Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Boat on Bala Lake - 2

I wasn't disappointed with my first attempt at "Boat on Bala", but as all my artist friends well know, sometimes we just wish we'd tried something a different way ... a slightly different colour, a small difference in composition, a different technique. That is how I feel about the first painting. My attempts to create a 'foggy' scene were only partially successful and were not helped by how bold I had painted the boat.

So, I've had another go, this time applying the 'fog' in a different way and at a different time. Though I'm still not completely satisfied with all aspects of the painting, I am happier with the 'fogginess' (if there is such a word), and  experimenting with painting 'fog' was the sole reason for having a go at this one in the first place.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Boat on Bala Lake

I saw this lone boat at anchor on Bala Lake, North Wales. It was a very frosty winters afternoon and the sun was trying to break through the fog. The solitude of the boat was emphasised by the quietness of the surroundings, the stillness of the water and the eeriness of the freezing fog.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Artist Showcase

As my regular followers will know, I like to showcase artists and their work on my web site.

On this occassion I am delighted to be showcasing the work of an artist friend from my art forum. Ann Craig is a sweet lady from New Zealand who loves to paint English cottages. Her work is light and fresh and I love the way she includes a figure in each piece which causes each of her paintings to tell a story. The Showcase can be seen here ... Artists Showcase

If any of my blog followers would like to be showcased, please use this contact form to get in touch.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Then and Now

When I built my first web site 12/13 years ago, it never occurred to me that one day I myself would appreciate looking back at it. I was so thrilled at having discovered a new skill (though I use the word loosely) in my fifties that I started my 'website for beginners' with the aim of encouraging others to have-a-go. I hoped to pick up feedback and comments that would help me progress, but spreading the word that we can ALL paint was the main goal. But now my website has paid me back in a way I'd never expected. It has served the purpose of a first class chronology of my development (again, using the word loosely - LOL). For years, artists who have tried to help me have been nagging me about tonal values. "Push the darks" one would frequently tell me - "Push the darks". Would I listen? Yes, every time. Did I push in those darks? Nope. For some reason, probably confidence, I've just not been able to get 'heavy' with the tones.

More recently, as my confidence has improved, I've started laying in those dark colours but hadn't really noticed ... until now. The other day I was dealing with an issue on my website and it caused me to look back at one of my older pages. I was shocked as to how pale and insipid my art was back then. I currently have 6 pages of watercolours and stepping through them in order, it is only when I get to the last page that my work has any degree of contrast and tone. The difference in my work between pages 5 and 6 is very noticeable.

I know we can keep our paintings and arrange them chronologically, but how many of us do? Many of us have blogs, but how many of us look back at our early posts and compare those paintings to our present ones. However you store or record you paintings, have a look back at how you were painting several years ago. Will you notice a difference? I think most of you will.

Due to a full time job, a shortage of time for hobbies and a significant lack of talent, my development has been very, very slow. But seeing older work alongside newer work proves beyond question that development, as slow as it has been, has nevertheless happened ... and that makes me very happy. ;-)

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Castle Wall - Chester

Around the end of October we went on a late holiday to Cheshire. Early in the week we visited Chester itself and I was fascinated to learn that, although the castle no longer exists, the wall does. What is more, I discovered that it completely surrounds the city centre and it is possible to walk it's entire length. We didn't have time on that day, but on the last day of our holiday we returned to Chester and walked the 4.8 miles (I think) around the city centre on top of the wall. At places the wall comes down to ground level, and at others it's at the height of nearby rooftops. Views of the city, the racecourse, the river and many historic buildings were superb and my camera was running on overdrive. This pencil drawing is of the section at the rear of the Cathedral and is on Medium Surface Cartridge Paper.