I’m fortunate to live near lots of public open spaces. One of my favourites is Beddington Park. I enjoy walking around it, and sometimes use it as the location for my free art drops. Some friends are organising a Big Lunch event in the park on Sunday June 4th, and I’ve made this free art drop to mark the occasion.
The background is a graded watercolour wash, subtly shifting from green to yellow, representing the move from Spring to Summer. The gold leaf represents the many meandering pathways across the park, and the River Wandle, which flows through it. This work will be hidden somewhere in the park this weekend. Finders keepers.
Anne McCrossan has many talents – and the one I want to highlight today is her work as a ceramicist. Anne works in Cornwall using local clay to make a range of fascinating objects. Through a clever use of digital iconography in her work, she blends the art of making with a nod to the online world in which some of her other work inhabits.
I admire this connection between making with our hands and interacting in a digital workd, and for some time I’ve wanted to explore this intersection through my visual art. I dropped Anne a line yesterday to see if she was OK with me pursuing this. She is, and after I woke very early today, and couldn’t get back to sleep – I got to work. My intention was to create a simple backdrop through repeating a technique of wet on wet watercolour I have used previously, combined with a gradual addition of a second paint pigment. Here are photos showing how I set up my workspace, and the finished, graded watercolour washes.
I had to make all four of these pieces simultaneously – gradually adding measures of red paint to the yellow as I move down the sheets of paper.
Once the paint was dry, I pencilled an outline of the icon I wanted to use, applied some gilding paste and gold leaf, then waited…
I had to apply the gold leaf three times, trying to fill in gaps where it hadn’t stuck to the paper properly. In the end – I got a close enough representation.
As a first attempt I am pleased with the result – I particularly like the tonal shift in the watercolour. This piece will be the free art drop this weekend, given away a little later than usual. Note to self – don’t leave it so late in the week to try a fiddly new experiment next time!
Where do good ideas come from? I often make art with a title or a theme in mind. Often, and not always…
I’ve been busy this week and my free art will be placed a little later than usual, it’s going out on Sunday this week. I’ve been experimenting with my elemental art theme again – and been looking at and thinking about Spring. I made these two small sketches, slight variations on previous designs, and once complete – I wasn’t sure what to call them.
Googling the words green and silver, I learned of a moth called Green Silver-lines. This woodland moth is green with three white lines crossing its wings. I have three silver lines on my green design – so now I have a title for this work.
I haven’t yet decided which one to place, have you got a preference?
I think this painting wins the longest title competition, in my current body of work at least. The image is intended to represent the currently underwhelming June weather we are experiencing here in London.
Painted on an A4 sheet of watercolour paper using Cadmium Yellow and Ultramarine Blue paint in varying strengths, and with varying amounts of water on the paper. I used an empty biro tube for the blown effects.
I will leave this piece of art (unframed) in Wallington as part of my ongoing art drop experiment.
My second yellow canvas today, this photo was taken in bright sunlight, making the differences in shade a little hard to see. Just like when I painted Scrambled Eggs earlier today, I’m unsure whether or not to return to this work later to add more colour.
It’s a sunny Sunday and having spent time doing painting of the DIY kind this morning, I’m about to go outside into the garden and do some weeding. Before heading out I thought I’d paint something in yellow, a colour I don’t use much. My initial thought was to add some purple over the top of this but now I see it in the sun, I’m not so sure. Maybe I’ll make another later and experiment with purple on that one.