We recently spent a few days in Iceland – what an amazing place! The geology and geography felt very in tune with my elemental art, and I made a free art drop while we were in Reykjavik, this piece is titled ‘Glacier’.
I also made this piece. Initially I was contemplating fire and ice – but what I’ve ended up with is more like an elemental art version of the Icelandic flag!
I took a stroll along a stretch of The Wandle today, I love living close to a river. On my return, thoughts turned to this week’s free art drop, the 80th consecutive week of the project. Here’s what emerged from head onto paper, via paintbrushes.
Tools of the trade.
I’ve recently started using Pebeo paints as an alternative to Liquitex Heavy Body. There are a few iridescent shades in their range. Here’s most of what I used to make this picture, there’s also a mix of Winsor and Newton water colour in the background, not shown here.
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.