Author Archives: dougshaw

Autumn Equinox

My friend Callum Saunders shared a reminder on Facebook that today marks the start of the Autumn Equinox. His post spurred me to action and I made an abstract landscape work using a background of green and yellow, overlaid with more autumnal colours of orange and gold.

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The more I looked, the less finished it appeared, so I added another note to reflect the harvest. I kinda like the way the wheat is leaning toward the setting sun. This will be the next free art drop.

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On The Tiles

A few weeks ago I spent a very enjoyable morning making a design for a ceramic tile in the company of Judit Matthews. Judit is an illustrative artist who lives and works near me, who recently offered to run a workshop on tile painting. Keen to try something new, I signed up and went along.

Judit’s studio is a lovely light filled room with loads of windows, and very high ceilings. It’s a great place to work. There were six of us in the workshop and with Judit’s guidance, we all managed to finish a piece of work in the two hours we spent together. Here’s mine.

I have plans to make further tiles using leaf and other designs, I just need to source the raw materials, and find the time! This piece will be placed locally over the weekend as the latest free art drop.

Update. Someone has asked me how you might frame a ceramic tile. I have fixed a small folding hook to the reverse so you could hang the piece unframed. I also mocked up a deeper section frame idea as an example.

If I was going to frame it like this, I would remove the hook (it is glued on and would slice off with a sharp knife) and fix the tile to the back of the frame with strong glue dots.

About The Weather : Further Developments

Since finishing and placing the Sunshine and Showers free art drop, I’ve continued playing with the basic design and colours in my mind. This weekend I decided to scale the idea up from last week’s 10 x 25 cm study, to a 40cm x 50cm canvas.

This time I chose three shades of blue – which I initially applied with different size brushes straight from the tube, before gradually mixing the shades together on the palette and adding white, creating more variations as the work progressed. I worked on an overpainted canvas – from memory I think there were about four layers of paint previously applied before I got to work on this latest one.

I like how the previous paint layers have added depth and affected the most recent one – and the continuous blending and mixing of the three shades of blue has produced a tonal variety which I’m enjoying looking at. If you would like to purchase this artwork, please get in touch.

Layering and Masking

Layering and Masking. Letting go of the need for certainty. Working on something knowing it can and will change, as it emerges over a period of time. We rarely make time for this kind of thing, yet it often helps us think and do things differently.

During a recent two day art meets organisational development workshop in Berlin, we carried out a number of experiments. One of them involved layering and masking, building up and changing a piece of work over several iterations. Each person in the room was given a blank canvas, and encouraged to develop their work in layers over the course of the time we were together.

I chose to be quite orderly in my attempt – first masking out three lines across the canvas, then applying the first layers of paint. I used different tools to get different paint effects, and each time I returned to the artwork, I re-obscured most of the lines, and added more paint. Here are some photos of the work emerging over a 48 hour period.

Stephanie Barnes was a member of this group, and she produced a completely different work using a variety of different tools, including scrapers, bubble wrap, and a rubber comb to apply paint. I love how this artwork changes throughout the process – barely any traces of the original layer remain.

This was a really enjoyable process, I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to experience something emerging and changing over time in an improvisational way.

 

About The Weather : Sunshine and Showers

Some weeks I ask around on social media for a few ideas to help spark designs for the free art project. This is one of those weeks and I got some great suggestions from people – and one of the common themes was the recent changeable weather. The past few days have seen quick shifts from sun, to (sometimes heavy) showers, and back again.

After about 90 minutes, here’s what I came up with. I took a break and thought I may add more to the design – and on reflection I’ll leave it as is. I may remake it and add more next time…? This will be the next free art drop – if you live in the Wallington area – keep an eye out for it.

Update: Here is a photo of the art in place – it has now been found.

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The London Group : Open 2017

I have just finalised my entry to The London Group Open 2017 art exhibition. This is only the second time I’ve submitted work for an exhibition, and I’m excited to see how things go. I will be submitting more work into exhibitions in future, at times I want to push myself and I think repeating this challenge will help.

I’ve chosen two works from my Elemental Art Series. Door To The River, and Autumn Fire (On Blue). The first is acrylic on canvas, and the second, acrylic and gold leaf on paper. If my work is selected I can only display one piece at the exhibition, and I will find out if I am succesful at the end of September. I’ll keep you posted. Exciting times!

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Project Lavender

During a recent trip to Spain my mind wandered back home. At the time the lavender would have been in full bloom, just about to be harvested. Usually we would see the harvest taking place but this year – the early hot weather had brought things forward.

I made a sketch which I shared on Facebook. The sketch was spotted by someone in my network who was about to be married. Lavender was the theme of the wedding and the person asked if the sketch was for sale. I said they could have it as a gift, I brought it home, mounted it and this lavender went on its journey.

Prior to going away I had made three lavender waves. Two were given away in my local area as free art drops, the third I took with us on holiday.

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I photographed ‘Third Wave’ in Parc Guell, Barcelona – someone in my network correctly guessed the location and this art work is now theirs.

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The final holiday related lavender art work is this one.

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I particularly enjoyed making this piece – it has a looseness to it which I sometimes struggle to achieve. Since returning home I’ve had it made into a greeting card, and you can see the original in a frame here.

Casting my lavender mind back a little further – I made a small sketch in May which became a free art drop, and which led to a larger (20″ x 16″) canvas. I’m not sure the latter is finished yet…