Field Edge (Autumn) (40cm x 30cm acrylic on panel)
Blue Rocks (30cm x 30cm acrylic on panel)
River Bank (Pink) (30cm x 30cm acrylic on panel
I’ve been enjoying working in series recently. One idea seems to suggest others and it can be interesting to work on several paintings at once. The warm low light on fields and a river near to my home was the inspiration for a recent series of 5 paintings, all in acrylic, in which I tried to push the colours in an effort to express warmth. I hope that this comes across 🙂 Click on the thumbnails to see a larger image.
Article in The Artist magazine (March 2019 issue)
I was delighted to be informed a few weeks ago that my mixed media painting ‘A Glimpse of St Paul’s in theFebruary Rain’ had been selected by the editor of The Artist magazine for a small prize and a write up in the magazine. The magazine article appears in the March issue, which is currently in the shops ,and the prize will buy me some lovely new art materials. I can’t wait to choose!
Walking towards Janet’s Fosse (8″ x 8″ oil on board)
I spent a couple of days walking in the Yorkshire Dales a few weeks ago, including the must-do trail from Malham to Gordale Scar and then over to Malham Cove, with its cliff edge and fabulously preserved limestone pavement. To say the route is well trodden would be an understatement. There was a steady stream of walkers most of the way, especially from Malham village to the waterfall delightfully named ‘Janet’s Foss’. The sun was shining that morning after rain overnight and the views were magnificent. I’ve tried to capture in this small painting my experience of walking into the sunlight – the glare on the path, the walkers ahead and the cloudy mist on the hills ahead.
Mistletoe-laden trees and sunlit arch, Burghley (February) (10″ x 10″ oil on board)
Another Burghley piece … and more trees! Many of the large trees in Burghley park have mistletoe and this is all the more obvious in Winter/early Spring before the trees come into leaf. The shapes are fantastic and rather surreal. The early Spring light is pretty special too. A joy to paint!
I quite often get asked how I approach making a painting and as I remembered to take some photos of work in progress on this one (which is rare!) I thought I would share.
The approach varies depending on the medium I am painting in but this is fairly typical for paintings done in oil.
Tree avenue, Burghley (February) – stage 1
Tree avenue, Burghley (February) – stage 2
My painting surface here is 3mm MDF which I have primed with several coats of household primer and then a coat or two of artist’s ‘gesso’. I then stain the white surface to a cool or warmish grey, either with diluted oil paint rubbed in with a rag or sometimes with acrylic paint.
I start by roughly drawing out the main shapes with diluted oil, taking note in particular of where the darks will go (stage 1). The next stage is to mix up the colours I will be using and to ‘block in’ the main areas of colour, trying to get the lights and darks and the colour mixes approximately right (stage 2).
Stage 3 then involves refining the block in until the painting is finished. There are lots of mini stages here and what amounts to ‘finished’ is often hard to gauge. Some people like a very detailed, refined image. Personally I strive not to fiddle and to try to achieve a ‘painterly’ work, which hopefully has interest to the viewer.
Here is the finished piece. I hope you like it.
Tree avenue, Burghley (February) 10″ x 12″ oil on board
Burghley dog walkers, February (8″ x 8″ oil on board)
Those of us living in Stamford are fortunate to have the grounds of Burghley House to explore throughout the year. Very popular with dog walkers! I’ve tried in this piece to capture that low light one gets in late Winter and the haziness of the distant trees.
Tree study. February morning. Burghley (6″ x 8″ oil on board)
Here’s the second of the small plein air pieces I painted at Burghley last week. There must be thousands of old trees in Burghley Park, many of them adorned with mistletoe, so it is easy for me to find subject matter everywhere! However last week I only had a short amount of time and a small board so I concentrated on trying to capture a small stand of trees which was being lit by the low sun. There were fantastic shapes – a couple of fallen trunks and some amazing twisted branches. I was also treated to deer grazing in the field! The best I could do that morning was to capture an impression of shape and colour. I may work this and the first painting up a little larger to explore the subject further.