The third stage

I managed to work a little bit more on my Monet oil portrait this afternoon.  I was feeling a little tired today and wasn't really sure about painting and if I could keep awake! But after an hour and a half I made a bit more progress.  Strange how fascinating a portrait is seems the more I look the more I see!  I will pick up the brushes tomorrow and see what the next stage will bring! After this painting I will be onto Van Gogh!

Happy Painting to you all!

something different

First two stages of an oil portrait of Monet. I spent an hour and twenty minutes on stage two.

Hello dear painting friends it is still winter here in Scotland with more snow coming soon! Will winter ever leave! However there are afternoons of beautiful blue skies and sunshine which really is so uplifting to see. I have been on a few walks locally and made myself familiar with the reduced size of wood. The wood is actually no more but on the edge they left a few trees for us to walk by. Enough to see squirrels and a deer. Though I haven't heard the owls hooting for a while. It is sad though.

I am tutoring portrait classes and it is for beginners. I used to draw quite a few portraits a few years ago and I also did a couple of pastel portraits too. However once I started with the exercises I found them interesting and I thought it is something I would like to develop. I think we all get easily put off from painting things that are difficult. I have decided that if I keep working for a year on the portraits they should become a little better.  I do love the impressionists and also some of Van Gogh's work so I am focusing on that too.  I did a couple of other portraits from photos but they were only OK. Enough to help my students understand the basics.  I will work a bit more on the Monet portrait later on this week. I look forward to posting my attempts here and sharing the process with you!

Happy painting my friends!

light within mists

oil on canvas 60 x 60 cm 'low cloud' Isle of Skye.

This painting sat for a long time in the studio since I started it late last year.  I had had another idea for how it would turn out, but like everything that is happening these days 'it' had a mind of it's own. I wanted a gentle mist but most of all I wanted to feel within the landscape instead of floating almost above it and having mostly sky.  Interesting that it came to depict heavy low cloud over the land. I have seen this kind of thing a lot while living in Scotland and often thought if I was to paint that no one would believe it was real!

 I do have other ideas about a high land level on a large canvas. However I find myself working mostly on very small canvas boards since the new year, just exploring and seeing where it will take me.  I feel at peace, I don't feel fragmented anymore I am aware now that painting mists are what I do and that is OK. I don't have to paint something else, I don't have to worry that my work is too dark or too much the same. After all I don't have to exhibit them all! It is simply a process, one to work through.

Since Rabbit the Bruce left this world for the big sleep in the sky a few things have happened. The big forest at the back of my house is almost all chopped down. I always loved walking there, looking at the squirrels, deer and birds.  The forest had been planted in the late 1970's for harvest, it is just that I always felt it was important for everyone who lived here to have a forest close by. There are a few of the pines along the edges so I can for now at least see the trees and the changing skies behind.  Then other trees in other areas either close to where I live or further afield also got cut down. If only they would plant more trees in the place of the ones taken down! why do folk live in the countryside and want to take all the trees down in their gardens! It is a mystery.Why don't they move to the coast or a town!  Yet in Devon and in Surrey where I grew up in England trees were always standing tall and there were many of them. My favourite memories were of coming home from school kicking all the leaves high in the air as I seem to almost wade through the deep leaves that fell during the autumn. Richard my husband has taken to camping and walking over the hills, something he hasn't done in years! I find myself on my own more and being reflective. I still think about Rabbit the Bruce and how he sat each day so peacefully and how he made me feel peaceful too.  I guess I think about all the things we often think about during the long winter while we wait patiently for the Spring to arrive.

Sometimes the silence is like a sound.....