Saturday, 28 November 2009

New watercolour painting - "graveyard shift"

Well... never quite got around to completing the wip paintings in my recent post, however I have finished another painting. The reference for this work was taken from a photograph ( not unfortunately mine) of St Just-in-Penwith, Cornwall which was published in Leisure Painter in 2001. Again, I used the technique and methods which we were shown by Barry Herniman. I love the strong coloured, transparent washes and the object of this technique seems to be to get these washes to interact and put in just enough detail to make the paintings interesting.

I called the painting, " Graveyard Shift", a view from the church across some old gravestones towards the village.
It is about 20 x 16 inches, on 200lbs "not" paper

graveyard shift

I still need to work on this technique, but I do believe that I am starting to get something from it. I certainly like what I am doing, and judging by the comments I am getting elsewhere, so do other people. Anyway, it is giving me enough confidence to keep plugging away. ....Just one problem with this is the halo around the moon. I must try to do something with it.

off now to do a little crafting...

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

vintage books to be scanned

I came across a couple of books not long ago meaning to use the as text pages for my collage work, however both have some very interesting photos and images which I now intend to scan in and make available on my flickr photostream.

the first is a book called the Romance of modern inventio by Archibald Williams. According to ABE Books, it was published in 1907, however it does mention dates as modern as 1909 - obviously a reprint and updated version. there is for instance in the mechanical flight section mention of Bleriot's flight across the English Channel but not the first flight across the atlantic in 1919. So if it is a reprint it must be pior to that landmark in aviation history. Here is the cover of the book

the romance of modern invention

and a typical modern vehicle...

horseless carriage

This book is actually in very good condition perhaps due to the fact that it was awarded as a school prize ( from the head of Durham School, 1931) and was treasured by its recipient.

The second book is A history of everyday things in England 1066-1799. It is actually two volumes in one cover and was published 1917. Written and illustrated by MArjorie and C H B Quennell.

A history of everyday things in England 1066 - 1799 ( two volumes in one cover)

a typical colour illustration, showing 17th century costume...


I intend as I said to scan more illustrations / photos and graphics from these books and place them on the flickr photostream for use by anyone who would like to use them for craft / art work. As both books are from prior to 1922, there should be no problem with copyright if I understand the legal issues properly.

If you do use any of these images, I would appreciate a heads-up to see what you have made of them, thanks in anticipation.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Inspired by a water colour demonstration.

Last week, my art group was lucky enough to receive a demonstration from a wonderful artist, Barry Herniman. If you have been a regular reader of this blog you will know that I paint what are described as "loose" watercolours. I do not usually include a lot of what I think of as unnecessary detail. Seeing Barry demonstrating as given me a new perspective. As he approached a stagae which I would have considered as the finished work, he then went on to add the details. STILL painting quite loosely, he bought the painting to life. I was absolutely inspired to get down to some watercolour painting of my own. His technique/methods are not unique and I have used most of them but his approach to putting the paint on to the paper and allowing the colours to mix right there instead of in the palette was a joy to watch. He is also a great performer (??LOL) and everybody enjoyed the evening even a friend who came along for the evening but does not really take to paintings in his style.

I had some very heavy papers handy, which I had been worried about using (spoiling them?) and decided that these would be just right to try oput the method which needs a substantial watercolour paper to stand up to the treatment. I had purchased one of his books at the evening, in order to have something to refer to, and thought that I was ready to begin. My first attempt was of a scene in the Lake District, as a work in progress here it is....

WIP - watercolour painting, Wasdale Head, Cumbria

Actually, the scene is Wasdale Head. I may have chose this because it felt comfortable !!! It was very like a liot of my previous work although for the past couple of years whilst I have been painting aceo's and collaging I have not done anything approaching this size, somewhat larger than A3. I have been quite conservative about the colours, except for the sky which is an unaturally deep blue, but they were mixed directly on to the paper so a bit of a success, I think. I would have probably considered this complete........... BUT I now think I should add more detail and "random" marks to bring the whole thing together, add life and finish it off. I will repost this painting when it is completed.

I did not complete it straight away as I wanted to play with this new method of mixing colours on the paper. So For my next attempt, I chose a painting by Jaume Muxart. It was a colourful mountain scene, actually on a set of coasters bought as a gift for my wife by some friends who had just been on holiday in spain. I saw the image and I was immediately inspired, and just what I needed as a refernce for this next painting. I often find when learning a new technique/method that using a painting I like, allows me to concentrate on the techniques involved. This painting definitely had some very strong and unusual colour combinations, just right for what I intended to do. I do not know if this an actual location, it was on a gift sold at the Museo de Montserrat, and I simply have not been able to track it down on the internet, so I don't even know its title. My version, after the first stages - it is still a WIP - is given here

A work in progress

I have not mentioned that mixing the paint on the paper requires wet-into-wet, but I hope that is obvious. Using only three (well...? alright, I cheated with an additional blue and an earth colour) primary colours I mixed up a quantity of the each colour with water in a deep palette. Took a large brush and started appling the colour to a very minimal drawing. Apart from adding colour, using tissue to remove it from some areas, making marks with the wrong end of the brush and a little spattering were all employed. I am now ready to complete the painting and add the detail. Again I will post the work again when it is completed.

However, tonight I am starting a third, so watch this space for developments

Monday, 2 November 2009

A holiday in Lanzarote.

OK... here as promised ( now don't start groaning) are a few interesting photos and one you can take with a pinch of salt.

We decided after we had booked the UK holiday at Gunton Hall and the weather turned out to be so bad this summer (??) that as MIL was now safely esconced in a residential home and it was our 40th anniversary, that we would treat ourselves We therefore booked a second holiday in Lanzarote. It was in a hotel in Playa Blanca that we had popped into last year and found to be the very epitome of plush. Called the Princess Yaiza Suite Hotel it claimed to be built to the highest standards and boy did we agree with them . A fantastic ( highly-priced) holiday to pamper ourselves.

The two things which stood out for me were the "jungle" in the reception area. Running water filled the streams and paths around the area contained seating areas where residents could rest and enjoy the scenery.


The rooms were of course superb. The size of our room was larger than the ground floor area of our semi-detached, which is itself not a small property. usually even the best of hotels has chairs/seating/etc, but this one in what was the base specification room ( couldn't go too mad) had a kitchenette, a dining area and a sitting/TV area plus a large walk-in wardrobe. certainly got our moneys worth. The maid came in during the late afternoon to turn-down the bed and each night left choclates and a note wishing, "good night". Fine... but on one night my better half had left her nightdress on top of the ded and the maid folded it in an incredibly novel way,


This simply left us bemused at the level of detail/service. Of course the food in the restaurants, all seven of them, was fantastic, we enjoyed the jazz club on site, and the rest of the entertainment in the bars/etc. I have never had such service from every aspect of the hotel and its staff. An incredible holiday. The rear entrance to the hotel opened directly onto the beach and I simply had to take a night-time view and have included a day-time view for comparison.



And of course, those who were reading this blog last year will know that I enjoy the sea, so here I am horsing around in the clear,blue, calm-as-a-millpond water.


We did of course hire a car and visit several of the tourist sites, including this year the Cesar Manrique Fundation and Teguise, where we found (well one of us did and it wasn't me) some fantastic local craft shops where we parted with more of the hard-earned.
All-in-all a fantastic holiday and one we would love to do again but may have to think hard about it. More crafting/art in my next post.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Holiday at Gunton Hall

OK well here I go with some holiday snaps, not many and I hope that they entertain rather than bore you. Our first break was a trip to Gunton Hall, Lowestoft. This is a Warner Holiday Resort Hotel. Bit of a holiday camp for older people really as there are no kids allowed; if truth be known, this is what probably attracted us. At the start of the year the weathermen promised us a "barbecue summer" and with MIL worrying us, I was keen not to go too far away so that we could easily return home if necessary. Anyway, I hate the airport "thing" when going on holiday and felt it would save all the hassle this year. We have been used to going for one week so as not to be away for too long, so it seemed a good idea.

Despite the ensuing, awful weather thru the summer, we actually had a very good week as you can see in a couple of the photos. The first is a view from our chalet, across the golf course ( aka putting green).


The second is of the main complex with its indoor swimming pool and leisure centre a view from the lakeside.


We had a lovely little chalet with a private patio and on one day a dragon fly ( I think) must have popped over from the nearby lake to pay us a visit.


The nearest beach was only a few minutes walk away but nothing too grand. A very quiet, somewhat pebbly beach, with ( so I am told) a nudist area a little way further down. Never did see anybody except fishermen there tho, was a little too late in the year for swimming and the schools were open after the summer holidays. Even the local amusement park only opened at the weekend. About the only thing of note were the old, weatherbeaten groynes. Oh and a small wind generator farm visible up the coast at Great Yarmouth.


Anyway, we had a great break... we really only used the hotel as a feeding/sleeping station and explored the coastal villages as we had not visited this part of the UK before. Also the Hotel had nightly entertainment but as it late in the season, we did not think that this was up to much, but it helped to pass a little time in the evenings after dinner. My next post will show a couple of photos from the other holiday - this time in Lanzarote - see you soon.