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!

Friday 8 June 2018

#340 'Boats by Albert Bridge' 10x12"

A one to one plein air teaching day with Christopher Michael, choose Albert Bridge area and we were lucky with lots of sunshine!

I helped Christopher with the practicalities of working outside, equipment, layout of paint and using a viewfinder and then tonal values and not including everything you see in your painting! Less is more.

For myself I am always looking to improve my work and move forward so this day I worked on richer colours, strong and painterly brush strokes. I assessed the painting back in the studio and decided not to work on it any more, leave it as an impression rather than an anatomical painting of boats and the bridge.
I'm pleased with the outcome!

Our Open Studios continue today, Saturday and Sunday, if your free come see my previous post for invite come by and say hello :-)

Thursday 7 June 2018

#339 'White Peonies' 11x14"

I saw these lovely white peonies in the supermarket, a sweet scent and blousie look. 
I managed to paint them while our Open Studio was on last weekend. Quite a challenge to get the tones and colours right. The tonal scale in the flower is so small e.g. Light to very light! They are good practise to really observe. Also the jug is tonal shapes put together! 

There are lots of lovely daisies growing wild near us, I hope to be able to paint them before they disappear... 

Sunday 3 June 2018

#338 'Peonies' 12x12" & Open Studio Video

Painted with haste and gusto! The background a blue black to set of the light pink flowers peonies which are so fun to paint, quite addictive! (There will be more :-) I think they are a good subject because of the globe shape so you get great light and dark on them. I made use of the thick and thin qualities of oil paint, especially in the green foliage and the table.

Yesterday was our first day of The Surrey Open Studio always with trepidation I open the doors to the public not knowing who will come and what they will think, say or even buy.
But it went well we had some nice people visit, chatted, offered my homemade shortbread and sold 4 originals and some cards so a good start!

Here are a couple of pics and a short video as a taster of what's here.

Friday 1 June 2018

#337 'Dune' 12x16" & Surrey Open Studios!

My first attempt at a portrait!! I haven't even tried to paint one in my studio, just felt quite scary and uncertain, so went on a ROI painting day at The Mall Galleries to make me do it! 

I decided to act as if.... pretend I felt confident even though I didn't and put the paint down in strong marks and leave them.
I had dipped into an excellent little book before I went called 'Starting to Paint Portraits' by Barnard Dunstan. Its really useful and written in a friendly old fashioned manor.

I premixed my colours before I started like I'd do a plein air landscape. Having a bigger board means the head isn't too small or fiddly, a large area to cover though!

I started with her hair the darkest area, Ultramarine & Burnt Sienna, warmer and cooler patches through it. Then the most intense area - her cheek. I worked outwards from there comparing areas to the intensity and tone of her cheek. 
I put the background next to her skin as soon as I could as its a large area and didn't want to leave it till the last!

I am happy with the result and its encouraged me to try more :-)

You are invited to our Open Studios based in Haslemere Surrey UK. 
If you follow me on here you will know I have a lot of new paintings! Over a 100 to show, so if you are local and have the time it would be great to see you!