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.
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.
It’s the Wallington Music Festival this weekend, and my home town will be showing off its abundance of musical talent. Check out the festival Facebook page for details of all the acts, and when and where they are playing.
This week’s free art drop is a design to celebrate the festival. I’ve taken some of the colours from the festival design and applied them to my art. I’ve chosen colours which represent the local river, and lavender, and I have applied them in a way that creates a unique ‘fingerprint’ surface on the paint.
If you are off to the festival this weekend, have an amazing time and keep an eye out for this free art drop which will be hidden somewhere around town.
Preparations for the Carshalton Artists Open Studios are in full swing here, aka panic mode! I’ve been working on a larger (80cm x 30cm) canvas for a while, with a local theme in mind…
I’m currently torn between the River Wandle and the lavender fields which our area is well known for. I’m keen to work up this canvas and because I am unsure where to go next, I’m currently experimenting with some patterns on smaller pieces.
The intention is to offer up some cut shapes containing various colours and patterns to the larger canvas, and see how they do, or do not work. Earlier in my painting career I’d have blundered on with the main canvas and maybe ruined it. Now – when I get to a point where I feel experimentation is required, sometimes I do it in such a way as to preserve something good and as yet unfinished. Also – by working like this, sometimes I get the added bonus of a free art drop emerging out of the experiment.
A few conversations this week have brought to mind the importance of spotting patterns in our work. One off events have their place, and what else do you notice through repeated observations? Is my behaviour today out of the ordinary, or is this how you normally experience me? Should you or I do anything differently as a result? These conversations got pretty deep at times, and as I began to surface, I thought about an artistic interpretation of what had been spoken.
But what to paint? I looked to nature first, the greatest pattern maker of all.
The bottom row emerged first, hints of something floral? The top row came next. Plant life of some sort, maybe coral? I enjoyed watching the paint strokes interact, each overlapping movement creating a darker shade than the original stroke. Mixing slight variations from my paintbox – not identical patterns, just exploring similarities.
I’m enjoying working on panoramic paper at the moment so I cut a sheet from a larger piece, and reworked the patterning.
This time I mixed my shades from liquid watercolour, blending alizarin crimson with cerulean blue and cadmium yellow. Slightly bolder tones, the basic shape the same, the overlapping, darkening shades. This piece of patterning will be the next free art drop. If you live in my neighbourhood, keep an eye out for it over the weekend.
Most of my painting is driven by me, by what I want to paint. Usually when I am commissioned to paint for someone, it’s as a result of them having seen my work and wanting something similar.
Recently I was commissioned by a third party, to paint a sketch for someone’s birthday. We exchanged a few messages about a possible design, before I was asked ‘Could you paint a turtle?’ I’d no idea, having never done so before, so I offered to give it a go.
The answer appears to be, ‘yes I can’. My client and the eventual recipient are both really happy with this work, as am I. It’s not a subject I would have chosen, and I am really pleased that on this occasion, I was asked to try something new and different. It was a useful reminder to be open to the possibilities. For those of you who may be interested, this is a sketch in acrylic paint on rough 300 gsm paper, laid on top of a simple watercolour wash.
I’m taking part in the 64Million Artists January creative challenge. Each day of this month a challenge is set, and you take part, or not. It’s up to you. I’ve had a go at most of them so far, and this week I made my first painting in response to the following:
Just Imagine …
The great Albert Einstein once said that: ‘Logic can take you from a to b but imagination can take you anywhere.’ Children draw orange trees and blue grass and yellow elephants – they draw what they want to see. Inspired by this, today we would like you to unlock your own imagination and:
Get to the highest point you can, either in your house or office or school or outside, wherever you are. Look as far as you can. Draw what you can imagine there – be as fantastical as you like. Or realistic. Look out and imagine who might be standing there looking back towards you.
This is my response.
How high could I get? In my mind I climbed high enough to see the curvature of the earth, and painted what was in my imagination. Edge of Glory. Acrylic and gold leaf. This painting will be given away this weekend as part of the We Are All Artists free art project.