Pastel pencils can be so fragile. I often have broken them in the process of tying to get a point. Costly mistakes. Below I have taken some photographs showing how I have learned not to break the points.
I use a knife with a sharp blade to create a squared off edge see below
Photo below shows stage where it is squared off.
Final carefully whittled down to a nice point to work with.
The farewell sendoff to the Mary Quant exhibition at the V&A in Dundee includes an article about one of my paintings on their website. This was a great exhibition, the next stop after Dundee is Australia.
Wishing you and your loved ones a lovely Christmas.
The painting was inspired after a walk in the countryside. The little wren darted in and out of the snow covered grasses. I was cold standing watching the wren and I wondered how it didn’t feel the cold like I did.
This year ENOS can’t hold their usual Winter Showcase, so over the weekend of 27th – 29th November many unique and handmade artworks will be offered for sale by the artists themselves, online. Look out on the ENOS website, Facebook and Instagram accounts as well as each participating artist’s own websites and social media, and you will find unique gifts and cards to buy and you will be supporting the local economy too.
Friday 27th at 8pm there will also be an ‘Artists Talk’ via Zoom. Four members (Katie of Tablet & Haar, Philippa Mitchell, Audrey Stenson and Leonie Macmillan) will be talking about their practice and how it has changed in this strangest of years. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place if you’d like to be in the virtual audience and maybe join in the conversation or ask a question. It will be streamed on Facebook too.
I thought I would post yesterdays work in the studio. I like to do a study before considering any larger work. Sometimes that study could be just in monotone however I wanted to test colours out on my favourite orange Mi-Teintes pastel paper. Here is a photo of my sunset study with a tray of pastels I selected for this painting. A swatch of paper I used for testing the pastels. The grey colours you see in the bottom right corner of the tray are so important to the work and desirable to have in any pastel collection. I use either a pastel pencil or charcoal for drawing a loose sketch to begin with as this can easily be corrected without damaging the paper. Now I am inspired and ready to start the larger painting.
This pastel painting has had an interesting journey. It has spent the last year on the Isle of May where my original inspiration for the painting took place. Last year there was an exhibition on the Island of work by local artists. Stormy weather hampered the return of the paintings and they were there over winter. Then this year other factors meant that they weren’t able to be retrieved until this autumn. I am looking forward to be reunited with my painting.
One of my favourite pieces of art work is Dürer’s Hare. It is the kind of artwork that remains with you and is timeless. It is hard to believe it was done in 1502. There is something dynamic and alive about it. I often find myself wanting to do studies of art work I admire. I did the sketch above using graphite pencils. One thing I appreciated about the painting, having done a study of it, was the way he captured the fur giving volume and shape to the animal. I have observed that my cat often sits in a position quite similar to that of the hare.
The beautiful red roses in the garden inspired me to do a pastel study. With my secateurs I sniped an unopened bud as I knew it would open quickly as soon as I brought it inside. Flowers are great subjects as they need to be done immediately. Therefore you can’t put off the task at hand.
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.