Paint4Fun Group this Autumn term focused on painting still lifes with a limited palette. We started the term with a simple subject, an egg and eggcup. Next session was onions on a wooden board and finally a still life with a white jug. White we discovered is actually many subtle tones from quite surprisingly dark to the brightest highlights. We struggled with the electric lights in the village hall to get light coming from one direction and this made shadows difficult to gage. Some students found it useful to take a photo first with the electric lights off, with light coming from one direction only. They used this image as a reference to help decide lights and darks before painting the objects on the table. All good practice!
This summer has gone very fast. The garden has got away from me again, every year it happens.. We have three new rescue hens who have been laying well, lovely dark brown eggs. I wanted to continue my reduced palette work with just red, yellow, black plus white. This still life of two eggs and an eggcup was made using just these colours. I think it makes for a rich but muted tone where colours are harmonic.
The Wylye Valley Art Trail in April was great fun and we met many old and new friends while we dished out soup and cakes and juggled the cash box and my new gadget, the card reader. All in all a successful couple of weeks and we made many sales and quite a number of commissions - which have been keeping me from twiddling my thumbs over the summer! For a bit of R and R in July we took ourselves off to Devon for a few days. The sun came out every now and then while we walked along the cliffs above Sidmouth; what a view! We also enjoyed eating delicious fish and chips sitting outside while warding off the seagulls. Those birds are really big and their beaks with those orange red tips are long, and very sharp looking.
We are looking forward to exhibiting new work over the next week at the WVAT exhibition. We open from Sat 29th until Friday 5th May. Our venue is Number 49 so please do come and visit us if you can. Refreshments will be available!
This year's Wylye Valley Art Trail is certain to be an exciting and vibrant event spanning 10 days over the two bank holidays in April/May. Please do make a note in your diary to come and visit some of the venues. I promise it will prove to be a wonderful day out if you do! We will be hosting a venue here and my husband Crispian will for the first time be exhibiting with me. More info to follow in due course!
In early November I joined a group of artists in an exhibition in Alvediston (near Salisbury) in a beautiful stone barn owned by a very kind friend. There were five artists exhibiting over 4 days and there was much chat and much laughter throughout.
The images below show my sequence towards a finished piece of collage work. I started by cutting up images from a magazine and placing them onto a paper and gluing them down. Next I painted four or five pieces of paper with different colours. I tore them up and glued them on to make a landscape. Finally I painted over the top with a glaze. A glaze is a thin layer of watered down paint which allows the colour below to show. All in all a most enjoyable afternoon 'playing' with cutting, gluing and sticking. All this practice was put to the test with two small grandchildren. On the left is our collage picture of rather scary looking sheep. We first collected the wool from the gate down the lane by the ford. After much splashing in the ford we came back to stick pieces of magazine onto a page. Sometime in quite strange positions.. Needless to say the children got bored after a short time and wandered off long before it was finished. But I noticed that they came back pretty quickly to do the fun bits of sticking the wool and the eyes on the sheep! The two paintings above of local scenes were my next experiments using collage and mixed media. I used texture paste to prime the boards before I started. This gave nice raised textured areas that were quite fun to paint over. I cut out shapes and strips of watercolour paper iand stuck them on as I painted. I painted over these with ink, oil crayons and acrylic paint as though they were not there and like that they made strange edges and raised areas. The painting on the left is my final effort and I used actual bits of grass with seeds and…
I have never painted a picture using the Grisaille method so I thought I would practice on oranges, a half lemon and a few jars of marmalade. The colours are complimentary, orange and purple. Using black and white paint I covered the canvas with four tones, black, mid tone, dark tone and white. I painted in the jars, oranges and lemon trying to be as accurate as I could and looking carefully at the light and dark shapes. Now for the exciting bit! Using glazing liquid and a small amount of paint I glazed each area of tone separately. I had to wait for each layer to dry before glazing again so it took time and patience to cover the whole canvas. I enjoyed painting the jars of marmalade using red and yellow mixed to make orange, as I glazed layer over layer I could begin to see the rich colours emerging. Here is the finished painting. I enjoyed the experiment and was pleased with the resulting richness of tones. I like particularly the way the oranges glow out from the dark background and that marmalade looks good enough to eat! I am not certain that I have the patience to build up layers with glazing but it was certainly fun to try. My preferred way to paint is Alla Prima - which is all in one go. This way seems to suit my desire to make intuitive marks for a painting which is full of life and vigour.
Thursday evening at 6pm we waited anxiously in the hall to see if folks would turn up to the Preview. The paintings were hung, the catalogues printed and everything looked great. By 6.20, there was a good gathering of friends, neighbours and art lovers in the hall enjoying a glass of wine while moving up and down looking at my work. In fact there was quite a buzz and by the end of the evening I had already had reservations on 20 paintings. There was a steady flow of visitors throughout the bank holiday weekend and cream teas were enjoyed outside in the spring sunshine. All in all it was a brilliant weekend and well worth the effort. It felt good to get my spring collection out there!
I will be holding an exhibition over the first bank holiday weekend – From Friday 29th to Monday 2nd May. The venue is Longbridge Deverill Village Hall, Church Street, BA12 7DG and the exhibition will be open from 10.30 until 5pm.There will be lots of new paintings and pencil and charcoal drawings to show you as well as original greeting cards. Hopefully there will be cream teas to enjoy each afternoon so please do come and visit if you can.