Wednesday, 15 August 2018

#363 'Early Morning, South Parade Pier' 11x14"

I started this a couple of weeks ago but didn't have time to finish it en plein air so I've just completed in my studio.
Its a familiar subject as I used to live near by, although I haven't painted it up close before and with a radical cropping! When I was looking at it a little sail boat came into view it looked great framed with the strutts of the Pier. So I thought to focus in on this part instead of trying to capture the whole thing.

Quite a complex beast!  I wanted enough information without it looking stayed and stiff, so I didn't finish everything off - I'd leave bits for the eye to fill in. 

The beach was empty being 8am, just an occasional dog walker I decided to put him near the pier so his lighter blue top stood out next to the darker areas. Also not so obvious in the composition.

The sky was a darker blue than the usual milky skies we can get, quite tricky to get it dark without it looking too heavy. I had painted it on once and scraped off and then brushed on with less paint & more medium the second go.

I was drawn to the white building next to the blue sky. I used a very subtle mix of whites, tinted with grey/violet and warmed with yellow. Also combining Titanium White and Michael Hardings Warm White

My Mum who lives near this Pier said they have put flags on the poles and it looks really good. Tempted to add them in for a bit of colour and more interest?
Initial tonal underpainting

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

#362 'Sandymouth Beach 10x12"

Last painting in Cornwall. I really enjoyed this part of the world, it helped to have amazing weather, light and skies!
This is a wet sand and sky painting. I worked on the tones - the sand was surprisingly dark and the sea even darker. I tired to paint the waves over the top of the dark sea colour it didn't work so I wiped out wave shapes with kitchen towel and was able to get a better purchase and make the waves light enough.
The wet sand puddles were quite dark too, reflecting the sky in colours. People went into the sea as I was painting which helped with scale and interest.

I did some sketching through the trip so hope to do more paintings of Cornwall in the studio...

Sunday, 12 August 2018

#361 'Crackington Haven' 11x14"

A large imposing cliff the locals call Sleeping Dragon. A great paintable subject...with low tide and the water on the sand reflecting the cliff and sky. People to give scale and interest plus the colourful life guard flags. The sky I'd taken time to put in the sweepy clouds and then some fluffy dark clouds came over the top so I took a risk and painted fluffies over the top, I'm pleased with how it turned out.
It was quite a big board but works well with the huge cliff.
I was lucky as I was just finishing up and then the rain fell...
Rain clouds approaching!

Saturday, 11 August 2018

#360 'Widemouth Bay' 20x50cm

The North Cornwall surf was so much fun to paint! 
Looking the other way the beach was busy with people, life guards and surfers, it looked interesting but this way attracted me more because of the colours. - Looking into the sun creates strong tonal shapes and less colour, looking away from the sun i.e the light shining directly onto the subject makes the colours strong and less about tonal values.

Although I still worked on the tones I compare what is a similar tone within the subject:
sky and the sand are similar 
The distant sea and the rocks 
Wet sand & foreground sea - squint your eyes and have a go!

The sky was changing with lots going on in it. The foreground rocks helped with composition, the tide was high so only the tops of them stuck out it was good to have the water around them - low tide it's just a mass of rocks.

Spot the ring of sandcastles, they were making them as I was painting, I decided not to include in my painting.
This is one of the those paintings that did it itself. Hardly any wiping off and quite quick to get it all in.They dont all happen like that! 

Friday, 10 August 2018

#359 'Sandymouth Surf' 8x10"

A quickie in the early evening light. I put the marks down and left them, an impression of the moment. 
The people walking into the shallow sea with their boogie boards. The light on the water so strong almost to much to look at it. See pic below...

Beginning stages, rough silhouette of people and waves, yellow base colour before the white light.

I stood right next to the water line but the tide zoomed out so fast it was miles away by the end of the paint.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

#358 'Morning Light, Kingsand' 8x10"

I walked for miles trying to get a view with the Cornish houses and sea behind but nothing looked right and then I saw this simple but lovely subject, with old looking boats and amazing light. 
Unusual yellow sky, contra jour sea sparkles, it was a quick painting to capture the moment.

I enjoyed watching the children jump into the water next to me, lots of squeals and laughter especially when a jelly fish got in the way!
Spot the kids behind my easel.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

#357 'Rocks at Kingsand' 8x10"

I have spent a few days in Cornwall with my husband. We have been visiting family and friends but I have managed to fit some painting too! 
I haven't painted plein air in this area before, I want to go back and do more, so beautiful and paintable.

Before this one I had started a painting looking the other way it wasn't going well and I was looking around and saw this view, I turned the easel and it took only 50mins start to finish, I liked the distant haze of the cliffs contrasting the strong rocks in the foreground. Also the lovely colours in the water.
Broad brush strokes and no fussing got it down quickly.
Next painting posted tomorrow....

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

#356 'Early Light, Southsea Beach' 9x12"

Good to get back to plein air painting as I had a week in the studio doing commissions, finished and happy :-)

A quick painting session this morning before piking up our shared dog (Matte) from my Mum in Southsea. 

I was really pleased to find these great shaped clouds and contra jour sparkling light on the water!! 
I didn't do any of the usual things before - like sketch and mix piles of paint... I just got the board out and did the sky straight away, as it was breezy and the clouds were disappearing to my right fast.

The tonal values were really important getting the lower half of the sky darker than the sparkling sea but still a yellow glow. The light on the clouds were lighter than the overall sky but darker than the sea sparkle. A lot to assess in a one a hour painting!

After this one I turned around and started another this time of an old friend South Parade Pier, painted many times when I used to live in Southsea. Sadly I ran out of time so will post when its finished!

Monday, 23 July 2018

#355 'Middle Ward, Windsor Castle' 12x16"

My first plein air competition! I found it quite nerve wracking to start with and didn't realise how big is would be with 100 artists! 
There were areas we were allowed to paint in the grounds and it had to be choose before hand - tricky if you've not been before! 
A stinking hot day with no where to shade & the reflecting heat from the walls and concrete made it unbearable at times. So I'm pleased with the outcome, it's also not what I'd usually choose to paint. The sky was lovely and the building silhouetted which made it hard to get the right tonal value and colours of the building. The people I think bring some life into it and it was soooo busy, an amazing amount of bodies go through this place. 
Spot me with some kids!

The size of the board was big and it being a new subject, it all felt out of my comfort! 
We had a pop up exhibition at the end where it was judged and even though its big for me my painting looked too small to stand out well.
No awards but a big learning and not sure whether I will enter again next year...time will tell!

A note to say I am painting two commissions at the moment in my studio, hence less posting on here but I will be back at it soon, lets hope the sun continues just a bit longer! Clare

Saturday, 21 July 2018

#354 'Sunset Bosham Harbour 11x14"

I faffed for an hour starting another one, putting two much building and foreground in. Then I realised it was the sky I liked so started again and focused on the sky...
I had only a little time then before the sun went below the cloud line, very fast mixing and painting!
Quite a big board so used a big brush and thicker paint in the area I liked and thinner up above.
I stopped when it had changed too much and started another but a drawing preparation for a painting.
The Sky turned a gorgeous pink!

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Award Winner :-)

My painting is being shown at The Patchings Art Centre Exhibition. The judges, including the editor of the Artist Magazine & painter David Curtis, look around the show and decide who will get awards. I didn't know how my painting would go down as it's a little different to the norm...but so chuffed as I was nominated with two awards!

The first is 'The Artist Collection Award' which means I am one of the top 10 and will be in a separate exhibition at the Patching's Centre next year.  
The other is an art company - Royal Talens they choose my painting and I get £250 worth of their equipment!! 
I won the 2 same awards last year, didn't think I could do it again!!

Background to the painting....

-9 my toes were so frozen they were white, I defrosted them in the bathroom sink!

Debate of the yellow sign MOD - some people really didn't like it but I put it in and left it there.

It was snowing and although I had my big umbrella up the snow still hit may board...
Little pit marks from the falling snow!

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

#353 'Preparing to Sail, Bosham' 9x12"

In this gorgeous weather Bosham has Mediterranean rich colours and sweltering heat! Painted on Sunday when the families were turning up to sail. 

A lovely commission open to what I wanted to paint in Bosham. I turned up and really liked the blues and sweeping path in leading the eye nicely to the yachts and building - which I can't remember the name of?

It got better when the people arrived and the sails started going up. So much potential for paintings this area.
Nearing the end of the painting and my view was now almost fully obscured! 

Sunday, 8 July 2018

#352 'Moored by Richmond Bridge' 11x14"

I started this on a Friends of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI) plein air day. 
Standing under Richmond Bridge - its cool there!
There were over 20 great plein air artists on that day and although it was inspiring and lovely to work next to them I felt a pressure to 'perform' and produce a decent painting. It took me till lunch to settle and during the morning I had started 3 paintings which were all scraped! Then I started this little boat and I was away!

8x10" study completed en plein air
I actually completed this little study on the day and Ioved it so much I wanted to do a bigger version and slightly different angle.... so I started another one :-)

I mapped it in a underpainting of Burnt Sienna on site but then the group went to the pub and so it was abandoned till the studio...

Having just painted it once to do it again helped as I was familiar with the shape and colours. I made the boat large in scale to feature it and give a strong composition.

Friday, 6 July 2018

#351 'Sunflowers' 12x12"

A busy week, hard to keep on top of all the artists jobs to do, including this one!

I am lucky that my Mum supplies me with great flowers to paint, like these :-)

I decided to paint outside again as the natural sunlight works well on a still life especially flowers. I started early so there was only a little patch of sun on the lawn and had to move the flowers at least 5 times chasing the sun around the garden! But it worked out nicely.

I didn't paint the colours of the table or the shape as I wanted it soft and undefined - making the flowers as focus.
I used thick paint towards the end as the subject seams to lend itself to oils and juicy brush strokes.
Click on this close up to see the mark making.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

#350 'Summer Grazing' 10x12" & National Garden Scheme

I did a 1 to 1 plein air day with Elizabeth St John this week. She wanted to paint the view from our garden as we focused on mixing greens. 
Sheltered by a big pine tree we weren't too hot and managed to get two paintings done. I suggested she mixed her colours before we paint - getting a light and dark tonal version of each colour - especially the greens! I always mix my colours before I paint as it gives a pile to dip into and your not frantically mixing with a brush and running out of paint! It also allows for good harmonising within your colours as you mix the piles of colour with each other.

We were lucky to have the cows coming into our scene at the end which really helped the composition and give a good focus.

My husband Nick and I are taking part in the National Garden Scheme this weekend at a friends house, she has a wonderful 2 acre garden in the middle of Haslemere and has kindly given us a pitch in her gazebo to sell my paintings and Nicks photography. A percent of sales will go to the N.O.S charities. Come and visit us and the beautiful garden if you're nearby.

Address: 'Barsdey', 11 Derby Road, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 1BS
Open Times: 1-5pm
Entry cost: £5

This is one of Nicks photos of Bardsey Garden:

Friday, 29 June 2018

#349 'Peonies in a Ceramic Jug' 12x12"

Peonies by Mary Oliver 

“This morning the green fists of the peonies
are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old,
buttery fingers

and they open -
pools of lace,
white and pink - 
and all day the black ants climb over them......”

Painted outside in the garden with strong light and shade, an enjoyable paint!

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

#348 'Evening Light, The South Downs' 11x14"

Late summer evenings are wonderful to paint, I tent not to make them very often because I'm too keen to paint first thing and I'm usually tired by the evening, but I geared myself up for this one and went for it! 
I loved the shadows on the white chalk path. they are similar to shadows on snow, really tricky to get the tonal value and the colour right, scraped off several times but happy now. 
Being a late evening I mixed the colours on the warm side. 
Here are the early stages of blocking in and getting the path shadows right before the sun moved down.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

#347 'Box Hill Surrey' 12x16"

I was feeling confident from my previous large scale peonies painting so decided to go large on this one as well. I wouldn't usually on a new subject but was egged on by Sarah Manolescue who also went big.
We struggled a little with noise pollution - young people with there beat box & kids doing rolly pollies down the hillside and passers by wanting to know if we were at college!! 

Once I'd got into the painting it was ok, and quite enjoyed the scale. 
Not an easy view as there isn't much structure and its a big space, although I made the most of what was there, the sweeping down hill and the buildings. I put the horizon on the Golden Mean - or 1/3rd way down the board. Which is generally known as a pleasing point in composition. I also broke that line up with a big tree.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

#346 'Peonies & Stocks' 24x24"

This is a whopper for me - two foot by two foot!  I enjoyed it and surprised myself that I could do it and it turned out nicely :-)
I did start on a a 11x14" but it still felt crampt so I routelled around in my cupboard and found this canvas, I thought why not have some fun, and keep my expectations low. Which helped allowed me to be free and loose. I didn't have many big brushes - more ordered with Rosemary & Co!

When its so big you have to attack and not be scared. I painted a table line in and scrubbed over as it was too harsh for this style painting.

My Mum kindly gave me these flowers as she thought I'd like them, a very inspiring bunch so much so I started the painting at 6pm! 
Here is a pic to show scale with my biggest previous flower painting to date...

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

#345 'Chicken House' 10x10" & NEAC

Back in our friends garden, I didn't plan to paint this but thought is had a charm. I made a quick 'Notan' sketch before - which is a Japanese name for light and dark design:
This allowed me to see that most of the painting was mid and dark tones with a few pops of lights - the chickens. I used Tombow pens they do many greys, I used 3, a light mid & dark.
This pic is trying to capture the chickens while they were moving and having a bite to eat from their red bowl.
I used fresh marks and not too worked especially around the chickens. Their house was tricky as it was in a lot of shade, but still enough to show the light and dark sides. Simplified the background as it wasn't important.

Last week was the Private View of the New English Art Club exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London. So proud to have one in this show, really tough competition to get into as the standard is very high. 
The NEAC call themselves the Contemporary Impressionists, which really fits my work. My painting is hung in the main room of the gallery on the small painting wall - at the top 'Silver Birch in Snow' The show finishes on the 23rd June it's worth a look if you can get there.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

#344 'Daisies & Sweet Williams' 12x12" & Open Studio!

I am enjoying these still life paintings as you can experiment so much with colour & harmonies, composition, subject...
I tried with no hard line background this time, bigger in size and reflected vase on the table.

I can't write so much today as just preparing for opening the last weekend of our Open Studios, do come if your free, I'm just making homemade scones and I have plenty of paintings still to look at.

Here is the Invite just in case :-)

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

#343 'The River Wey, Tilford' 24x30cm

It was a toss up between Waggoners Wells and Tilford Green. I was painting with Sarah Manolescue when we got to Tilford there was bridge works happening and it wasn't obvious what to paint. We walked around thinking we should maybe try Waggoners, but often the grass is greener, so we looked from the bridge and this is the view. Quite lovely! The sun came out and the cows even wondered into our scene.
Not easy standing on the super old bridge (built 1128) as it has one narrow lane and we were so close to the traffic, so much so they even stopped to have a nose at our paintings!
Here we are:

Enjoyed painting this, a challenge with all those greens, but it helps to mix pools of tonal colour before painting and I applied a burnt sienna underpainting....

Sunday, 10 June 2018

#342 'Daisies' 9x10"

Painted yesterday during our Open Studios. A busy day with 21 people coming to visit, I've sold 12 paintings to date - got plenty more!! But exciting to have sales and lovely feed back!

This year there are many wild daisies, great blankets of them, they look lovely and I wanted to try and paint them. I experimented with the background colour, I thought it looked like sky and goes well with the white and yellow, also a darker tone than the white petals.

Order I painted this: Green stems, background blue, yellow centres - green and orange variations, mid tone white of the petals blocked shapes, glass, shadows on table. Thats it mainly blocked in and I went back and added light and darks on the petals, and cutting in a little with the blue background to define the petal shapes.

I like the bold shapes and intense colours, I will have to try another one! Our studios (my husband and I) again today, I wonder what the day will bring.... :-)

Saturday, 9 June 2018

#341 'Afternoon Light, Albert Bridge' 6x12"

The sun was from behind and directly lighting the bridge, not easy to paint as it's more about colour less tonal than I have been working, but a good challenge! This was the final painting of the day with my 1:1 student Christopher Mike. 

I wanted the bridge to stand out, so I made the sky a strong rich colour and the same for water with less white in the mix.
The boats I only suggested a series of marks, not much 'detail'  as they weren't the focus.
There was a refection in the water of the pink bridge, I put in a swath of pink below but then painted the deeper blue over the top just leaving a few areas of pink showing through to give an impression of reflection and rippling water.
The white struts on the bridge implied but not all drawn in. Its surprising how little the eye needs to know what is there.
Pleased with this little painting will do more sunny colourful pictures!
A happy student at the end of a good painting day!