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.
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 first daffodils to flower in the garden inspired me to set up a still life. I used my pastels on pastelmat paper to do this study. It was nice to look at the flowers up close. I chose to have a complementary background of purple to enhance the lovely yellow of the flowers.
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.
Wishing you all the best this Christmas and for the coming new year 2020
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.
The Pittenweem Arts Festival 2019 starts on Saturday 3rd August and runs until Sunday 11th August. My web site has a page showing some of the paintings I will be exhibiting. See my Pittenweem Arts Festival 2019 page.
Before I get started on large paintings I like to do some warm up exercises. I find just like an athlete needs to do stretches and practice so does the artist. To start to do a large painting without preperation can be daunting. A warm-up for an artist could be a series of sketches or tonal studies. In addition colour studies offer a great opportunity to experiment with different colour choices. I find this time spent in resolving problems is very worthwhile and gives me the momentum to proceed with the larger work. I was tidying my studio this week and found these two studies that progressed to larger paintings.
“Waves At Sunset” small study 7cm wide
Final painting “Waves At Sunset” is very large, approx. 1m wide.
“Waves At Lendalfoot” Study Acrylic ink and pastel 15cm wide
“Waves At Lendalfoot” Larger final painting Acrylic and Pastel
Last week I set off to do some outdoor painting in Elie. The weather was very cold but the light was amazing and colours glorious. The sketch below was looking towards the harbour in Elie. The box of pastels in the photo are Unison landscape collection, a favourite of mine. I even brought home some sea grass unintentionally. The art pad has pastel neutral coloured paper ideal for outdoor studies.
This second sketch is looking straight out to sea. The water looked so inviting even on a crisp January day. As it was so cold it forced me to edit the scene before me so as I could capture the essence as quick as possible.
I was inspired to do a painting of two mute swans after watching them walking precarlously on a local iced over pond. The day after making my Christmas card I was driving into St Andrews and was delighted to see two mute swans flying alongside the car at the same speed as I was driving. They were so close I was captivated. I needed to remember I was driving and keep my eyes on the road.
Wishing you a Happy Christmas and all the best for 2019.