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.
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.
I have been reading lately about Henri Matisse. I love his use of colour and design. I decided to get out my acrylics and do these two paintings after Matisse. I really enjoyed the process of making these studies. Matisse was very fond of having a theme in his work and I just love the ones he did looking through a window. His compositions were amazing. I am sure these paintings will inspire a future painting.
“Expression, for me, does not reside in passions glowing in a human face or manifested by violent movement. The entire arrangement of my picture is expressive: the place occupied by the figures, the empty spaces around them, the proportions, everything has its share.” Henri Matisse
I have a group of 5 female pheasants visiting the garden. The deal is that they eat and I can draw and paint them. Today there were 7, two male pheasants had joined them. The males are strikingly beautiful however the females have a subtle purple sheen to their feathers. I love to see them in the garden and miss them when they don’t turn up for a day or two.
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.
I was in Crail recently and visited the Pottery Shop where I had a surprise. It was my best inspiration of the day! There was a cat curled up in one of their beautiful bowls, sound asleep. I just had to sketch him. Apparently he just started coming in to the shop and found a nice warm spot (it is above the kiln workshops) and keeps coming back every day to the same bowl.
This year at the Pittenweem Arts Festival I introduced this collection of puffin coasters and a placemat. The images are from puffin paintings which I have been doing over the years. The collection sold out during the first couple of days at Pittenweem. I now have more in stock.
I like to switch to working in different medium’s. This keeps me on my toe’s and reminds me of the pros and cons of the materials I am using. I did this painting using watercolour paper prepared with a thick coating of gesso. I approached the painting by applying a wash of warm colour and lifting out the lights with a damp paper towel. I liked the texture the gesso gave to the paper.