Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fast Work

monochrome underpainting

I am getting ready to hit the road, another business trip departure.  I have been getting things organised and packing too.  My friend jacqueline Coates invited me to join a one day Blooms workshop today.  I have done all the Three day Blooms workshops, and seen her doing the one day format, but haven't done one and it sounded like a nice way to spend part of Saturday before several weeks of travel.  Still, I was not sure I could find time for it, but agreed to come in for half the day and leave after lunch.  I stopped on the way out of Angaston, at the Barossa Farmer's market and picked up catering Jac had arranged from a baker there, Eleni of Eleni's pies.  She had several bags with the pies and also a dessert ready for me to put into my market bag and I headed onwards to Kapunda, to Salon Rouge Gallery,  Jac had a fire started in the small firebox there to chase off some winter chill.

At the workshop, we all found photo references ready to choose from.  I picked a composition I have admired, a photo of red pears in a tree, with lots of green leaves.  We had 45 cm square canvases to paint onto.  First we transferred the composition to it, using charcoal and pencil transfer--a quick way to get the sketch and boundary parts onto the canvas.  Then a tonal underpainting in monochrome, about 4-5 steps between black and white and those too.  I have not done a painting in first in monochrome for a while, so this was a nice practice.  I was not sure I would finish my painting today either, but wanted to get enough done for it to be easy touch ups to finish it on my return.
colour layer of painting in progress
palettes, reference, and a cup of tea

After working on the tonal underpainting, I began to apply colour.  Working quickly and with as much confidence as I could.  It all came together pretty quickly.  First getting a lot of the darker greens and then adding some of the red and burgundy hues for the pears.

Some work after lunch got the painting to a good stopping point.  It needs a bit of fine tuning on my return, but not much.  All in all, for 4 hours work, I am pretty happy with it.  It seems a lot of what I have done before has come together and this was not too hard.

The day's stopping point, about 4 hours work,
 needs fine tuning to complete

After I got this far it was well and truly time to go, and I packed up, bid everyone goodbye and headed home to finish my travel preparation and packing.  We have a party to attend tonight, so wrapping up and getting ready to go to that.

Bon voyage, more from the road and on my return.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Sometime ago, not quite a year ago, I started painting again, from our new home.  Looking back in my blog, it was in late June.  From then, it took awhile for things to "come right" though.  I had no good space to paint, I ended up with "painter's block"...and was really dissatisfied with works I started then.  In fact, until the end of February this year, on the anniversary of our moving into this house, I thought I had completely lost the ability to enjoy and like my work.

Something happened then, funny to be to the day a year from moving in.  My work turned a corner, or my mind did, or something !  I posted the work I did then, check out One Day post.

So back to last June.  I started a lovely composition, an image inspired by a very old cover from sheet music.  I love old sheet music and have been collecting pieces and books of it awhile.  Sometimes I use the sheet music for collages, or paper art.  I prefer to find names and verses  of songs that have uplifting or positive words, about love, happiness, dancing.  Good affirmations.  And the booklets with pretty covers get kept, at least the covers do.  I have several I would like to use or draw from for some artistic compositions.  See my start on Couleur de Rose, Pinky post.

And so I have been working on Couleur de Rose off and on, probably more off than on though.  In the end, it finally got done, about 2 weeks ago.  Background has been antiqued, like old vintage sheet music covers can be.  But gleeful to report it done.  Now I can work on completing the next composition, inspired by a small vintage valentines card, with bluebirds of happiness and a wreath of blue posies.  When they are done, I will be starting some new abstract work.  More next post !