Saturday 29 July 2017

#211 'Misty, Whitstable Harbour' 18x24cm

This was the first painting I started on the Wapping Group Wednesday (an esteemed group of London painters!)
I did a drawing in my sketch book to practise making the shapes as it was a tricky angle. I'd mixed all my colours and about to start painting when the skies opened. So I finished it at home in the dry of my studio. 
I actually found it harder inside as you can't see the nuances of tone and colours. But saying that I'm really pleased with the boldness and strength of this painting. The owner of the boat talked to me that day and said he wanted to see the painting if it turned out ok. Let hope he likes it!

Friday 28 July 2017

#210 Sky Study, Whitstable 5x10"

This was the last painting I did on the day with the Wapping Group. I was very tired but couldn't resist the sky. It was ever changing and the light and cloud formation, yummy! 
I knew I had paint still mixed on my palette from the previous paintings so I could use the colours as a starting point for the sky.
Sansador medium helped to make the paint flow but still keeping it brushy marks, took about 20 minutes to do. It was changing second by second, everytime I looked down to mix paint and look up it was different, the clouds had moved into another formation but it was exciting to paint and I would like to do a series of cloud paintings one after the other. Great for observation and tuning your painting skills (fun too!)
Next to me doing the same thing a painting friend Neil Pitcher he was a Wapping guest too - we had a cloud paint off!

Thursday 27 July 2017

#209 'Salva Mea, Whitstable' 18x21cm

The is was the second time for being a guest with the Wapping group (a prestigious group based in London the member are accomplished professional painters.)

Whitstable in Kent is one of the further places they visit. I'd not been before but it had a lot to offer an artist, unfortunately the weather was against with rain and wind. This boat was my second painting attempt of the day - the first was abandoned due to a heavy rain. I stood for a while holding my umbrella - I couldn't attach it to the esael as it was too windy. I tried to paint but the rain was coming underneath! 
So this little red boat was perfect as I could stand in shelter under a oyster cabin. At one point there was 7 of us painting a similar view all huddled in the dry!
I had just started painting and a big fishing boat comes in with all his catch to unload and of course wants access to the door I'm standing in front of! I had a little window to look through see my view here it is: 
People often ask why plein air is harder than painting in the studio, so many reasons!! This is one of them, things change.

I loved the reflection of the boat, worked hard to get the tone and colours right. I did it as a patch work of paint strokes building it up to make a mosaic of colour. I'm pleased with the result. I kept the colours limited for harmony, the main ones being red & green - colour complimentaries. 
The name of the boat Salva Mea means: Save me. 

Monday 24 July 2017

#208 'Paynes Boat Yard, Thorney Island' 24x30cm

My husband and I did a recce on Saturday for possible painting and photographic spots around Thorney Island (on the south coast of Hampshire). I loved this old boat yard so went back today. The owner was very friendly and even made me a cup of tea and biscuits while I was painting! 
This little harbour had a barrage weir so the water hardly moved up and down with the tide, soooo much easier than chasing the water in and out! The wooden boat is over 100 years old and named Teal.
The weather was changeable, wind, rain, sun... but not bad enough to stop.
I used a thin strip of wood to help me paint the straight lines of the mast. I know some other artists use a mahl stick or edge of a board. I thought I try it and it definitely helped make a much stronger line shape, I will use it again!
I'm pleased with this painting and will do more there :-)

Friday 21 July 2017

#207 'Strood Farm' 18x24cm

Driving to my potter friend she lives in the South Downs and on the way there I always think I want to paint this view! So this time I did. (It's nr Petworth on the A272)

Quite hard to find a view whilst driving. I spotted this scene through a 6 bar gate a quick glimps of the farm house and then it was gone. So I turned around and parked. The field was on a slope so the bottom half of the view was cut off and the line was too harsh. I decided to risk it and climbed over the gate to get closer to it. Luckily no farm animals and the crop and had been harvested. 
But the farmer on his tractor spotted me and made a beeline.  Thankfully he was really friendly and happy for me to stand in the middle of his field and paint his farm. It was a stunning spot and I really enjoyed painting it. 

The painting stages:

Greens varying them from warm to cool, and quite translucent - not much white.
The sun came out whilst I was putting in the house the tones changed so much it looked better so I adjusted the 3 sides of the house to work. 
I'm trying to think tonally again as it really makes a difference to a painting. I ask myself questions:  'This part of the roof how does it compare with the trees next to it and then how does the trees compare to the sky......?
Everything should relate to each other.

My potter friends husband is emailing this painting to the farmer, lets hope he likes it :-)

Thursday 20 July 2017

#206 'The Thames at Twickenham' 8x10"

Yesterday I had my first day painting with the Wapping Group. Is the longest established society of working artists in the UK, started in 1946 and limited to just 25 members. I went as a guest you can go 4 times in a season. 

I felt quite anxious but they made me feel very welcome. Painting with such esteemed artists it took me a while to settle and had lots of doubts about my abilities! But once I started painting the boats and water I got into it and took a breath!
I decide to use square short flat brushes to do confident brush marks, and blocked in shapes. The weather wasnt grea, spitting, grey th elight was quite flat I couldnt hardly detemin where the sun was shining onto! 
I enjoyed painting with other artists and in an area I've not painted in before, being on Twickenham high street you wouldn't have known this scene was there, a hidden gem. 

Monday 17 July 2017

#205 'Yacht Harbour' 24x30cm

Not any easy subject! A mass of masts and mud! I was told it helps to paint the uprights - masts before you put the sky in. See pic below. I liked the light masts agaisnt the dark tree foliage and the hulls of the boats shining in the sun. 
I quickly put the father and little girl plus the lady looking down. The lady was there less than a minute, you never know how long they will stay for! 
Making the masts smaller and closer together gives the impression of space receding. One observation on masts.... They are generally lighter against the land background and when against the sky they are darker in tone. 

Back from The Patchings Art Festival, it was exciting to see my painting and it's awards :-) Also got to meet Ken Howard - a painting legend and watch David Curtis do a great seascape demo, all very inspiring! 

Thursday 13 July 2017

Award Winner!

I have just found out I have been given 2 awards at The Patchings Art Festival in The Artist Magazine Category. 
So thrilled I can't quite believe it 


It's the Royal Talens award and The Artist Exhibition award. 

If you get a chance could you vote for me for the PEOPLES CHOICE (it looks like the pic above) 

Here's the link, Thank you!…/TA…/gallery_view.php…

We're going to have a look at the Patchings Art Centre this weekend, for the first time, and to see my painting! 

Wednesday 12 July 2017

#204 'View over Southsea Common' 21x30cm

This is a view from my Mums flat in Southsea - Portsmouth. I painted on the balcony, 7 floors up. The common grass area is already dry and burnt from the sun we've been having.  
The building is Southsea Castle (built in 1544) and the light house was built in the 1820's!  The building in the sea is called Spitbank Fort and the land on the horizon is the Isle of Wight.

Here is a pic of the painting on the balcony:

Sunday 9 July 2017

#203 'Morning Light, The Trundle' 24x30cm

Painting this morning back at the Trundle I was here a few days ago but in the evening. I decided to take a risk and try a different technique to what I have been practising recently.

To cover the whole board in paint and then paint over the top to adjust the colours and tones. See below for the first stage of covering and then 15 mins later the following stage. The painting took 2 hours. 

Deciding what to adjust and what to leave as the first base paint. It helped to get it covered so you can compare the tones and colours to each other without the board tone interfering. It also allowed nme to get the trees and shadows in quickly in the foreground as they were changing fast in the morning sun. 
I'm really pleased with this one as I think it's more of the finish I am looking for - painterly and impressionist. 

Saturday 8 July 2017

#202 West Witterings Beach 18x24cm

Yesterday we were out in West Witterings in Hampshire. It was sunny and the sea breeze was blowing. I burnt the backs of my knees (missed the sun cream here!) It really felt like summer and it was teaming with people.
I started one composition and it wasn't working so I looked around for another. I turned on the spot and found this one. Not the sort of thing I have tackled before and it was a challenge! 
So many shapes and colours and they're moving around. Simplify, I thought, I don't have to put everything in, just the bits I like and are important to the composition. The little Life Guard hut broke up the sky line and the windbreaker was a strong element in the foreground, and being so big needed to be right! 
The people I did very quickly just getting the essence of them, not too much detail. 
My paint and board was covered in sand - gritty mixing! 
I want to go back and do studies of this area and get used to this kind of subject, it was fun though :-)

Thursday 6 July 2017

#201 'Evening Light, The Trundle' 9x12"

I painted this last night, a hot hazy evening, with beautiful light.
I had forgotten how wonderful this view is. It is a huge expanse, looking left is Chichester and right is Portsmouth and in the distance the Isle of Wight (all Hampshire.)

I didnt have long before the light fell behind the bank of hillside, you can see it touching the tops of the trees. The distance and sky got better as the evening went on turning a gorgeous apricot colour. I painted this in 90 mins quick for me, sunset is easier than sunrise as you do have a bit longer with the light changes. (but it still changes fast!)
I want to get there earlier to paint the long evening shadows...

See my instagram for the painting stages and a short video:

Wednesday 5 July 2017

#200 'View from the Old Dairy' 18x24cm

Yesterday I was on a great workshop with artist Richard Pikesley, there were 9 of us on it and we focused on tonal key and greens! 

Having had a day with Richard 6 weeks ago it was really helpful to check in and see if I'm on the right track. He said I am painting like a martian!! Which is a compliment not labeling the subject just seeing them as shapes, colours tones...

This is the 3rd painting I did in the day, the first two were ok, but happiest with this one.

200th painting since I've been recording them from January 2016. Here's to the next 200!

I have just started a new facebook page if your more into FB then blogging...

Tuesday 4 July 2017

#199 'Sunflowers' 8x8"

I went to RHS Wisley with a painter friend. She is a botanical artist and has not painted outdoors before.
These variety of sunflowers are called 'Baby Face' and when people walked past them they made them smile. 
Yellows are always tricky to get the tonal variation right. I mixed a light violet colour the complimentary to the yellow which helps with the shadow areas.
I repainted the lower flower 3 times! The shape wasn't right, I ended up drawing out the basic shape before I painted it, which I'm now pleased with.

I wouldn't have chosen to go to Wisley but enjoyed painting these happy flowers.

A pic of the little sunflowers

Monday 3 July 2017

#198 'Setting Sun, Sky Study' & Sketches

This was the fourth painting of the day, so I was warmed up and flowing! Although when I did it at 10pm it was dusk and could hardly see what I was painting :-) There isn't much tonal contrast just colour contrast. I enjoyed getting the paint down quickly.
I painted one more before we left the next morning but not sure about it. So this is the last of the French paintings for now. 
I also have some drawings which I'm going to work up into are a few of the sketches to give you an idea:

Saturday 1 July 2017

#197 'Flags & Fishing Buoys' 24x30cm

This was near our hotel and all of us artists past this scene and went ooooh! So brightly coloured and great shapes.

I drew it the night before so I could work out the shapes and composition.

It was still a challenge though! I haven't been mapping out before I paint on my board for a while but needed to with this one, complex shapes and fitting it together. Plus working out the parameters of the composition. I liked the top ends of the flags but it made the buoys too small, so I chopped the tops off.

I built up around the buoys first blocking in the background as it was the larger area. 
The hardest bit was getting the intensity of buoy colours but still keeping it light in tone - too light and it goes chalky.

It feels a risk this painting as its not what I'd usually do, but I enjoyed it and had two fellow artist paint the same subject with me.

#196 'Low Tide, Port en Bessin' 8x10"

For some reason the flies loved this painting. I was working with another artist near by and her painting wasn't attractive to them! Look at my palette pic to see how many were in there. First I tried to save them by the end they were being mixed and and applied to my painting! I must have had over 30 flies stuck to my painting but thankfully most of them have now fallen off :-)

I repainted the mud/water area back in the hotel as I hadn't taken command of the paint and it looked unsure. I did it again with a bigger brush and it looks better - it helps to really attack it.