Thursday, 15 March 2018

A little Painting 'Face Time'

I used to love painting faces, but over time got out of the habit. When not being a tourist in Siem Reap in Cambodia last month, I spent some time drawing and abstracting 'faces' from magazine pictures. My goal was to exaggerate more than copy, and then paint in a very non-representational way. Perhaps it was in response to all the colour I had been seeing for many weeks at that point in S.E. Asia. Good fun!

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

More sketchbook painting ......

A few more little paintings from my sketchbook while travelling. As you can see I was 'all over the map' in terms of subject matter, working from some old photos, and just creating from my head, other images. 
But good fun none the less. 

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Back in the Studio......

   It has been a little over 13 weeks since I last posted and have spent any concentrated time painting, which for me is a very long time! Most of that time I was travelling in South East Asia, through Hong Kong to places in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. It was a fabulous trip to say the least. I took watercolour painting materials with me and had hoped to post while away, if not art, then inspirational photos, however, technical problems prevented that. 
   As you can imagine I did not really have a lot of time to paint as we were being tourists, walking, eating, walking, and moving from place to place every few days. However, there were times I took breaks and escaped into an hour or two of sketchbook painting. Plein air activity was not possible, so I worked from pictures or my head and just played.
    One of the most widely seen and revered images in Thailand and also that country's national symbol, is the elephant. It is featured on their flag, in statuary in temple complexes and on a million tourist items for sale. The elephant also appears in the form of the elephant-headed Hindu god, Ganesh. Although Thailand is a predominantly a Buddhist nation, statues and shrines to Hindu deities are a common sight and there he is referred to as Phra Phikanet.  Ganesh is also popular with artistic people and is thought to encourage creativity so he seemed like a good subject to paint when I finally got out my sketchbook for some painting therapy. This photo taken in a cafe garden in ChiangMai inspired my first painting. 


   While in Thailand we also had an opportunity to spend a wonderful day at an elephant sanctuary where we fed and walked with them, and some (younger than myself) helped to bathe them in mud and then wash them off again. It was an incredible experience to see these intelligent creatures in such a personal way.

More from my sketchbook tomorrow.....

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Season's Greetings!
It was a winter wonderland in Guelph Ontario this morning, with freshly fallen snow clinging to branches and trees. Always a magical sight.

I will be travelling in south East Asia in January and February, and though I will be missing my studio and acrylics, I hope to do some drawing and watercolour painting on my travels. I hope you will stop by and have a look from time to time. 

Many thanks for reading this blog, and your generous comments 
along the way.

Happy New Year and all the best in 2018

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Night Falls

Night Falls
17.5" x 14" - acrylic on paper - $50
If you saw my previous post you might notice a relation between that recent painting called Day Breaks and this one. Night Falls grew out of the other but is much darker, smaller and was done using a palette knife. I wanted to try to suggest the idea of 'night falling on land', using a dark sky with some mysterious lighter areas. In the beginning I worked with a brush, and added more inktense coloured pencils, but eventually used a palette knife to stop myself from making it all too tight. I think it worked and though it is dark, I quite like the overall effect. 

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Day Breaks

Day Breaks
36" x 48" - acrylic on canvas - $700
This was one of those paintings that starts out (as most do) as one thing, going in one direction, and then over a week evolves in a good and creatively satisfying way. I did start with an idea for a large, wide 'landscape', with a high horizon line and small sky that was loosely based on a photo, but quickly put aside.

I knew that I would not be comfortable with a lot of undefined foreground space, and that became the challenge. Once the colour palette and general value pattern was in place I decided to abstract the foreground or 'land' space into various sized shapes, suggesting landscape elements. I have been experimenting with this in the last few months and wanted to try it on a larger scale.

However, at some stage it seemed a bit boring - so I got out my Derwent inktense coloured pencils and scribbled- drew all over the painting, then with the canvas on the easel, and in a very controlled way sprayed a light mist of water on those lines and watched the intense colours come alive and drip downwards, mopping up the unwanted bits. That was fun! In the photo below you can see some of the smudged lines, that are more visible and interesting in reality.

The finishing was slow and a challenge because at that point I liked so much of the painting and didn't want to loose the great bits. It has been finished for a few weeks and I have to say I am really happy with this one!