Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Roach Fishing

Oil on Board, 6x8 inches

I managed to pull this one in today amid the loads of phone calls and emails to various parties concerned with our imminent new gallery, of which more very soon...

This is a backwater of the River Nene a few miles away from my studio. It's rich with fish, especially the lovely silvery-blue Roach, so reminiscent of the Mr Crabtree goes fishing books of my childhood - the anglers reading this of a similar vintage to me will be lying back in their armchairs, sucking an imaginery pipe and visualising Peter, Mr Crabtree's son, listening to his dad with the innocent enthusiasm of days gone by depicted so brilliantly by the venerable Bernard Venables....

The reeds in the foreground were painted with the same No5 Long Flat, Series 279 (mongoose) brush from Rosemary & Co that I use for my big 22x30 paintings. Here I use less pressure to get the fine points than I would on the big ones.

April Reflections

 Oil on Board, 9x12 inches

I painted this one as a demonstration painting to the Wollaton Art Group in Derbyshire. Above is the finished piece, titivated back home in the studio, and below is the painting as was, after the couple of hours demo. 

Not being flooded with sunlight, I had to pay very close attention to the close tones in the scene, and really the painting came to life with depicting the lovely, glassy surface of the water. Painting water is always the 'coup de grĂ¢ce' in a demo, and the fear that some amateur painters have can be dispelled by staying calm and remembering that all you are painting is a reflective surface, not a clear substance, and you just have to paint what you see, making sure that the reflections of any trees or features are perpendicularly below them, otherwise the brain will find it disturbing and unreal. Even some fine painters have fallen into the trap of painting great reflections that don't marry-up with what they are reflecting above the water.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Two NEW Paintings!!!!

Well, just to reassure you that I haven't fallen down a big hole, I thought it was about time I painted for a living again!  I've been somewhat busy in the last 6 weeks trying to get my garden back in order after having my big brand new studio built at the bottom of the garden, and a winding gravel path to get to it.  And my partner Janey has moved in with me too, so have been sorting out all the detritus of an artist's life scattered in almost every room of the house, now into the new studio, and letting the house become girlified - you know, cushions breeding like flies everywhere,  and flowers and stuff.
But you don't want to hear about my domestic arrangements, let's cut to the chase and see the new paintings.  I've really got to paint like fury over the next few weeks to supply my galleries who all need new stock after a selling spree, so here goes with the first two:
April Bluebells, Oil on Board, 6x8 inches SOLD

Well, it's that time of year isn't it - the glorious English Bluebells are carpeting the woodlands with their violet colours, making that stunning spectacle that just says 'Spring is here'. Using my 1" brush to depict most of the fresh green foliage and grass and the sunlit flowers, woods are always a joy to paint at this time of year

Summer Breeze, Oil on Board, 6x8 inches

Another little painting, I enjoyed painting the lively sky with its clouds skudding by and the warm breeze just catching the water and reeds in the foreground.

I've painted this view from a bridge near my studio many times in different seasons, and it always presents a lovely composition with the winding river taking the eye through the landscape. The bush just left of centre is an Elderflower and used to have an abundance of flowers on it, but it is it's twilight years methinks, with its best years behind it. When it does finally topple over, the composition won't be nearly as good, but hopefully, it's got a few more years in it yet.