Monday, September 27, 2010

final work on the Carna Bay painting

Here is the promised photograph of the finished Carna Bay painting.
I am happy with the effect.
It will go on exhibition before Christmas, hopefully it won't be coming back home.
I'm off back to my studio now, I've to finish another one or two works this coming week. All the exhibition catalogue notices for the pre Christmas shows are starting to arrive and the deadlines are from only two weeks away. The reason I have just photographed this one is to send a Jpeg image for a catalogue inclusion. I find if you are including a colour photograph of a work it is always better to use the smallest work as it is less likely to be missed amongst larger pieces.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

More work from my Connemara sketchbook....

I'm still working away.... this is another work in progress....

It is a painting of Carna Bay in Connemara. I have done more work on both it and the previous posts painting, but I have not yet photographed them. I will take more pics tomorrow when it is daylight.

I also repainted part of the Cashel bay painting, but I need to rework it again. I'm still not happy with it.

I have also started a large painting from a sketch of the sky road, Clifden, Connemara... again the light beat me for the photos.

This work (pictured) is 12 inches square. I have replaced the boulder top left with bramble/scrub, mainly to solidify and anchor the horizon. There are also more details and highlights within the painting in general. Along with the removal of the greens to the left I have also rebalanced the contrast between the land and sea by cooling the distant blue down slightly. A lot of the changes to works in progress are subtle, fellow artists will notice them, and usually see what and where changes are needed. However, many think that paintings just "happen" as we work on them. Much of what goes into art is more than just what we see. Apart from being influenced by what we feel, we also manipulate a scene to allow the work to be visually appealing and easy on the eye, while keeping the viewer within the painting itself, involving them long enough to allow them to be influenced by the artists intent. Couple this with creating interest and tension within a work, it is so much more than a photograph can ever be.

I hope to get a chance to photograph the reworked piece tomorrow, if not I'll do it Tuesday and upload it for you to see. In the meantime I will leave you with a photo of Carna Bay. It will give you an idea of what the landscape is like in reality. You will also notice how the photograph also flattens the perspective, removing the (feeling of vertigo) sense of depth/height of the shoreline above the fallen tide. Also in the photo you will see the tops of the brambles over the wall which I have used to enhance the work........... as yet to be shown.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Indian Summer...

We are in the middle of an Indian Summer. It has gone quite warm again, and in between showers it is nice and sunny. My cold work has disappeared again.

Here is a painting I started yesterday, based on studies of Cashel Bay, Connemara, from earlier in the year. I did further work today, as you will see in the second photograph below.

There is still quite a bit to do on the piece, I will be adding some Montbretia into the foreground foliage later, and I will probably have to do more work on the far shore, but until the hot oranges go in (montbretia) the foreground I will not know for certain how warm or cool the mid-distance will need to be.

To the right is a photo of Cashel taken from the same area, however this from further around to the left of the first Sketch. The tree is from another drawing based on trees that are actually across the road from the bay. But the photo serves to show where the warm colours are coming from, dry grasses and red seaweeds. It was taken too early in the year to show
any of the montbretia flowers that grow wild in the area. Although they are more prevalent in the far south-west,(Kerry and West Cork) the orange flowers thrive in the acidic soils and can add great colour beside the dark red Fuschia bushes that make up many hedgerows along the west coast of Ireland.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Summer's end part two....

I have finished the painting I spoke of in my last post.... I have titled it Gathering Storm. To this end I have used a number of techniques within the piece. The sky is obvious, but within the painting of the sky there are echos and shadows of the underpainted tree branches. These have been left intentionally, they add a feeling of restlessness movement to the trees without animation in the painting. The lines and bow curves of the tree branches are designed to give the impression of whipping movement and tension within the tree. Within the painting of the tree boughs and branches I have tried to create a restlessness using uneven brush marks along with the uncoordinated shapes of the branches.
The magpies themselves also help the stormy effect. The top left magpie is either struggling to perch, or just arriving to join the others.
I have used six of the birds in reference to the old Rhyme, One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy. Five for silver, six for gold. Seven for a secret, never to be told ,eight for a wish, nine for a kiss.
Ten for a bird you must not miss.
The number of birds is designed to help the collectability of the painting, being a good number to have if someone is superstitious. The number is not an important factor in the composition, just the variety of their stance, the top left craning it's neck looking down, as is the bottom right bird, as they do when scolding the cat. These are incidental to the mood of the painting which also carries the threat of the storm within the tree itself, and from the dirty grey sky behind.
I feel the painting works well, pleasing to the eye while still holding the threat of an impending storm, with the cameo of magpies adding further interest.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Summer's end

Winters coming....I worked on a painting today. Now I'm looking at it on the mantelpiece, and it's icy cold in the artificial light. The summers warms have gone, just like the swallows.

I am still amazed at the subconsious effects on my paintings. I am working on an idea I have been developing recently. It will be called Gathering Storm and is based on Magpies in the neighbouring tree from my studio scolding the cat from the other side. I have created stormy skies behind the tree, which at the moment is in sillouette - which increases the wintery effect - and I'm hoping will warm the painting much more when re-painted/finished.

While I am feeling the effects of the day in the studio, I am now able to work for a large portion of the day. I hope to start producing a few finished pieces soon, it's getting close to the pre-Christmas shows. I know it's still September, but an oil takes at least six weeks to dry before it goes to the framer's. I will soon have to work out what work will go where, I already have two requests for images of work to go shows for the brochure/catalogue. These also take a couple of weeks or more to produce.

Back to the work .... I may turn this painting to the wall.. ..I've an urge to carry it back out to the studio, but I don't want to overdo the working.

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's September already....

I still haven't been painting recently, I have managed to do preliminary drawings and other associated work. I hope to be working soon, as I'm in need of some new work for a few exhibitions coming up. I am leaving a work into a mixed selected show this month, and if it sells I must find a few more for the shows that are coming up in November or I will have to put mixed series into them which I prefer not to do.
I am going away for the weekend on the 10th of the month. It is a birthday treat, it's that time of year. When I get back I really will have to knuckle down to some painting.