Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Looser still ?

Yes, the title is a question this time. I've had another go and set myself some distinct targets. I decided to do a sketch in my garden in the time it would take me to eat my lunch and have a cup of tea. So, with a sandwich in one hand, a pen in the other and my sketch pad balancing on my knee, I mapped out what I could see. I intended it to be really quick and loose, yet in many respects I failed. I did it in the time (30 minutes) and I've captured the essence of what I could see, but I still don't feel it is what we would call 'loose'. It wasn't until a friend pointed it out that I realised I'd drawn in the height-adjuster on the lawn mower. Duh!!! I was supposed to be dropping detail, not including it. LOL.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Loosening Up!!

My last several paintings have been fairly detailed and I've commented on more than one occassion that I feel my technique is becoming very tight. A few suggestions have been made as to how I can loosen up a bit and I shall be giving them all a try in due course as I try to find the style I know I'm looking for.

Yesterday, I decided to do a pen drawing. I'm rather partial to working in pen and it has been suggested that it is my best medium (though I'm not sure what that says about my watercolours - LOL). I only had about half-an-hour so grabbed an old photo of Edinburgh Castle to do a quick sketch of. I really enjoy this technique of using a soluble pen and then teasing out shadows using a brush and plain water. I can't say the end result is as loose as I would have liked but it is definitely a step in the right direction - and it was great fun.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

My First Exhibition

I've never entered any work in an exhibition before. This is partly because I never seem to find out about exhibitions until it's too late but mainly because I've never felt my work good enough to show. Positive feedback through this blog and from visitors to my web site and forum have all helped me reach a stage where I feel I am ready to put some pieces in front of the viewing public. .

Here in Northampton we have an annual "Art in the Park" exhibition. It is hugely popular and artists come from all around. Some time ago I made some enquiries through our local council who run the event, and a very nice lady took my name and address. I hadn't expected to hear any more but, a couple of weeks ago, details of the exhibition and Entry forms landed on my door mat.

Due to budgetry constraints and renovation works at the venue, the size of the exhibition has had to be cut back this year. The organisers are going to try and take one painting from each entrant on a first-come-first-served basis. If there is any room left over after that, they will take a second piece again in order of arrival.

So, after much thought I have decided that "nothing ventured, nothing gained" and so last night I sat and completed the Entry forms. I'm far from certain about what I ought to exhibit but I finally decided to put in my pen drawing of Northampton as my first choice and my watercolour of Pateley Bridge as my reserve second choice. Now all I have to do is get the forms into the right hands before the closing date (Friday) and that is today's mission.

I do lack confidence in my work so I'm quite nervous about taking this step yet at the same time I'm quite excited about it. Can't wait ..... I think!!!

Friday, 14 May 2010

Ringwood Hall

It's probably not a very intelligent way of trying to loosen up but I do enjoy working with pen so I thought I'd try a fairly quick sketchy painting and try not to be too fussy over straight lines and precise detail. I feel I was partly succesful but don't particularly like the end result. I would have been very happy if it was just a little more like the work of David Webster ( whose work I really like, though I do accept I'll never be in his league. LOL. Still, regardless of the end result, I really enjoyed doing this, and that's what it's all about, right?

Saturday, 8 May 2010

An exercise

When discussing my "Modern Home" painting with an artist friend I commented on how 'tight' I was feeling with my work and how I wish I could loosen up a lot more. My friend, an extremely accomplished artist, set me a simple exercise. He told me to do the same painting again but this time allow myself no more than 5 minutes for drawing a pencil outline and no more than 25 minutes for the painting. Given the detail in the original (which took me many hours over several days) this seemed like an impossible task. However, I gave it my best shot and although the painting is not one to be proud of, I am nevertheless quite pleased with how well it turned out. This is an exercise I will definitely repeat again from time to time because, despite the result, it was great fun not being so fussy about keeping within the lines.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Red Breasted Friend

While moving some conifers in my garden I was joined by my friend the Robin. An inquisitive little chap, he was forever getting under foot. Mind you, if I put down my spade and picked up my camera he would hop it. And so we played our cat and mouse game all afternoon. I would do some digging while he dodged my spade, then he'd hide in the trees while I held my camera. In the end I finished my digging and cleared away my tools ready to go indoors. My playmate then sat on a tree and sang and I like to think he was thanking me for a couple of hours of fun.