Wednesday 4 October 2017

Hydrangea Blues

"Hydrangea Blues"
Lace cap Hydrangea caught in watercolour

A truly hectic week so time to write on my blog has fallen to the bottom of my priority list. I am packing for my trip to USA , I leave next week. And I am still working hard on my new book which looks so gorgeous that I now don't want to leave my studio for a second.
The thing is. When writing I gain so much inspiration and so many new ideas that I want to paint non stop and this new book is making me open my eyes to so many possibilities of how I can improve my own art. I don't want to leave it alone as each new chapter brings with it even more excitement and inspiration.

But before I leap back into my world of writing I just thought I would share this blue lace cap hydrangea that seems hit by sunlight, which we had here yesterday.

I will be very honest. I was going to give this painting the title " Las Vegas Blues" because I feel so terribly sad for the awful tragedy that has been covered by all the news channels in UK this week. My heart aches for the victims and the victims families who left home that day looking forward to a festival of music which turned into a night of terror.

My brain doesn't understand how anyone can create such horror in peoples lives. Even the most unhappiest of souls does not have the right to ruin someone elses' happiness. It was a selfish and evil act that will never be understood.

For now, my thoughts and prayers are with those effected by such a heinous crime and for a place that travellers from all over the world head to for many reasons.

Life must go on. 

But at this time it is right to think of others.


Sunday 1 October 2017

Mist and Fog: BlacKberries in Watercolour

"Autumn Mist"

It is strange how new ideas come to you as an artist. I have been walking in the countryside looking at the berries growing in the hedgerows and become fascinated by changing light throughout the day. I also love all the brambles and tiny twigs with many in reality being almost out of sight. I couldn't work out how to create this feeling of distance until now. Yes, violets as a shade work to push a subject further into the background and bold strong pigment works to pull branches in the foreground more strongly into view.

  Blackberry painting revisited

I revisited a previous painting of blackberries that I luckily had in my studio still and continued my experiments with colour and technique on it. And must admit I am thrilled with how it is now evolving as a piece.

The foreground branches have been painted now with shades I wouldn't normally use. They are black and dark brown shades from the Daniel Smith range. Very powerful,dynamic and fascinating as they make the warm colours in the background glow even more in contrast, as if in soft diffused light.

Lamp Black,Transparent Brown Oxide and Purpurite Genuine.
Strong, dynamic shades.

 For an artist who has always  avoided painting with black or dark shades this is quite a turn around in my way of thinking and painting. I love it!

The branches in the foreground now stand out. The deep brown areas you can see in the section below have been created by applying pigment with a cloth and twisting it  over the paper. This gives me freedom and less planned looking results, which I also love.

 Dark brown sections have been creating by rolling a cloth over my work once colour had been applied

If I liked an effect in this piece I simply repeated it so the brown section grew and became more interesting . A subtle, gradual build up of strong colour gave me the effects seen below that I found intriguing.

Build up of brown section, slowly adding depth and drama to my work

I find I am the happiest when experimenting. I don't accept  that every technique has been learnt about this magical medium. I honestly feel there is far more to be gained from spending as much time as possible pushing the limits and hoping to cross boundaries of what and what does not work with watercolour pigment.

I loved this experiment which wouldn't be possible without the products I use from Daniel Smith. I owe the inventor of these amazing watercolours so much as my life is so exciting because of them, as an artist who adores colour and exploration with it.

Great fun and I cannot wait to paint even more bold pieces now which are perfect choices for this Autumnal time of year. Gone are the soft summer shades. In come the powerful Autumn and Winter effects!