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Friday, 19 December 2008

The Baxters

Well, here it is. I've resurrected on old compact digital camera so I'm posting the study that I was lamenting on Wednesday. No time to write more - Christmas shopping and all that!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Ever had one of those days?

Have you ever had one of those days when you should have listened to that little voice in your head telling you to have a day off? I had one of those days yesterday. I'm not going to bore you with the details as to what put me into that mood - it's a long story - but here's what happened to me when I didn't take my own advice.

Driving over to my dads house (I have my studio there) I knew my mood was low. The journey took longer than normal (traffic), the weather was depressing (cold and damp) and I didn't have a painting in mind so I was unsure what I was going to do when I got there.

After arriving and having a cup of tea with my dad I went to the studio, tidied up and did some paperwork . I knew I was procrastinating so I forced myself to lay out some paints on my palette. Feeling monumentally uninspired, I settled on painting the view from the window, believing that if nothing else it was at least good practice. The overcast weather ensured there were no strong contrasts and the winter greens and browns of the gardens that I could see from the window were all muted and close toned.

I grabbed an abandoned canvas and drew the image with charcoal. I worked sight size. Even this seemed difficult. Correction followed correction until the canvas was a confusion of lines and patches of colour from the previous painting. In order to cover the canvas quickly, I tried to block in the basic tones using thick paint (to cover the previous image). This is fine when it works but as the canvas quickly becomes loaded with paint it makes subsequent alterations more difficult. As you can probably guess I decided that these first statements were wrong and so more paint was applied - lots more (don't ask me why I didn't scrape it off!). Before long I was floundering around in a swamp of oily paint. The 'zone' was never reached but I pushed on to the end regardless, determined to get some kind of result.

Would you like to see the picture? Well you can't - having decided to blog about the difficulties of this particular painting I went to grab my camera bag from my car and, not realising that I hadn't fastened the bag, watched hopelessly as the bag swung open and my Nikon dropped to the floor, lens first (lens now in kit form). With hindsight, considering this event in the context of the day, this was inevitable.

The moral of this tale should be apparent. Painting is seldom easy. Some days though it is near impossible and any attempt doomed to failure. If your inner voice tells you that it is one of those days do something else!

In case I don't get chance to post again I would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I've got to go now. I need to alter my Christmas list to include a new Nikkor 18 - 55mm zoom lens - Santa are you listening?

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Playing With Paint

Sometimes painting has to be approached playfully. Today was such a day - no plan, no reference, just the joy of applying paint and moving it about. These days are necessary to help guard against becoming too literal - for me in anyway. Additionally, these type of pictures tend to lay about the studio and feed new ideas.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Ice on Erewash Canal

A small 10 x 8 oil on MDF panel painted earlier today. Carlson warns against painting the unusual and I think this is verging on one of those occasions. However, this piece was never meant for sale and I couldn't resist having a stab at this strange light effect. The underside of this bridge was receiving an intense warm light reflected from the canal. 

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Summer Landscape

It's been snowing here today and, to make matters worse, the central heating has packed up! To cheer myself up I painted this small summer picture. The reference material was a photograph that I took a couple of summers ago when cycling the Tissington Trail in Derbyshire.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Fading Light - Towards Ilkeston

This is an image that I have painted before but this time I have tried to convey the feeling of early evening.