Thursday, 19 July 2012

An appreciation of space… in not much space

Here are some of the finished ACEOs I previewed earlier this week. Initially, I wasn't sure if the tiny format (three-and-a-half by 2-and-a-half inches) would grant me enough room, but I'm reasonably pleased with this series, and its definitely worth doing again sometime in the future. I practically had three-on-the-go at once whilst the paint was drying. The other five works can be viewed here:

Cloud shadows


Red patchwork

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Thursday, 12 July 2012

A little secret…

For the most part, I want to avoid technique based posts, however, I thought this one was far too interesting to pass up. I seems counter-intuative, but I do not paint a tree, or trees… I actually paint the sky. In fact, my favoured methodology is to make the sky one of the last elements to be rendered. In both these examples below, a large, basic, block of dark colour was painted first, and the sky simply ate away at the tree form, similar to how a relief-print artist would cut-away at the plate/block material. Why not give it a try. 'Let one brush stroke inspire another'.

Early snow

Into the forest

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

A moment of reflection

I sometimes feel a little fraudulent, but most of my paintings are explorations into either technique, composition or concept. To be honest, it's rare that I'm a hundred percent satisfied with the results. Ever so occasionally I produce a painting that is an exemplar of what I'm trying to achieve. Mistakes are necessary if you're trying to improve, and, if a painting is almost right, I'm OK with it – perhaps some people prefer the slight slip-ups anyhow!

Over the past couple of weeks I have pondered whether to migrate from acrylic ink to a heavy-body acrylic paint. Don't get me wrong, I have loved using acrylic ink, but I have never felt they possessed sufficient 'body' to produce the opaque colour blocks I desired. Luckily, I had a tube of titanium white sculling-around a the bottom of a draw. I used this 'buttery' paint in a couple of recent works, however I was a touch dis-satisfied with the outcome. Upon reflection, I wanted something a little 'flatter', and minus the brush strokes. The heavy-bodied paint wasn't suited to fine work too. I always consider my choices very carefully, with plenty of research, and in retrospect to my previous endeavours. I believe I've now found the answer. It's a mid-way-house between paint and ink, which should allow me to paint with the underlying watercolour techniques I often employ, but with the necessary pigment concentrations as to achieve the flat opaqueness I'm looking for. Only time will tell if it does… but i'ts my best bet!

What's this 'exemplar'? It is this one below. Perhaps, not a potentially popular route…but, if it doesn't sell, it will look nice on my wall.

Empty sky

Monday, 2 July 2012

A reason to be cheerful?

I had the pleasure of stewarding the museum exhibition at the Burnham Art Trail this weekend. It's a great chance to engage with artists and art appreciators. What came as a welcome surprise was the amount of sales on the books. I, and many of the other artists, sold very well – a distinct upturn compared to last year – so it left me wondering whether I witnessed the first 'green-shots' of an art-buying revival. I definitely hope so!

Also, I learnt a number of vital lessons:

1. make sure the display easel's screws are sufficiently tightened, and check that they are not top-heavy – mine fell over twice!
2. produce leaflets, which people can take away, and display a biography – although only a couple of leaflets were taken, it may lead to interest in the future.
3. frame the paintings well – it doesn't need to be expensive, but quality, bespoke, framing really improves the look of the painting.

Evening clouds