If someone was to ask me what my style of painting was, I’d be a bit stumped to be honest. I tend to flit about a lot but I do become a little bit obsessive when it comes to trying new things.
For example, I like to draw and paint from nature as near to realistic as possible and love to add the smallest details. Pen and ink, watercolour pencils and paints all add their bit to create something which I think looks fairly decent. However, this takes time and I don’t always have that much time to create. Right now I’m diving deeper into surface design and my goal is to paint first, scan then work on my designs on the computer with the aim of printing them onto cards for example. These detailed paintings don’t lend themselves that well to surface design anyway so I need to come up with something which does!
By contrast to the super detailed sketches I love abstract painting and design and admire the artists who effortlessly produce abstract floral designs in minutes. Recently I’ve been busy practicing loosening up my paintings and I love it. It’s nowhere near perfect yet but I’ve become a bit obsessed by this style. To some people it might look sloppy and a bit of a cop out compared to the detailed drawings I’ve done in the past but believe me it’s far harder than it looks to stop it from looking a bit cartoony.
These need quite a bit of work but that’s just what I intend to do. So it’s back to the desk and on with the practice.
I never really consider January to be the start of my year. I think maybe this could be partly because the Christmas decorations are still up at the beginning of the month and we’re still wading through the cheese, chocolate and other naughty but tasty treats left over. January in the garden is a bit of a nothing month on the whole. If I get a dry-ish day I’ll get out and cut down or tidy up but the garden is mostly devoid of any colour or beauty. February however is when the garden is starting to wake up, nature is coming to life, the inspiration is flowing and Spring isn’t too far away. Yesterday 2nd February was liichtmessdag here, also known as Candlemas. Small children go door to door with lanterns bringing in the light and singing their song in return for sweets.
On my afternoon dog walk I can see one of my favourite little late winter flowers, the snowdrop. I’m very lucky indeed to live in a village with a beautiful castle with a well loved garden. The snowdrop display under the trees is one of my favourite sites to visit.
I’ve photographed them often but I don’t think I’ve ever sketched them let alone painted them. Since one of my goals for this year is to paint more I decided I’d better right this wrong.
I was given some Winsor & Newton paint tubes for Christmas so I’ve been itching to try them out. I usually use paint pans so tubes are new to me. The colours in this particular set are beautiful and vibrant. Mixing them is a dream. I don’t know why I’ve been so reluctant to use tubes in the past. They’re so easy to use.
I look forward to the shift in the season with all the inspiration which comes with it.
It’s a real treat to be able to create outside, I relocate to a shady spot at the bottom of the garden as often as possible. Inspiration is all around me and when it’s too hot to stay indoors, the shade of a tree is the perfect place to be.
On this occasion I put a few bits and pieces in a tray along with some pre-cut gel printed papers so I could put together this little gel print micro journal.
I say little, it actually turned out to be quite chunky by the time I’d added all my pages. Once I’d sewn it all together I thought it was so cute I didn’t want to cover the binding or bright print up, so left it as it was simply adding a little collaged embellishment on the front. The quote on an old book page jumped out at me and begged to be added to the front. After all it did sum up the afternoon quite nicely!
On another occasion I took out my sketching supplies and sat under the tree. I used the flowers in front of me as inspiration for this page in my watercolour journal adding doodles and paint.
I hope you have a little outside space to sit and reflect or use as an inspiration spot. It’s great for recharging the batteries.
It feels like an age since I updated my blog but since life has slowed down slightly (due to the current situation), I’ve found a bit more time to do a few things I’ve wanted to do for a while!
I was fortunate enough to be able to hold a workshop just before everything closed down and self isolation became the norm. It was a requested workshop to create a mixed media canvas. I spent ages wondering which sort of canvas to create seeing as we’ve already done collage, texture and mixed media in the past and I really wanted to create something new.
One of my favorite artists is Flora Bowley. I bought her book a while back called Brave Intuitive Painting and love it.
Intuitive painting is the technique of letting go of your inner critic and letting your heart and hands do the painting. The results can be colourful and lively and full of spontaneous doodles and mark making.
I thought I’d let the others experience this for themselves and gave them the canvas and a few materials to get them started.
As watercolour is my favourite medium to use I created a watercolour background to start, letting the colour flow into pools on the canvas and adding some spray to help it move. If you want to add contrasting colour it’s best to let each colour dry first before adding the next otherwise you’ll end up with dirty colour which you don’t want. Once this was dry I started to add doodles and patterns with watercolour pencils. I used them wet and dry as I loved the texture from the canvas coming through. I further added doodles with white and black pens along with a snippet of text paper collage at the bottom.
It’s already pushed me to get out my art journal and start creating again so while I have some time I intend to make the most of it.
Take care of yourselves and if you’d like to create a canvas of your own you can find the canvas, watercolour pencils and more in the Basement Studio shop.