronger looking even though it is less pronounced than in the first painting. The gradual and radial colour change of the sea help do the same.


These are two small experimental paintings which will help when I come to do a larger painting based on the same principle.

SOLD Seascape 2,

Sunday, November 18, 2007

North African seascape No.2

I have been working on another North African/mediterranean seascape painting. Here is a step by step work up study;acrylic on canvas, 16 inches square.
Step one:Blocked in colour with a few marks indicating water movement.

step two: further work on the main sea areas. There is added movement in the water and more tonal values in the sea.
Followed by step three: detailing and moving light on the rocks, light movement in the foreground water, created mainly with the use of semi-transparent layers and brush marks.

The criss-crossing curves and arcs create a simplified rippling effect on the seabed while still showing as water surface without needing to delineate the visuals by adding a shoreline

This will be an interesting excercise in a more finished painting.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Second Lino-cut print

These are two prints from my second lino-cut. They are not good quality as I have used plain acrylic paint and sketching paper but they suffice to give an idea of what they will look like when finished. I have created horizontal strips to create an impression of writing in the book. The angled lines on the background are intended to give the idea of a rushing river with the salmon leaping out from it. I moved the 'Ex' over to the right, to help the balance of the image.

Friday, November 9, 2007

My Ex-Libris Lino-cut is coming along

I have been working on my Ex Libris print. Ex Libris from the latin meaning "from the books of",was an old way of claiming ownership of books, much like a library stamp, when books were still very valuable. The idea was to have a personal stamp to put into the frontispiece (1st page) of the book. It will be a lino cut. This is my basic outline. The design is based on Fionn mac Cumhaill, (pronounced Finn MacCool) an early Irish mythical hero, who while cooking the salmon of knowledge for his teacher Finneces, accidentally gained the great knowledge of all things....much like an avid reader does. I will be titling my print "Fionn mac Cumhaill's Salmon" and I think it is an Ideal subject for an 'Ex Libris', as it is sympathetic to the idea of books as tools of learning.

This is my first plate, although it did print well I am not totally happy with the final print. I will cut another block and try it before deciding one way or another.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Autumn rains

I am currently working on the structural element of my studio access, in short building my 'boat-dock' out to the door. The steel structure is in place and I now can fit the timbers to it. Today though we have heavy rain and wind so I don't see me getting much done. I cannot even try to sort out the power outlets in the wet.
It is looking like a day to go wandering around a few galleries and the art supply shop. I may even spend a few hours socialising in the city while I am at it. I haven't done that in quite a while, I have been too busy since getting back from Tunisia, and I didn't have the time before my trip either.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A step by step view of a painting.

Here is todays work, a WIP, work in progress.

This is the first stage with a basic sketch and blocked in dark areas.

My second stage with a base wash of yellows

The next step was to add warm colours into the rocks and a little more substance, still with thin washes

adding some depth and a little more contrast

followed by some further detailing, still in thin washes.

a few washes later, ready for cleaner work with thicker paint. I will start the next steps on Monday.
As you may notice it is a study of the sea and rocks again. I was looking into the water from a stone built 'pier' out into the sea when creating my sketch.

2nd instalment of the WIP, Coastal Groyne

Here is the next stage in the progress of this painting. I have started over painting and adding more detail in the water.
As I continue adding more paint I am both defining the shapes and strenghtening the tones and colours of the painting, I have also started to define the wave at the foot of the painting.
Here you will notice I have started to create a swirling motion to the water, this has been done by adding many more curves with the marks from the paintbrush.

Finally I have added final touches to the broken wave and the stream of water over the rock in the foreground. I have also warmed the colours as the depth of water shallows while still keeping the overall blue/green effect in the sea.
Here is a detail of the streaming water over the rock ...
and a detail of the breaking wavelet in the foreground.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The first work out of my new studio..

Is an acrylic on canvas, 24 by 18 inches. It is based on my Tunisian coast studies. I photographed it when I had the base work painted in. These base colours look a little stark, but you will notice how much they soften with the extra layers of paint in the final picture. I intend to do a few of these seascapes, and then I hope to paint a couple of larger paintings in oils when I have explored the ideas a bit further. The acrylic paint is a bit flatter than the oils would be, but because they dry so much quicker I can develope my ideas more rapidly.

For my next painting I will try to get more vibration within the sea itself. I like the movement within this one but I feel I can get a deeper look to the movement if I use less brushwork, but more careful blending of colour tones. The similar tones of two colours react when laid down beside each other, giving the effect of a vibration within the painting. This will aid the movement of the water in the seascape.

PS. in the actual painting the rocks sit below the surface of the water, but not quite as well in the photograph. I must look at the painting again to make sure.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Moving of my studio is complete.

I have moved all my work into the new studio, even this piece (from a study I did in Florence) which is seven feet by four and 3/4 ft. It is a little bit too big for the space though.

I also have moved all of my paints, brushes, easels, my painting table, computor etc. into the unit. I have enough space to work, although with the lower ceiling I may have difficulty working on the larger canvases. I have less room to display finished paintings, but no-one will be coming in to look anyway. I have all the works stacked up against one side wall of the studio. I will create a rack for them later. I also moved my bookcase and books in while I was at it, in fact as soon as I connect the studio for electricity it will be ready for me to paint in. I accomplished all this by rigging a temporary platform into the studio. I have removed it again though as I used borrowed materials to do it. I hope to do the permanent job over the next week or two, but I can get into the unit by stepping across the gap in the meantime. I am looking forward to getting stuck in to work soon, but after the last few days I need a break, so I will take a day off tomorrow.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Getting there...

I have cleared out my studio, but I am unable to get all the contents into the new one. I still need to get a walkway into it...
I have all stored in the Conservatory at the moment, meanwhile I have painted the inside of the studio with white emulsion, just to give it a clean fresh look.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I am in the middle of packing

up my studio. There is a lot of it to do, apart from the paintings, and there are a lot of those, there are all my sketches and studies, my easels, paint, brushes, coffee machine, radio, computer, paperwork,press-cuttings, books,(lots of these) bits and pieces collected for paintings and future use.....I am going to have to sort out some of the surplus items I don't know where all the bits are going to go. I am going to leave the desks, and just bring my paint table with the pull-out leaf for my palette and my bookcase.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

My studio is now in place

I still have to do work around it though. The tree to the left will need pruning back a bit. I need to build a bit of a porch in front to allow access to the door. I also need to connect a reinforced electric cable from the hous into the cabin. I will probably paint it green too. I will start planting around the edges with creeping/climbing plants to soften the edges and I will build window boxes for the front in the spring.

I have done a small, adjusted photo in paint to give an idea of the size behind the tree. Another gives an idea of what I may do for access

Iam looking forward to moving in.

Friday, October 19, 2007

My new Studio

is almost ready, the groundworks have been completed. The Portacabin arrives at 8am in the morning, and hopefully will be in position by 10 am. I will take a pic tomorrow and try to upload it. I then need to organise the bridge to get into the studio....hmmmm

Here is a not-to-scale plan of our garden, with the proposed position of the studio. The Garden is 65 feet by 26 approximately for scale.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Preparing for my new studio

I have been clearing the shrubbery at the back of my garden, ready for my new studio to arrive.(Hopefully this weekend) I have still to build the footings for the Portacabin, which will sit against the wall and project over the pond by about 4 feet. I had an earthen bank behind the pond also which I am in the process of removing with a shovel. It's hard work!. My studio will be twenty by ten feet, or 6 X3.3 meters. Not particularly big, but it will suffice, and, as it is going to be a "vandal-proof" portacabin it will be totally secure. The Dog managed to get herself into the photo again, but at least she gives a little perspective to the photo. The pond is 18 feet by 15 feet incidently so I will still be left with with about 14X15 feet of water surface visible, and the over-hang will give the fish more cover too.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A small paper study.

This is a 'small work on paper'. It is a view from Tunisia, 16 X 12 inches, acrylic on paper, and has gone to Belgrade, Serbia, for an International Exhibition of small works. The horizon looks crooked in the photo, but the paper was still wet and crinkled when the photo was taken. You will also notice it has a bit of 'fish-eye' lens to it also, but it gives a good over view of the painting.

I am still organizing for my new studio, but I hope to have it soon.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Welcome to my new blog

I am back again, and I will be posting my art as I work on it shortly. I am back from Tunisia, I was participating in this festival . If you follow the link you will find photos from the festival.

I am in the process of moving studio at the moment so I will not be creating much art in the coming weeks, but I will show some ideas and paintings as I pack up all from my current studio.

Meanwhile, here are some of my paintings in Tunisia...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

I accidently deleted totally...ergo here I am again as