Sunday, 6 September 2015

Knowle Art Group Annual Exhibition

This has been a terrible year for me for many reasons, and many of these affect my ability to make regular posts to my several blogs. But I have been shaken out of this attitude today by the thought that it is only 2 weeks until my art groups annual exhibition. I just want to take the opportunity to mention it and maybe any friends living in the area will be able to pop along and join me in enjoying some of the art work which has been produced by the group over the last twelve months. First the poster - the landscape is one of my own paintings - used, let it be said because I designed the poster this year.

As you should be able to see, the exhibition is on the 19th September at St John's Church Hall, Knowle. It is free to enter and is open between 10.00 am until 4.00pm

My own entries are:-

Three lanscapes and an abstract painting. All are in artists' soft pastel this year. Because of increased membership this year, the maximum number of paintings are four although it is likely that not everybody will enter that many; so some of us will take a few extra pieces along, just in case there is room.

We have designed and built our own display boards which allows us to use locations which do not allow hooks to be knocked into walls, etc. The following images show a couple of shots from last year. We have a very good reputation locally for the exhibitions that we hold.

Hope as many of my friends as possible can make it. I will of course be seeing one or two people individually to try and persuade shame get their agreement to attend.

Hope to get back on a more regular basis if the real life issues start to solve themselves.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Pastel Landscapes

So much to do so little time ... I must have heard that before somewhere.

Painting is taking a bit of a backseat at the moment because of another major interest in my life. I am learning to play the ukulele, and the club I have joined - I used to call it a group (?) but that seems to suggest a gigging band to many people - not only meets regularly for "jams" but does play concerts for local organisations such as schools and rest homes. We also put on a few concerts for friends and family now and again.

Soooo, artistic output is musical rather than paintings. But I am just catching up on the blog with a couple of pastel landscapes which I have done recently. One is an imaginary scene in a forest and the frst is a skyscape - but with a crazy yellow sky. Hope you like them;

Yellow sky at night

Deep in the forest

Oh well back to the ukulele for a little while ...

Friday, 15 May 2015

Accepting the rough (with the smooth)

After last weeks mixed media demonstration, I had decided to give it a go, however a bad cold and then a trip to Brighton left me totally unprepared - where had I put all the stuff I needed?

So for this week only, it was back to another acrylic landscape - another miniature, I might add and not the wall-sized painting I would have been creating if I had done the mixed media piece. I went about it in my usual way and finished the background with a smile on my face, I really did like the yellow-green foreground, the green rolling hills and the "red" sunset sky. Unfortunately I did not take a photo for posterity, because I think I have totally spoilt it by adding a mass of foliage from the trees which were supposed to have been around the height of the hills - and in the distance!

What went wrong?

Well my best guess is that the ladies at the club, were organising a trip to "Art In Action" and were trying to drum up enough interest to be able to hire a coach for the journey. So much going on, and I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing. Fatal! As I was to find out when I finally managed to stop myself from adding yet more foliage. Here is the result, I have to say I do not like it, I may well paint over it and start again.

Ah well, as I said in the title, you have to take the rough with the smooth - the good with the awful. Some you win and some you lose, this one I feel that I definitely lost with thoughts of a coach trip uppermost in my mind.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Mixed Media Demonstration

I have always enjoyed mixed media work, but last night at our art group, I had an opportunity to see this type of art demonstrated. It really made me want to have a go for myself. It is quite a small group (23 members as of now) and we try to ring the changes with our demos to try and please the largest number of members. This usually means that although subject matter is widely varied, the media are typically the main contenders; water-colour, acrylic and coloured pencils.

This year we have a new organiser for our program and she has taken some different directions. A portrait in oils and this mixed media work are the very different demos that she has arranged.

Fiona Payne was last nights demonstrator, a very active local artist. After starting with a lively white wax layer, she used water colour paints to prepare a background on a heavyweight cartridge paper. And she worked in size A1, I think (A0 is too large - I guess I should have asked) working on 2 paintings at once  to give time for drying between layers. She said that she often worked on several pieces at once in her studio, when time was not limited although after cropping and selection the number coming thru the process was limited.

She added details with media including acrylic inks and solid, water-soluble "acrylic ink sticks" (Inktense) continuing with the layering process layering. All the way thru the process she liberally used a water spray to induce mixing and runs. Of course the resulting abstracts are not completely repeatable but the immediacy can lead to stunning results.

Final details are added using soft pastels, here is an example of her work, titled "Ragley Flowers".

See this and more of Fiona's work on her web site. When she showed us a print of this piece, she was showing how two paintings could be selected from the one work by cropping into approximately two halves; the upper and lower halves of the original, in effect. Selecting the final composition is the final act in the process. In a piece created with such a free process, there are bound to be some areas which you like and some that do not seem so "happy". Make sure that the cropped work meets your highest expectations of good composition and imagery.

Finally, It should be noted that Fional seldom uses brushes ( she claims she only has three) but uses almost anything else that is capable of making a mark. Adding colour direct from the glass droppers from the ink bottles, spreading and making marks with "your flexible friend" (- credit card, etc), she also uses a roller, the wrong end of the brush,etc and more.

I am inspired to "have-a-go" at the next art group meeting, I don't have the acrylic inks but will find a substitute. After all rules are made to be broken. Hope to have something to show you next time.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Surplus Craft Stash - Need to find a new home!

One of the reasons that I combined this blog with my painting blog was that I saw myself spending increasingly little time with art that did not include painting.

I had decided to go thru my stash which I have collected over the past few years and have a clear out. Started throwing out stuff today and after binning large amounts of craft paper and images I had printed out (when it seemed a good idea), plus a fair bit of paper ephemera, I had to stop as I came to the boxes of more interesting stuff.

 I decided that I would try to sift out the crap and bag the rest and offer it to anyone who may be interested. Once I have got myself into some sort of order, I will be photographing the contents of those "bags" and offering them free to anyone who might be able to give them a good home.

I have a button collection which includes items from my mother-in-laws sewing box (she died recently at 102, however no promises about the source of the buttons), also buttons I have collected from clothes being thrown out and even some purchased collections. I have a bag of clock/watch parts, a collection of off-cuts of materials from haberdasheries and around the home. And those bits of ribbons which seem to come on even chocolate boxes and greeting cards. I squirrelled away so much. And don't ask about the watches clocks and keys, etc (steam punk anyone?).

These are typical but not the actual collections - photos to follow soon.

I do not know when the job will be complete but it is likely to be weeks rather than days - so much happening at home at the moment.

Oh yes, lots of rubber stamps; mounted and unmounted and the ink pads which will become redundant.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Development of a new acrylic painting - part 2

Here I am presenting the completed acrylic painting, which I started and posted on 18th April.

Not sure if this is what I had intended that first week, I rarely leave completing a painting to a second session let alone leaving it for so long. I normally know exactly what I am going to do and aim to complete in one two hour session.

There are fewer daffodils than I expected, and which appear in the reference work, although I do like this version and have had many positive comments from my colleagues in the art group.

I do think it has a very definite spring-time flavour, in fact much more so than the original reference painting. Is mine better? I am not quite saying that but they are different. This is always a feature of my work when "copying" from a reference; I study the original and then create a new work in my own style and do not try to copy the original exactly. In fact, quite the opposite. I select my own colours and work to my own composition. This can lead to images very different to that which I am working from.

Hope you do like this, not my usual subject matter although it is a landscape, but I think I like it. Time will tell ....

Thursday, 16 April 2015

The Winged Man - After Odilon Redon

I have just got to tell you a story of an old (early) pastel painting of mine based on an oil painting by Odilon Redon.

When I first started to learn "pastelling" techniques, I used to spend time copying old masters, often oil paintings but anything was open season as far as I was concerned in a quest to develop my own style and the techniques I wanted to explore. One of the sketches which I most liked was painted using The Winged Man by Redon. I still like it and enjoy looking at it.

Today, I wanted to remind myself of the original media used by Redon for his painting, I thought it was oil but I wanted to confirm it for a post I was writing for my FB page. I googled ... and found a copy of my version on a blog which seemed to purport to be a serious art blog. I am not sure! There, some way down the page, I found my own painting amongst a large number of works by the master himself. It is actually signed by myself so how could this blogger have made the mistake? Or did he not actually know or care?

I can only assume that by posting the work onto Flickr, I have put my work out there and it has gotten mixed up with the original somewhere along the line.

Can you see my signature (JRD) at the bottom right? Just for comparison you can see a copy of the original here.

I am not sure whether to be flattered or to be angry that my painting has been used without permission, it is supposed to be copyrighted (all rights reserved) - so much for Flicker's categorisations. I think perhaps, It is slightly more the former. And we all know that most people on the internet think that copyright is something that does not apply to them.

It is interesting to see that the colours in my painting are much more vivid than in the original, something I had not really noticed before.