Tag Archives: acrylic

Elemental Art : Solar Flare

After a crazy busy few weeks making art in Berlin and taking part in the Carshalton Artists Open Studios, things are resuming a slightly more ‘normal’ pace. Having exhibited several elemental art pieces during the open studios, I’ve been wanting to return to making again, and I’ve been playing with a new design.

Here is the image, unmounted. It’s painted using watercolours, spray paint, acrylic, and gold leaf. With all the fine weather we’ve been enjoying lately, this feels like a timely new design in the series.

The Colour of Work

Next week I am in Berlin providing some artistic input to a client conference. I’m excited to be heading to Germany, and to be doing the work. The biggest challenge for next week is to complete a 13m x 1.5m canvas over three days. This will be my biggest work so far, by a loooong way. I’m working with two fellow artists so we can support and take care of one another during what will be an intensive few days.

I’ve been preparing by thinking about some of the colours we may use while we work, and I’ve built this 10″ x 8″ abstract out of those colours. I’ve made this image using several layers of paint and several techniques, I like how the work has emerged from the canvas, and I will feature it in the ‘Finding My Way’ exhibition as part of the Carshalton Artists Open Studios event which starts tomorrow.

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Lavender Fields

The Carshalton Artists Open Studios starts in about a week and a half. Having never exhibited before, I’m excited and nervous. Thankfully I am channeling those feelings into creating a few more pieces to show.

This canvas represents the lavender which in years gone by, was farmed all over the place around here. It is an important part of local history, and is still commercially grown in the area today.

Here’s a photograph of the early stages of the painting, and a more complete version. A little more work and this will be finished.

 

Shades of Grey

Siobhan Sheridan shared a photo on Instagram a few days ago. It depicted a grey sea, a grey sky, and some heavy, grey clouds. It’s a lovely moody picture which stuck in my head long after I finished looking at it.

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Over the weekend I took my block of Aquarelle Arches panoramic paper, and loosely recreated the scene from the photo.

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I really enjoyed the ragging technique which I used in the upper third of the image, so much so that I’ve started on a much larger scale version.

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This is a work in progress, you can see the two art works together here for comparison purposes.

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The Free Art Project : Week 52. Anniversary

This week marks the one year anniversary of the free art project, I’ve been making and hiding art in the local area, every week for a whole year. Time flies when you’re having fun. This week I’ll give away the 76th art work, and this is what it looks like.

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The work is titled ‘Anniversary’. The painting represents a Chinese red envelope – traditionally used to contain money as a gift for a celebration. We’re looking down onto a carp fish, a symbol which represents abundance, and the characters on the left hand side of the painting represent the word anniversary.

Thank you to everyone who supports this project. I appreciate your ideas, feedback, participation and encouragement more than you know. I’m grateful to Carole and Keira for the many good ideas they share with me, and most recently, thank you to the poet Adrian Thirkell who has started writing verse to accompany some of the recent art works. I’d love to experience more collaborations as the project continues to develop.

I’m really excited to confirm that the free art project has recently been awarded a grant from Arts Network Sutton. This grant will help me develop and extend the project through some community events. Watch this space!

 

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…?’