This is the second of my allotment pieces. The combination of the blue shed and pots and the vivid spring green grass was something I knew immediately that I wanted to paint. Lots of fun! Available to buy here http://sarahjenningsartist.com/gallery_698663.html
I’ve lots more recent paintings to share that I have not yet found time to put here so expect a flurry of posts over the course of the next few days.
A few weeks ago I started visiting local allotments with the idea of painting the growing season and general allotment life. All I managed at the time was to make a few sketches and take a few photos. This is the first of two paintings based on the sketches. I was attracted by the empty chair and wondered how many times it had been wearily sat upon for that well-earned mug of tea. I plan to go back with my paints next time and know that given the recent weather the scene will have completely transformed!
Where has the time gone? Nearly a month has passed since my last post, although I have been busy. Mostly busy preparing for exhibitions rather than painting if truth be told. However paintings have been selected and framed and now hung. As of 1 May I have paintings in two exhibitions running concurrently at Stamford Arts centre. My own exhibition of 24 paintings hangs in the anteroom and a further 3 paintings are hanging in the main gallery as part of the Welland Valley Arts Society Spring Exhibition. The Spring Exhibition runs until 13 May but my anteroom exhibition runs until 31 May – plently of time to pay a visit. My photos don’t really do the paintings justice. The Arts Centre does a fine line in lunches and cakes. Just saying…….
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.