Friday, April 23, 2010

Painting the Blues

I was working on location in South Australia this week and stayed on an extra day to look around at some country properties and to call in at Jacqueline Coates' Salon Rouge Gallery in Kapunda. I painted with Jacqueline and Ingrid Winter while there. Jacqueline and Ingrid had some stunning hydrangeas in blues and also antiquey greens for us to paint from life. The flowers were in a simple glass jar vase. The flowers to right look more delicately lilac than they actually were, I think some flash washed them out in this shot. The photos left and below show them to be more as seen--very vivid and richly coloured.

The light was better in the big gallery room than it was in the studio, so we moved in there and set up easels and drop cloths. We painted in oils, and blocked the background and subjects of the compositions in quickly using sponges and palette knives. Then on to more tonal and color work. I enjoyed painting in a loose style, slightly hinting at impressionism.

The paintings developed quite quickly and it was a fun exercise. Here is my painting, as I left it to dry yesterday. I also got a lot of lovely photos of these flowers for my photo library. The colors were fantastic. I even love the colors on that palette...absolutely superb blues and greens.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Nearly There--Golden Roses Continued

I spent lots of time with the golden roses painting today. Hours in fact ! And after feeling it went ugly on me, it came back and is improving. I spent time doing detail work and also shadows. In yellow, which is my most not-easy shadow color I think. I made up some color studies for getting some good shadows. IN the end I used mostly Quinacridone Gold, plus Australian red gold (which I had already used before today). Both neutralised with Dioxazine Purple. Quin Gold and Diox Purple are transparent. But with the purple, a little goes a long way ! Takes a very light touch. Both details and shadows are things that take me a lot of concentration. I also had a few corrections to make on the yellow and that is always tough. (Get it too dark and you have to correct with white and start that bit over again ! This has happened a few times on this painting, as always seems to with yellows !)

I work on an area and then when I can't take it any more, move to another...but generally I try to be doing the same sorts of things, because if I get one area moving toward perfection and leave the rest behind, it is tough to go back and bring them up to the same level as the one I paid attention to. This is especially true before stopping...because I know I will be away from painting here in studio this week due to work having me away interstate for a few days. So I need to have a clean stopping point !

Winston (and his mates) will look after this painting until I am back to work on it on Friday. (it is in good paws !)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gorgeous Golden Yellow

Here are a few shots of my work in early stages progress and some of the close ups of the flowers it is inspired by...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Back Home--Get Started !

Sometimes, after being away, it is hard to get back into the routine or pattern of things, even things you really want to do ! I have unpacked my suitcase (always satisfying to do after a trip) and done lots of laundry. I wanted to why did I procrastinate and do everything except paint ? And then why the deep contemplation and indecisiveness about what to paint ?

Finally after chores, a walk and lunch, I just picked up a photo from a flower photo shoot I did in December...and grabbed a 36 x 24 canvas and just got started. Though I dawdled a bit in getting going, watering the african violets on the porch...choosing some music to listen to, opening the windows for the cats to enjoy afternoon fresh air. And then I committed and just made a super quick sketch in charcoal to get my bearings. Sprayed fixative on that, picked out lots of yellow and orangey paints and just got started. There's something to be said for just getting on with things !

This is the first underpainting (above) and it is painted loosely, just to capture the feelings and messages I am getting from these flowers. I was not sure if it would come fact, the first half of this painting session felt a bit "off", but maybe it has just been too long a break. In any event, after a couple of hours, it came around and I am pretty happy with the start on this at today's stopping point, and have good navigation points to pick up from next painting session.

While I am painting from a photo, I did a big photo shoot with these stunning David Austin yellow roses--they were really fantastic to shoot from every angle and the light in my living room in afternoon was fabulous too. I took several hundred photos and had prints made up of a handful of the best compositions. Most of the best ones were close ups of the bouquet you see at bottom right.

Here is Pookie too, who "helped"...well, kind of. That sort of help around flowers is not always what one most wants or needs. But he did look cute. Though this photo is not his best pose with the yellow roses, it shows good cattitude nonetheless.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Signs of Spring

Hello Again, just got back from another work trip overseas. And one of the things I enjoyed along the way was seeing signs of springtime in Northern Hemisphere places that were still chilly, on beginning to emerge from their winter thaw. Well, many of them were. By the end of my travel, I managed to find some nicer weather along the way, here and there.
Here are some market scenes from London (where it was still cold a few weeks ago, maybe not much improved quite yet ?).

And cherry blossoms in Washington DC, where they just happened to be at their peak a few days before Easter and were getting lots of visits from tons of tourists and lookers on enjoying lovely warm weather.

And california poppies and white wisteria yesterday, 85 F or about 29 C in LA, where these were found. In
gardens of a lovely neighbourhood near an organic food cafe called Cheebo's which has a fab kitchen and is worth a stop by if you are around !

Back to autumn at home now, lovely weather though today. around 25 C now, sunny and perfect for laundry after unpacking suitcases.

More soon !

Thursday, April 1, 2010


My blog has seemed a bit quiet, but this is just due to some intensive travel lately. I have hardly had a moment to stop and think, and the blog is look not as up to date as usual ! And I did travel through China, which is always hard (can't get to Google reliably from there)...and then I was superbusy in Lithuania and UK. And had some stressful travel days in that mix too, very tiring.

But this weekend I hope to get some new posts up. I have got some photos to download and will have some new things to post soon. So please check back this weekend. And have a nice new Easter holiday too :)