Category Archives: Acrylic

In Motion

Last Friday was a very special night. I was at an event at the famous revolving restaurant on the 34th floor of the BT Tower. After enjoying an excellent dinner, we had the opportunity to make art while the restaurant obligingly did its thing, offering us an ever changing view of London. I couldn’t resist the opportunity and took a wide panoramic canvas (80cm x 30cm) and started work.

I painted what I saw, as it appeared in front of me, and as the view moved, so did what appeared in the painting. I ended up with an abstraction of the view over London at night. This is the painting in situ, just after the restaurant stopped moving.

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Here’s another view, looking straight at the canvas. I really enjoyed making this art work, it has real pace and movement to it, and I quickly realised I had to go with the flow, and let London appear, and appear, and appear. I am really enjoying scaling up my work.

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Japanese Cherry Blossom

There’s a tree outside my window, currently full of blossom. On Sunday I went for a walk in the neighbourhood and saw blossom everywhere. On returning home, I remembered I had a winter tree sketch made a few weeks ago, sitting in my ‘unfinished business’ pile. I mixed up some pinks, whites, and reds, and carefully brought the winter tree into a new season.

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I shared this new Spring tree on Facebook, then put it in my Etsy shop, where it sold about fifteen seconds after I’d listed it. Head spinning stuff! I’ve since listed a short run, limited edition print of 30 which have started to sell too. Maybe it’s just the timeliness of the image, but whatever it is, I’ve not experienced such a strong and fast positive reaction to my work before now. Thank you to everyone who has shared this image online, and given such encouraging feedback. I appreciate your support.

Distress Call : A Portrait

Along with colleagues, I’ve been helping to soak up a stressful situation at work lately. It’s been hard – trying to look out for one another and look out for myself too. Over the weekend I ran and gave away some art, spent some lovely time with family too, yet in the background, the stress remained.

On Saturday night, still looking for a release, I opened a few tubes of paint and using only my fingers, I painted a portrait. Portraiture is alien to me, as is not using a brush, and I struggled to make an image.

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Unhappy with what I’d made, I nevertheless left the portrait to dry overnight.

On Sunday I felt no happier with the work in its original form, and I returned to it. After a few more fingerfuls of paint, here’s where I got to.

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I shared this image on Facebook and was a little surprised by the favourable responses. I had been looking to paint a distressed face – what I see is something more stern, more resolute. Although I felt a little happier with this adapted version, I was still mindful to overpaint this canvas, obliterating the distress call.

The day went on. I slowly relaxed, and as I did – I felt closer to the image on the canvas. By Sunday evening I had decided that this canvas should not be overpainted, not for now at least.

This last photo shows the canvas framed by shadow in the Monday morning sunlight. In this photo you can really see the scars in the face, which are a coincidence left behind from a previous painting onto which I painted this one.

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My distress call will remain in the studio for now. I certainly feel a lot better for having him around.

Footnote

I mentioned the distress call portrait is painted over another image. I thought you might be interested to see what lies beneath…

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Elements of this earlier work were initially inspired by a visit several years ago to the Picasso Museum in Malaga. A friend remarked, ‘the [earlier] painting had me thinking about how Picasso and others around the turn of the 20th century were inspired by African artefacts and masks. Maybe they were meant to be together…?’

Departure

I heard some very sad news this week. Tim Kitchin, a friend and colleague is no longer with us. I first met Tim back in 2008 when I still inhabited corporate life, and we both had strong interests in sustainability from a business perspective. We stayed in touch and I was the beneficiary of his smart, critical thinking, and his humour, on many occasions. I was very excited when he joined the Ethos partnership of which I too am a part, back in March 2016. This gave us the opportunity to work closer together. That’s over now, and I miss him.

This week’s free art drop is a work made to acknowledge how I am currently feeling about this loss. A couple of people who know Tim and who have also seen the art, say the colours remind them of his warmth. That works for me.

Part of my purpose in the free art project has always been about learning to let go. This particular art drop will be the hardest one I’ve had to let go of so far.

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What’s In A Name?

It was Carole’s birthday a few weeks ago, and as part of our celebrations, we went to an event called Paint Jam. The session had a David Bowie theme, and after being led through a few simple introductory exercises, we were given a canvas and encouraged to experiment.

I made this picture using acrylic paint. First I applied the paint using a wooden canvas spacer. It felt odd not using a brush at first, and I began to enjoy the more random nature of how the paint got from the implement to the surface.

Once I had created the grid of rectangle shapes, I took a broad brush, wet it, and dragged the watery brush across the surface in a single zigzag swoop. Once the paint dried I took the canvas home where I varnished the centre band of the canvas. I applied three coats, and when it catches the light, the shine looks really good.

What to call this work? I’ve been pondering this question for days, and unusually all I get in return is silence. So I asked friends to suggest a title for this painting…in all I got almost 50 responses. Here they are, along with a few subsequent exchanges between me and some of the kind contributors.

Eva-Maria Griese: Bowie, flash, lightning…? That’s pretty obvious though

Doug Shaw: Perhaps no surprise, this work was started at a Bowie themed evening, and I finished it at home.

Grahame Baker: Hi rise cheer?

Doug Shaw Nice. I see where you’re coming from. I enjoy offering things like this up for opinion and ideas. I’ve been stuck on what to call this for a while and these exchanges help free things up.

Victorio Milian: “Rainbow blitzkrieg”

Doug Shaw: The Ramones would be proud of you.

Stephanie Barnes: Have you tried asking it what its name is?

Doug Shaw: That’s the only conversation me and the painting have been having for weeks. I figured we’d got stuck and needed counselling, hence the ask!

Stephanie Barnes: I have three thoughts: Shazam (which is probably trademarked or copyrighted), breaking the monotony, or making a path

Doug Shaw: Great stuff. The path idea has also surfaced on Instagram and I am drawn to it. Thank you.

Heather Bussing: Sky scrape

Doug Shaw: How about that!? I only used one brush stroke in the whole thing, and it was quite nerve wracking for me, making that big mark right at the end. All the rest of the paint was applied by scraping the surface with a wooden canvas stretcher.

Elliot Merrony: Bowie x Physical Graffiti

Colin Newlyn: Ziggy played guitar

Doug Shaw: When the kids had killed the man I had to break up the band.

John Sumser: BrickSit

Doug Shaw: 😂 Love it!!

George LaRocque: Shazam

Mary Faulkner: Winner!!!

Michael Heller: #HROSBrit cc: Lars Schmidt

Philip Dodson: Postage stamps from Mars

Jason Seiden: Career Path

Sharlyn Lauby: “Wake up call”

Kirstie Johnson: “Bolt”

Jo Cook: Zig a zig ah. Sorry, made me laugh 🙂

Fred Eck: How about the Shaw Slash!

Grahame Baker: The Shaw slash redemption?

Fred Eck: Love it!!!

Tony Mason: Electric red white and blue……

Annabelle Lambert: Bowie tower

Mark Farquar: Turner For the love of Zorro.

Paula Turner: Lighting is……..

Bina Briggs: Ziggy Stardust! X

Richard Martin: Loot Chute

William Tincup: Schutzstaffel?

Marco Fandango: Picture no. 53

Matthew Stollak: Waffle Sevens

Josh Rock: “2 Minutes for Slashing”

Ade Bird: Rest in pieces.

Gavin Collinson: Chair in the window.

Padraic Doorey: Cafe Rouge-baix

Claire Boyles: Dot dot dash

David Lambert: ‘s grate

Lesley Dodson: Zorro escapes!

Kirstie Tribe: Carpet burn

Steve Browne: I’d go avant garde and call it McTavish on the Plain !!

Heather Kinzie: Just a Splash

Kevin W. Grossman: Shazam-skiddish

Paul Hebert: For the bin

Barry Flack: “Four storeys high”….say what you see…..

Jayne Harrison: Crossing Dimensions, or Choices, or Infinite Possibilities

Shayna Joson: Use Your Vote

Circle Indigo: Aladdin Insane

Meg Peppin: Zag

Diane Taylor-Cummings: Seven

I’m grateful to everyone for the suggestions. I’m still not yet sure what to call this piece of work, and what’s been really useful so far about all this feedback, is that it’s opening my mind to possibilities I hadn’t previously seen. Thank you. I’ll update this post once a name is chosen.

 

 

Perpetual I and II

A quick stop off at the ‘printers’. I’ve used this monoprint technique a few times now, and I like the blend of intent and surprise it brings. One of the nice things about this method is that it produces two similar images. Getting the positioning and quantities of paint right on the first sheet of paper is a matter of trial and error, then you press the two sheets together and pull them apart.

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The tension in the paint as the sheets of paper separate creates an interesting network of ‘veins’, you can see them more clearly in this (poorly lit) close up photo. I enjoy experimenting with this basic method of printing, more to follow.

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This pair of art works has been sold.

Winged Heart I and II

I painted these two winged heart designs for Carole and Keira. They’re made using blends of red white and blue acrylic paint on watercolour paper. I like the rough texture of the paper and the off white colour of it goes well with the paint. Winged Heart I is a finger painting, and I used a brush for Winged Heart II.

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Winged Heart I

Winged Heart II

Winged Heart II

Here are the paintings framed.

I enjoyed making these and I’m currently exploring how to turn these works in to a limited edition print run. I think they would be a good design for my Etsy shop. More news when I have it.