Monday, 10 March 2014

Spring Has Sprung!

What a fantastic day today was! It truly was the first real day of Spring. I was moving studios - from my conservatory to my custom-built one at the top of the garden - and whilst traipsing up and down the winding path lugging all my gear, there were lots of butterflies flitting about, sipping nectar from the few flowers in bloom and taking their first flights after their long hibernation in garden sheds and woodpiles. I saw four different species (these are all my photos, apart from the Brimstone and the bees, taken last year):
Commas, above
and here's the underside, showing the distinctive white punctuation,
Small tortoiseshells,
and male Brimstones, the males a particularly bright lemon yellow.
Queen Buff and Red-Tailed Bumble Bees too were stumbling and buzzing about, looking for suitable nesting sites. And of course, the real harbinger of Spring, the Ice Cream Van was in full voice in the village! Here's my tribute to him in a painting I did last year:
I love Winter, but when the first signs of new life, or at least awoken life show themselves, it really is a special time, a glimpse of things to come, like the greenery and Cow Parsley in my painting.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Summer Clouds

Oil on Board, 9 x 12 inches

This painting was a demonstration piece I did for the Grafham Art group today. Here it is, untouched after the two hours  demo. 

A simple composition, with the big tree to the right of centre and distant trees appearing bluish on the horizon - so typical of a hazy summer's day.  I used old warn brushes to scrub in the drawing and the dark tones, then hog brushes for the sky and distant fields, then the 1" household brush for the foliage and vegetation, and finally hogs and Mongoose brushes for the water and weeds and lilies.