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.
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.
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.
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
“The window” after Matisse
“Flowers in front of a window” after Matisse
I read that if you cut back your poppy flowers after the first flush of flowers then you might get a second flush. I did it this year and the poppies have come out just in time for Remembrance Day. It is especially poignant as this is the 100th year after Armistice Day 1918.
This Anemone plant was a present form a friend. I took it outside to do a painting in the sunlight. I acquired a photo slide projector stand with a plan to use it for still life compositions. It came from a charity shop and was put it to use the same day! I have found it has become very useful when working in the studio. It folds flat for storage which is brilliant.
I was so busy leading up to the ENOS event that I did not get a chance to post about the event beforehand. Thank-you to those that came to visit me at my new studio (Wash House Studio).
I enjoyed meeting with many people during the open studio event. I was even able to do some sketching during the day. A lot of people commented favourably on the sketch book and liked seeing what I had been painting. They could see my still life on the window ledge and were curious as to how I approached my sketch. The pastel book below is full of various coloured pastel papers, these give me a wonderful colour choice for the background. The green I decided to work on particularly suited the sunflowers.
During the week I did another study using watercolours and a long handled brush which was great fun to paint. My flowers were still fresh and inspiring.
It is full on right now for the Pittenweem Arts Festival 2017.
The weather lately has been warm and sunny which attracted me to painting outside. The tulips in the garden were at their best. I knew they wouldn’t stay this way for long so this forced me to get on and do a painting in situ. My study was in pastel and I then went on to paint in oils for the final painting.
It has been a while since I have done a blog post. After a busy and successful time at Pittenweem Arts Festival we had a holiday in Canada to visit my brother and family. I took the opportunity to get some sketching outdoors when possible. Below is the photo reference of my subject and also one of me at work. The third photo shows my sketch in progress along with my colour reference chart so that I can give reference codes to colours observed at the time. Photo’s don’t always show the exact colour as seen with the eye. Now that I am home I can use studio time to bring back the memories and apply paint to this study.