Patio Painting

close up of the flowers
Work in progress

The weather was lovely and my spring plants were looking so nice. I thought if I don’t go out and paint them I will have lost the opportunity. So I put fresh acrylic paint in my stay wet palette, arranging my colours around the palette like a colour wheel. With my small easel, paints and paintbrushes out I went to the garden. The tray at the front is for mixing and when the acrylic dries it can be peeled off. This is a new acquisition which I am finding really practical.

Snowdrop Vase

Snowdrops were early to flower this year. I decided to pick some from the garden and put them in my glass snowdrop vase, found in a charity shop. I set up a small still life in my studio. Below is a quick sketch in conte on a blue background. I decided to add additional pattern for interest under the vase.

I next did a tonal study in oil using 4 tones only. I mixed these tones before starting to paint the still life. This was a fun exercise. A nice way to show appreciation for such delicate flowers which cheer us at this time of year.

Man Reading

I made this pastel copy of “Man Reading” by John Singer Sargent. His painting was done in oil paint. I enjoy doing studies of master paintings you can always learn so much. His edge work is superb and it was a good lesson in observing lost and found edges. I loved working in all the lovely golden tones. His composition is particularly interesting. It was a fun exercise to do.

Carnoustie Art Club Demonstration

Recently I demonstrated the above pastel painting for the Carnoustie Art Club. I set up a still life inside a box which had a hole cut out at the side. I had brought along a lamp so I could directly illuminate the set up through the opening. This created an almost theatrical and dramatic affect to the still life. I enjoyed the process and sharing how I was approaching this painting.

Inspiration from books

“Two Calla Lilies On Pink”

Sometimes as an artist you can get stuck for inspiration. During those times I find it helpful to do some reading. I so often find that reading more about an artist who’s work you admire can unlock the creative block. It doesn’t always mean you need to buy the book libraries are a great source of research material. However if I find it difficult to return then maybe that could be a good reason to have one for the studio. Currently I am reading this book about Georgia O’Keeffe, a total inspiration. Her compositions are so balanced. On the cover is a picture of Calla Lilies, which I have flowering in my garden at the moment and I am enjoying sketching these exotic flowers.