I am just back from a holiday in Shetland visiting family. This is my first time visiting the Island. What a beautiful place teaming with wildlife. The sketch above was done in situ at the top of a sand dune (see photo below). I am eager to get down to producing some paintings from my outdoor studies.
When I visited Barra I found all the beaches had a different feeling. This one had a calming experience on me. I sat and sketched the scene undisturbed and soaked up the atmosphere. The sketch evokes the memory of the location really well. This painting was done with reference to my sketch.
I have just finished and delivered this commission. It is fun to paint on the Slate. Each slate is intrinsically different which gives a lot of originality to the finished work. I am in need of restocking my supply of slate for future paintings!
This is a study for a larger painting I intend to do. I have not decided what medium I will use yet. The grasses always surprise me how tall they are. I love the sand dunes on The West Sands St Andrews. They always inspire paintings.
Working on a textured ground I did this seascape painting, using Sennelier 38ml large oil pastels. I bought them recently and I am experimenting with them. Normally I use the smaller less chunky version. However I really liked the larger version as you can push the oil pastel around more easily. They felt comfortable in my hand. I love the strength of colour you can achieve with these oil pastels.
For this exercise I used pastels that were as close as possible to the 6 colour wheel tertiary colours. I arranged them as they would fall on the wheel. For the painting below I used these colours plus some black, light blue and cream. It was good working with these chosen colours.
Last Wednesday after my pastel class in St Andrews I headed down to the West Sands. I decided to do a sketch from the car park. It was so windy my sketch pad was blown out of my hand onto the beach below. I had no choice but to rush to rescue it. Fortunately it had landed on damp sand and not in a wet puddle. It made me realise how attached I am to my sketch pads. Each sketch in the book evokes great memories, sights, sounds, weather etc. I love to refer to them when I need to inject some inspiration into my work. The sketch above is the view from where I found my book.
Yesterday afternoon I went into the Studio to sort out some things and the sky above Dundee was looking really dramatic. It made me think of the challenge I have set the students at St Andrews Art Club. I have asked them to do pastel studies of the sky and promised I would be doing it too. This started out as a sky study then I couldn’t stop and continued painting trying to capture the fleeting light.
One day to go until the opening night at Pittenweem Arts Festival. I look forward to seeing everyone! On the lead up to the Festival I have been doing a number of paintings on slate. The one above is one of them. I love the variations in texture which is a natural quality of the slate.
The Pittenweem Arts Festival is fast approaching, and is a week earlier this year starting on the 28th July and running until the 5th August. My web site has a page showing some of the paintings I will be exhibiting. See my Pittenweem Arts Festival 2012 page.