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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
But it has ended up like this:
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.
I’m pleased to let my patrons know that I’ve organised an appropriate tried and trusted payment portal for my shop. Please have a look here when you have a minute. If there is anything you’ve seen on my website previously that you would like me to put onto the shop, please let me know.
I recently bought an art reference book, which discusses how certain illustrious artists from Degas to Picasso have used photography to document, influence or inspire the creation of some of their most famous works. The book is quite fascinating, filled with gorgeous photographs to illustrate the concepts and is a large format hardcover book. However, after starting off on the first paragraph of the introduction, I almost threw it in the bin. These are a few words taken from just one of the opening paragraphs:
Synaesthetic, metonymic, sacerdotal, artistic bibelots, verisimilitude, mimetic domain, peregrination, entropic, maelstrom, dichotomy, fin de siècle, simulacrum, epistemological logic, panchromatic tonal scale, excoriate, synecdochial ….
I actually got a headache trying to read the opening sections of this book. Eventually, I abandoned the introduction entirely and concentrated on the individual chapters, which were contributed by different authors. I persevered. It got easier.
Whilst I am not averse to using the correct word or phrase, I feel that in some cases, it is more apt and less pompous for a writer to actually take the trouble to use plain old English when describing what he or she is trying to say. This tome was not touted as an ‘academic’ book, so why use all the confolutin’ language? I looked up the words and by the way, some online dictionaries couldn’t give me any explanation of what some of these terms meant!
Synaesthetic – Involving more than one sense
Metonymic – using a word that describes one of its qualities
Sacerdotal – garments (religious)
Artistic bibelots – bibelot – a small decorative object
Verisimilitude – the quality of appearing true
Mimetic domain – mimetic – relating to mimicry
Peregrination – a long journey, travelling to different places, on foot.
Entropic – having a tendency to change from a state of order to a state of disorder.
Maelstrom – a situation where there is great chaos and confusion (a bit like reading this tome)
Dichotomy – a difference between two completely different ideas
Fin de siècle – relating to the end of the 19th century
Simulacrum – something that looks like or represents something else.
Epistemological logic – ‘epistemological’ relating to the part of philosophy that is about the study of how we know things
Panchromatic tonal scale – ‘panchromatic’ – using all colours.
Excoriate – to write or say that a book, play, political action is very bad
Synecdochial – Using an inclusive term for something included or vice versa.
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.
Canvasses are 10x8x 1/2″ or 25.5x20x1cm
If you would like to purchase one or both, please email me: email@example.com
Thanks for stopping by. Keep safe!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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:
This year has been a good one for me, can’t really complain, at least i’m still alive. It’s just the hanging about waiting to see family, give people hugs and sloppy kisses, that’s what’s been crap about it. I made the decision in February to sell my ageing car and whilst that was a good financial move, it has created a lot of frustration. Gone are the days when I could just take myself off to the nearest wood for a wander about, or go shopping by myself somewhere out of the usual supermarket slog. Pathetic to whine about crap like that though, hey?
I have worked from home for the last twenty years of my life, so that has not been an issue for me – other than the fact that I’ve had no work since February! I share this home with my daughter and son-in-law, plus two grandchildren, so I’m fortunate not having to worry too much about the massive dip in my earnings, I have definitely not gone hungry. Her Majesty has been kind enough to provide a couple of hand-outs this year and I believe another one is on the offing soon, I would never look a gift horse in the mouth (sorry, ma’am) but I really want to get back to earning my own dosh soon.
We’re being told that lockdown measures may be relaxed somewhat over the festive period, allowing us to be close to loved ones and in our case have more than one person visit. The ‘rule of six’ has been a gut punch for us, as there are already five of us in this house, so only one visitorwas ever allowed.
If you pass by this post between now and 2021, know that I wish you a very pleasant festive season. I hope you are safe and well and that 2021 is kind to us all.
that’s such a weird word, ‘updating’ … does it mean you are upping your dating game or dating above your station …
Anyhoo, I am frantically working on my final assignment pieces for the course I’m doing at the moment with OCA (Uni for the Creative Arts) … and it’s taking up a lot of my time – nay, I can’t even get back to knitting jerseys! My world’s gone mad, I tell you.
I am doing A LOT of art projects but I can’t post pictures of them on ‘ere until after my final projects for this course have been assessed, which will be in March next year. Crikey, what a to-do ‘ey?
So, that’s why you haven’t been seeing much of my work getting posted up on this website for a while.
Over and out.
I found a local framer in Norwich who did a really great job with my large soft pastel painting of the Norway Fjord and it’s now on the wall:
I is quite chuffed
At long last I’ve completed my fourth assignment for POP1 (Practise of Painting), I am now heading into the final stretch and the bit I’ve been most looking forward to, so whoopee doo for me hey!?
I decided to do a large (the brief was for something about 90x60cm) soft pastels landscape (that was also in the brief) and chose as my subject a scene from a trip I did to Norway a couple of years ago. This is how it ended up:
I ordered special paper from Clairefontaine in a sienna tint for this work and it’s really quite large. I have had quite a fight getting quotes to frame it that are below £200 – most of the framers I’ve spoken to want up to £300 to frame it, which is a bit much. Anyway, I’ve found someone in Norwich and hopefully going to take it there soon, it will still cost me over £100 to frame but I think will b e worth it. I will take a photo when it’s on the wall with furniture so you can get the idea of scale.
I love Wales! I go there as often as I can to visit my aunts and uncle, cousins and assorted hangers on. I’m not Welsh (at least I don’t think there is any Welsh in my immediate past) but I adore the place. This little sketch was inspired by a memory I have of walking about ‘on the top’ of a steep sheep covered hill, coming across these two old trees huddled together against the wind.
It’s in my shop over here
‘Be your easiest self. My work isn’t angry or shocking because I’m not.’Brian Rutenberg. From his book ‘Clear Seeing Space’ page 288 – Meetings
For many years I’ve had the misconception that in order for my work to have any degree of artistic merit and clout, it must be dark and angry, which is why I have battled to find my own voice – that’s not what I’m about. I’m not a cynical nihilist (a la Gerhard Richter), I don’t have a cross to bear or a point to prove, I’m not out to save the world. I just want to paint. I want to feel the paint or any other art medium on my hands every day, I don’t want to do anything else, never have. I want to paint things that make me happy and in turn make the people who view them happy too.
I like creating non-representational paintings, many times they end up being a big mess. Is that then how I was feeling that day? A big emotional mess? I have had days, sometimes running into weeks, where everything I painted was a waste of time and effort (at least I thought so at the time). I’ve struggled with something just there at the edge of my grasp, battled to pull the truth out of what it is I’m trying to convey and it’s felt like I was trying to ram the proverbial square peg into a round hole. But this is not lost effort, I’ve come to realise that now. It’s experience, it’s learning, it’s the wonderful job of being an artist.
When you create a painting, no matter whether it’s a drawing or a painting with actual paint, you are projecting your history, your knowledge of the world, your feelings about the world and your fears of the world into that painting. Whether you like it or not, your subconscious creeps in and forces you to make little signs. You might not ever even see those signs but when someone stands in front of your work, they are witnessing first hand how you were feeling when you painted that picture. They are picking up on all the little hidden signs and messages that your subconscious self has forced you to include in the artwork. It’s a bit like magic, almost smoke and mirrors really. With your art, you are transmitting a message to the world, no matter what the subject matter of the painting or drawing is, a part of you is reaching out and trying to touch another person, another mind and trying to make a connection on some deep primordial level.
And you just thought that drip you made with the cerulean blue was a slip-up.
Brian Rutenberg’s book on Amazon:
I took inspiration for this little study from an image I saw on the Internet, it’s not from my own source photos. I used Sennelier, Rembrandt and Art Discount soft pastels on Pastelmat for this one: