Sunday, March 20, 2016

Foxgloves and Dragonflies Workshop March 19th

Due to illness, accidents and work we were down to just the 2 ladies yesterday! Sue on the left was painting with me for the 3rd time but it was a first for Hilary on the right! We all got on like a house on fire and had lots of chat and laughs during the day! Beautiful paintings from them both--its amazing what you can do with black and white acrylic paint and a pop of colour for the foxgloves and dragonflies! A touch of oil paint for the water and sunlight coming through the trees and it was done!

Squirrels Eye View 12th March

Always great fun to do-using acrylic paint on large 2ft square canvas.We had a wide range of colours done, ranging from spring to winter!

First time for Lauren, and what a great job she made of it!

Love Dru,s painting lots of movement  !

Rach made a cracking job of her autumn colours painting..

Joan chose the brighter spring colours and added a pop of colour with some pretty blossom on  one of her trees!

Lovely colours Claire!

First time painting for Sue-- who made a brilliant job despite shutting her fingers in the car door when she arrived! Ouch!

Serenity Workshop March 5th

Apologies to the lovely ladies who came to paint Serenity on March 5th.... life has got in the way of updating my blog!  I got bursitis in my right Achilles tendon just after the workshop and ended up on crutches for nearly a week! Its much better now thank goodness but I have to be careful for a while,,its connected with the polymyalgia, and may have happened because I have cut down on my daily steroid dose!

I got the hang of the crutches quite quickly but getting up and down stairs was interesting to say the least!

Friday, March 04, 2016

The Land Of Fire And Ice

I have been working hard  for a few weeks on an exciting commission--the biggest one so far! I was contacted by a couple who had bought a painting off me 5 years ago... it was explained to me  that they had got engaged in Iceland and had lots of photos they had taken while there and wanted a picture to remind them of that wonderful time..however they wanted the artwork to fill quite a large space and also to be done in my own style using bright  colours like I use in my ''Yesterday" paintings.

We decided that it would be more practical to use 3 canvas instead of one 9ft x 4ft -so I bought 3 canvas each 3ft x 4ft and made a start! Bill got the canvas set up for me on 3 easels in my kitchen..    I emailed them photos of every stage so they could see the progress and tell me if there were any changes wanted..    I had forgotten how much painting large canvas makes your arms ache LOL,,, and painting 3 of them in a row was certainly a challenge.  .I love the mix of bright warm colours --with a little cool blue..   The first coat of paint was just a base for me to go over later..and give me a rough guide of what will go where-- the second coat of paint goes on easier and blends better,,

It was always going to be a dramatic painting...and it changed quite a lot as each layer went on...I made full use of my artistic licence!!
There was water in most of the photos I had been I added that next..reflecting the beautiful colours from the sky into the water..

Next step was to put in the distant hills. The photo above was taken while the paint was still wet..but I had used a very diluted paint so you could see through it to the colours beneath..this was for the one that lay behind the main body of hills.. it looked as if the sunset was reflected on them..

It took me quite  while to add the exact contours of the hills from the photos onto the canvas..I wanted it to be as exact as possible as it was the one photo that for some reason took my eye and I felt it needed to be instantly recognisable by I was going backwards and forwards with my little brush adding a bit here and there until I was happy with it..The foreground I had a couple of goes at.. first time it was lighter , with more snow, but we agreed it want quite right, so I set to work making it darker and adding much more texture to it..

We had a trip to London to deliver it after we realised that it was much to big to go via normal courier without it being in a wooden crate.. however when we went to price up the materials we realised it would be a cheaper option to deliver it ourselves--and we would know it had arrived safely.. We had an overnight stay in a lovely hotel and ventured into London the next morning--it was pretty quiet on the roads which surprised us, and the sat-nav took us pretty much to the door! It was great to meet the commissioners and to see their faces when they saw their painting in 'real life' !  While having a coffee with them we all agreed that the paintings would look better on the opposite wall to what was intended! The commissioner sent me through the photos of them in situ--- and I'm so chuffed with how they look-- the spotlights are in just the right place for them..the most amazing thing was to be told that the place I had chosen to paint out of all the photos I was sent was the exact spot that they had got engaged-looking out at those hills! I guess that makes it even more special.. It took a while to do but I enjoyed every minute of it-- had a request for another commission today too-- a bit smaller than this one just 40 in x 12in but I wont be able to make a start until Monday as we are looking after our little Tommy for the weekend while his Mummy and Daddy got to London for their first wedding anniversary..