Homes found

Dear painting friends,

Once again two months have flown by without me visiting my blog.  Interesting how we get distracted by other things.  However I have been carrying on with my palette knife painting. Not always easy to do, as I sometimes wish to paint in another way that I used to do in the past.  However the palette knife is my new friend! it is easy on my shoulder that is prone to muscle tension and pain, it is a new venture into new territories and it has a big element of surprise to it! I can start with a plan of action, yet once the painting starts something else very unexpected starts to happen, all that I have learnt over the years does indeed come to mind as I work.  I need to make sense of the scene I am painting from my memory. I have recently painted some very abstract works, yet after a few hours I would revisit the works and try to tidy them up and introduce elements to the work that would make more sense to the view and make them abstract landscapes.

I was so happy over the festive season to discover these two small palette knife paintings had sold from a couple of galleries I show with. So pleased to know they have found new homes and are loved!

I do have some events to attend with my paintings this year, so I must find time to carry on with the paintings.

I will end here, the sun is finally shining here, after such a snowy night. Love to see the blue sky and gentle Constable like clouds simply....floating by!

Happy painting my friends1


palette knife painting

I cannot believe it has been seven months since I last posted here on my blog! All I can say is that I have been quietly painting and tutoring art. I also feel I am making a small move forward with my neck and shoulder complaint, with physio, massage and gentle exercises. I am learning on a daily basis about patience! But in a good way, learning to notice the beauty of nature around me and that I don't have to create a painting all the time for my life to have meaning! It is a big part of my life, but as we get older we discover there is more beauty in the quiet moments, often simply strolling in nature and drinking that early cup of tea looking out at the garden as the early days of winter start to come in and change everything. Some flowering shrubs are still holding on, in the damp cold weather. It is mostly overcast with heavy cloud these days but for a moment a tiny patch of blue sky will appear and make me smile.  All is not lost, soon the sun will break through again and bring a little light and joy to our winter days.

I made another decision regarding my painting. I have moved towards palette knife painting again, this time I am going to make it my artistic statement.  I love the surprise that it gives, even when having a plan when I start out, it soon changes when I start to work! The happy accident is a joy! At first I thought I would give myself a year to practice the palette knife work but then decided that would not be long enough! So slowly new works are emerging and I am enjoying my painting time greatly.

I wish you all the joy of the quiet days of winter. May you be fruitful in your painting time and enjoy your walks in the forests and countryside.

Vincent again

He has a bit of a sun tan but for now it will have to stay that way. He has been repainted a few times and gone from pink to yellow to tanned! His jacket was bright blue and now it is a quiet grey blue. I could go on much more.  Yet I am tired now and feel the freshness of the work will leave if I carry on any further.  I had so much to say about the work, how I felt, what colours I used, what brushes, how much paint, what the swirls did to the final work. Yet somehow I haven't anything left to say other than something that the artist Alberto Giacometti said, ' a portrait is never finished'!  I agree!

Now a quiet time to tidy and clean our home and then during that time I am hoping my muse will appear for the next portrait!!!

Happy Painting to you all!

Look what came in the post!

Rhonda's bonny bunny painted postcard with the pretty pink ears, looks perfect in our bunny area, Brucie bunny's photo is to the right on the floor where he used to sit.

Bruce's stunning card that is a fine example of loose painting yet is also very detailed.

Bruce Sherman's pretty painting is full of sunny colours that are joyful. The little cruise boat creates a summer holiday feel. 

We make new friends during our life which is always a joy.  Yet in this day of the internet we make good friends that we have never met before.  However this year I did meet a facebook friend for the first time and she was exactly as I imagined her to be. I remember years ago meeting a friend from blogging land who also was just as I imagined him.  I met with my painting pal Tamsin the artist Keith Tilley when he came to Elgin to exhibit at the museum a few years ago.  Keith was and still is with us in blogging land and his paintings are still so beautiful. 

Rhonda's painted card of a bunny came at an important time to me personally.  It may sound silly but I am still missing my dear departed bunny Rabbit the Bruce.  He was a constant companion for almost six years, there was something so sweet about him how while I worked at the table he would be sitting in the window either gazing out at the world or gazing at me!  His quiet presence was so peaceful and reassuring.  Thank you Rhonda for your gift of this dear little rabbit. Rhonda's blog is very colourful and she likes very much to experiment with art materials.  She can create the most magical birds with simple washes. Her crows to me personally are very strong works. Crows are intelligent birds and have lots to say when sitting on fences in the fields near my home!

Thank you to Bruce Sherman a long time blogging friend of days of old when we were a bigger gang of pals.  I admit I left blogging land for a while mostly because google did something to my account and I just couldn't get back in. Once in, strangely through a link to my blog on Bruce's blog I gained access again, but I must never sign out!  Bruce's blog is also very much a wee journal of his life.  He writes very well and has the gift of being able to express himself through words and lovely paintings.  There is a depth and spiritual quality that always has me thinking more about the mystery of life.  

 I do like the quiet place that blogging land is, it seems more like a journal that a public place.  I do love my facebook page too, I actually have two one for my friends which also happen to almost all be artists! and one for my art, the art one is a link from my webpage.  I do know many folk feel a bit fazed out with too much internet activity.  I still yearn for the old days of no internet, yet it is also a wonderful place to look up History, Art, medical stuff, films etc. And a good way to stay in touch with pals.  But does it perhaps take away the effort and joy of going to visit friends as we did in the old days.  I am guilty of messaging friends instead of inviting them over for coffee!  Yet saying a few words every day or now and again is a good way to stay in touch too.  My aunt and uncle still use the phone and write letters which is really lovely.  And when I received these beautiful gifts through the post from Rhonda and Bruce I wanted to share them with you. My aunt who is an artist too has drawn and painted some wonderful things too for me.  I will share those with you very soon.  

Let us celebrate today the gift of friendship, it really is very precious. 

Happy painting to you all!

Vincent Van Gogh a beginning

 Van Gogh self portrait, here are the first stages of my painting of him.  I used a 12 x 16 inch canvas and made the drawing. I had originally wanted to leave the canvas white as Vincent was said to do this so that the colours would remain nice and bright without having to compete with an earth toned primed canvas.  However after my drawing I decided to tone the whole canvas a naples yellow with white mixed in.  As Vincent often used a pastel primed canvas I thought I would try this too.  I didn't photograph this stage though.   I painted in the first stage of his jacket and as I was running out of time and didn't have many colours available for the flesh tones in oils, I decided to paint his hair and face in acrylics. This can easily be painted over in oils later on. The nice thing about doing it this way is that the acrylics dry very quickly.   I still have so much more to do on this painting! But it is a very interesting project!

Nice sunny Spring weather here, very uplifting to go for a nice walk in my almost wood!  I say almost as most of it did get cut down!

Happy Painting to you all!

The fourth stage

Another almost three hours spent on the Monet portrait. I so work very slowly but I am really enjoying the experience so much.  This is a portrait that Monet painted of himself, I want to walk in his path, as I lay the paint down I think 'now did Monet mix that colour and use that size of brush'!! I need to now wait for the mouth and beard area to dry before going any further.  I plan to add a cooler glaze on those areas.  I have started the Van Gogh portrait this afternoon.  This is often the part that takes the longest for me which is carefully drawing the features so I can try and get a close likeness.  We still have snow here but I was able to get out today to the library and art supply shop!

Happy Painting to you all!!!

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!