Soft pastel art

A few new pieces (various sizes – all on Pastelmat)

Smockmill Common Tree Study 19x22cm
Last Poppy 30x45cm

Defining my artists’ voice.

I have been doing a lot of introspection these past few months, trying to understand why I make art. It’s a simple enough question to ask, but in my case, I thought it was an especially difficult question to answer. I just make art, it’s what I’ve always done. Full stop.

In order to try and figure out what your artists’ voice is, you have to have some sort of definable vision. Work created has to be a reflection of that inner consciousness. You are trying to make stuff that is familiar to you, visible and understandable to people around you. Previously, I never stopped to think, when I started working on a piece of art, what I was trying to accomplish with it, what was I trying to say? This stems from my almost total lack of self-confidence or belief in my own self-worth (another story). I have never considered what I wanted to paint or try to say was important, or had any meaning at all, other than the finished piece made me feel good (or not, depending on the fight I had with it).

I have been on a lot of websites lately that try to pin-point how we define commercial or creative success as artists. It’s nice if we sell paintings or obtain recognition from our peers but that’s not what drives us as artists, it’s not the thing I set out to do when I begin a painting. I don’t stand there before I even start and say to myself, ‘Alright, how much money could I make from this thing?’ I don’t think about that at all, I never have and I doubt I ever will. I think it would be the death of me as an artist if the single most important aspect of my creative life was to determine how much money I was going to make from that day’s activities.

I have tried to think if there is one single type of art that I do that readily expresses my personal artistic vision and is relatable or engaging to a broader audience. I tend to flitter about a lot – and that is no help – however, lately I have come to realise that my strengths lie in a particular style of work that I do – landscapes using soft pastels. More and more, it is becoming a genre that I want to stay within.

Whilst thinking about all this, I hurriedly wrote down the following paragraph:

I capture essence, light and the emotion of a scene. I am not concerned with the minutiae of reproduction to create photo-realism. I want you to feel the place, smell it and touch it. I want you to be with me in that wild space and absorb its peace. In so doing, I hope that you will protect and nurture it, with a fierceness that is contagious.

For now, I think that sums it up.

New large Soft Pastel

I have been a bit quiet posting on here lately. It’s not that I’ve done no work, just lazy double posting, as I put a lot of stuff on my Instagram these days.

I have just finished this one:

‘Early autumn woodland stream’

This is on recycled stretched canvas, which I covered with organza, then primed and worked on the painting with charcoal, inks, iso alcohol and soft pastels. It is 3’x4’x1.5″ deep or 100x120x4cm.

Here is a pic of it hanging:

This is a gallery of photos taken whilst I was making it.

Framed!

Received my custom made frame today:

Very pleased with it. It’s available for sale, ready to hang. I’m asking £95 plus postage. If interested please email me: lucretia610@gmail.com

Update

I seem to put images and info of new art on Instagram these days and then forget to post here! Sorry🤪

These are some images of latest work:

I also sold this ink monotype piece yesterday 🥰👏😁:

Seascape

Monotype Notecards

i have at last received labels for the backs of my cards, which were professionally printed in the Netherlands.

I am building up a varied range of designs and colour combinations. Coming soon … Watch this space for details of where to buy!

Monotype Notecards

More designs – this time, abstract landscapes, using plants and organic matter to create the images.

I am waiting for the labels, which I ordered last week and then will be taking batches to local card and gift shops in this area – hope i can sell a few!

Monotype landscapes

these were all made using a gel plate, many layers of acrylic paint, plants .. on Japanese paper. Each is about A4

The Creek
A walk on the wild side
A bright day

Monotype Notecards

Trying out monotype techniques on Japanese paper..quite liking the effects. I sell these original notecards ..

Monotype

I am becoming obsessed with monotype processes! I have done a lot of work with gel press plates but last week I obtained a sheet of plexiglass (about A2 in size) and have been doing some experiments towards coursework (portraits mainly). I have also been using it to develop some layered landscapes. I am using acrylics at the moment, although my Caligo printing ink should be delivered today and I can start messing about with that. I am fascinated with the process of creating monotypes and how different each one can be. I had a kinda of plan for this one but the trees took over. It’s inspired by all the woodland I visit on my wanderings around these parts.

‘Trees’ monotype acrylics on paper 23½x 16½”
Detail

A gift for Carms

I have an ex-pat South African friend who now lives in New Zealand. She is always so supportive and appreciative of the art I do and regularly comments on my social media pages whenever she sees something she really likes. She has no ‘art’ on the walls in her new house, so I decided to gift her something. I asked her what she would like – landscape, realist, abstract? She has always liked a ‘dotty’ abstract painting I did (which is very large about 5foot by 4foot).

After trying a few ideas out – that I didn’t like 🙂 – I decided to just play and create something happy and positive – kinda like her. Funny, I could hear her voice in my head as I was painting, i think that’s a good thing! Here it is:

‘For Carms’ acrylic on Atlantis paper.

I tore a section of paper to about A2 size from my giant piece of Atlantis paper, the painting itself is 55 x 37.5cm in size. I used Amsterdam, Winsor&Newton and Golden Open acrylics.   The surface of the painting has been sealed with an acrylic binder.

‘For Carms’ – showing border around painting.

About the paper

Atlantis Giant 400gsm – this is a very durable and high quality paper for artists needing a large surface format (It comes in a huge roll – and the paper sheet size was 60”x 48” / 1524 x 1219mm). It can be used for most main applications ranging from watercolours, gouache and drawing through to silkscreen and acrylic. Made from 70% highly refined woodfree pulp and 30% cotton fibre. Acid free. Buffered with calcium carbonate, pH 8.5 (hot extract). The paper is gelatine sized, un-watermarked. NOT surface. Two deckle edges. Available in White only. It can be purchased direct from Atlantis here: https://www.atlantisart.co.uk/atlantis-giant-watercolour-drawing-paper-400gsm/ (this is not an affiliate link!)

I will be rolling this painting into a large tube (adequately protected first) and shipped off to New Zealand as soon as I can. Hope she likes it.

Monotype landscapes

I use a gel plate, which once painted on is folded to create a channel in the paint. I use Golden Open Acrylics. Then I lay it flat and may use a stencil and dot with isopropyl alcohol before taking a print. Afterwards, I work into the surface with soft pastel pencils. This is all still in the experimental stage but lots of fun.

Monotype landscape
Monotype landscape 2
Monotype landscape 3 (with stencils)

Monoprinting

Well, I’m having such a great load of fun at the moment, I don’t know when I’m going to stop fiddling about with this gel plate – it’s addictive! I obtained supplies to learn these techniques whilst doing the next part of my degree course … although we are supposed to just work on a piece of perspex or glass … sod that, I wanted an excuse to a get a gel press plate, so I did 🙂 (I’m such a rebel)

I have started a sketchbook dedicated to the monoprinting experiments I’m doing. It took a while to get the right paint and technique right as far as transferring images and text is concerned. I also bought a small laser printer because it is a right battle to transfer images that have been printed out using an inkjet printer. I got a dinkie little Pantum, such a cute little thing and works really well.

Anyhow, I will try and do a video (whoa, hold me back) to show how I’m making the monoprints and results. Please ‘don’t watch this space‘ because knowing me I’ll just stuff up any attempt at making a video but my heart is in the right place, I will give it a go …

Evening storm over the fields – Oil version

I decided to try this composition/subject out using water-mixable oils on paper, the underpainting was in acrylics. The paper I used is Daler-Rowney Heavyweight Finegrain 200gsm and was A2 or 59x42cm The actual painting is 57×39.5cm (there is a small border around it). This is the final result:

‘Evening Storm over the Fields’ Oils on specialist paper 57cm x 39.5cm

Rock Pool

I’ve been without wheels for over a year but yesterday, I was gifted with a Ford Focus Titanium! I promised myself that the first place I’d visit would be the sea. Well, the weather is not playing ball today, so my trip to the beach will have to wait a couple more days. The Norfolk coastline is not too far away from where I live (too far to walk though). I think the idea of going to the water was on my mind when I started this little painting. It began like this:

WIP

But it has ended up like this:

‘Rock Pool’ Mixed media on stretched canvas

I used enamels (gold, sapphire blue, red, white and yellow), resin pigment inks and acrylics. It is signed on the lower right hand corner with my initials and measures 10″ x 8″ x 1/2″ or 25.5cm x 20cm x 1 cm – I’ve put it in my shop here.

Summer Roses

Oh aren’t we all fed up with winter and Covid yet?! I know I am. I have been studying quite a lot, so haven’t had much time to paint for myself in a while. Today, I decided to have a go with my Polyvine acrylic enamel paints, which I’m really loving. I bought them to use for the coursework (I’m now studying Understanding Painting Medium) and they were a great investment. I have a lot of little canvases lying around, so today was summer rose day! These roses grew outside one of the houses we rented a couple of years ago, they were always a delight.

Summer Roses – Yellow Polyvine acrylic enamel on stretched canvas.
Summer Roses – Red Polyvine acrylic enamel on canvas
Summer Roses – Yelow and Red – Diptych. Polyvine acrylic enamel on stretched canvas

Canvasses are 10x8x 1/2″ or 25.5x20x1cm

If you would like to purchase one or both, please email me: lucretia610@gmail.com

Thanks for stopping by. Keep safe!

Recycle Upcycle Refurbish – Pastel study

I obtained some more soft pastels over Christmas, as well as a 36 colour set of Mont Marte H2O watermixable oils. I’ve been practising with both mediums this past week – doing two versions of the same scene, one using soft pastel and the other with oils, to see how well I can get a good result. One thing that’s becoming obvious is I have a far better grasp of it with soft pastels than I do with oils!

One of the comparison studies I did today, involved the use of a reworked pastel study. I took the earlier pastel practise piece and rubbed the surface pigment off as much as i could, leaving a kind of underpainted base to work on, to which I added some white …

I then completed a moody landscape from a photo I took a few years ago.

‘Evening storm over the fields’ Soft pastel on refurbished Pastelmat

I’m really pleased with how this turned out. I have done an oil version of this same scene, which is drying at the moment. I’m not happy with that at all but I’ll do some more work on it tomorrow and maybe I can get it right, then will post on here to show the difference between the two techniques – soft pastel on Pastelmat and watersoluble oils on Arches oil paper.

Hey 2021!

I hope everyone is safe and healthy. Last year was hard for so many people, I just hope that with the vaccines being rolled out all over the place, that we get to crush this Covid thing once and for all during 2021.

You may have noticed that I’m having another go at re-organising this website, and have decided to start including my photography as I take A LOT of photos, some of them not too bad.

I want to make this website my primary place of business going forward. I have quite a large body of work building up, which includes pieces I’ve done for my Uni studies. I have to sell it off, as I’m battling to find storage space. I’ve sold my work on eBay a few times but it does appear that marketing work person to person is how I sell most of my paintings. I have a few reliable patrons who buy work from me off and on – I wonder how I could expand that base?

Where do you guys sell your art? Or if you’re not selling art, do you buy it online? And what kind of art do you buy, from where?

Sunlit Winter Trees

Available from my shop. This work is sold unframed, it has been set with a proprietary pastel fixative and is posted to you flat, protected with glassene and packed to avoid disturbance of the surface. It is signed.

Sunlit Winter Trees 44cmx30cm Soft Pastels on Pastelmat

Pastel pencils – sharpening

I splashed out a while ago and bought a wonderful set of 12 Caran D’Ache pastel pencils, which are really lovely to use, I definitely want to buy more colours eventually. However, one of the biggest problems was I just couldn’t sharpen them properly. I tried using your standard metal pencil sharpener with the big hole, as well as trying to use a sharp knife but I just ended up breaking the pencil tip or getting a lovely bulb shaped snub-nosed point! I then watched a YouTube video by Jason Morgan (him with the lovely Welsh accent) and in it, he recommended (amongst other products), the M+R crank-handled sharpener (made in Germany).

And whilst this set me back about 20 quid (including postage and packing from Uncle Amazing), it was money well-spent. It’s easy to operate, clean and also fix if anything gets jammed (like broken pencil tops). It comes with a clamp to secure on your desk or work table if you so prefer and easy to follow instructions (even for mechanica-phobes like me). It is adjustable for various sized pencils. Caran D’Ache are notably thicker than other pastel pencils and whilst their wood casings are very hard, the centre pastel is soft, which makes them very difficult to sharpen without the pastel crumbling away or breaking completely.

Here’s the Jason Morgan’s video: