Monday, November 30, 2009

Creative moves

Picnic developments:    Following Saturday's watercolour draft for the new painting , first task this morning was to block in of colours on the 'proper' canvas. (see below) This bold statement show the dynamics of the composition and a real idea if the picture will work.
The figures so far are vague and will benefit from some attention. The drawing above is a result of quite a number of examinations relating to the figures under the tree. I need a thorough understanding of each group in order to freely expand them in a creative way. For me this is definitely not about accuracy - it is finding what is acceptable to my vision of the finished work. More about this will be addressed in some studio lectures later in the year.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

beyond the predictable

Getting beyond the predictable is the first thing, so to paint a simple watercolour helps to establish a basic like v don't like in a layout. Seeing this colour version of the basic drawing is useful in order to be clear about the possibilities ahead. The debate in my head is how organized do I want it as a composition, how do I want the figures to look in terms of realism. Figures such as the standing girl at the back are to me quite out of place as she is painted now and yet I do like the movement that she adds. Monday will be interesting.

Friday, November 27, 2009

new picnic

An initial drawing for the picnic painting, again from a work completed in the early 90s. I need a general concept, an overall layout, a tonal map, a flavour, a plan I can make my own. Ships are built in cradles and when part built are launched leaving the cradle behind on the land. I need here such a cradle as an early support. These three pictures that I am working on need all to leave the security and safety of previous success. A commitment to deep water, a belief in the new is always hard. 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

mental leap

Dissatisfaction was the word this morning, I knew it even in the night so when I saw it this morning serious revisions were needed. I took the elements into my heart and redelivered them to the canvas. This is how it landed, certainly bolder and less 'clever'. I will leave it to dry out of sight, in 10 days time it will more obvious to me what must be done. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shoppers 02

The work yesterday made some movement and broke away from the original scheme. What was an observational note about shopping now moves much deeper into the way we present ourselves and observe and how we are in turn observed. This watercolour is another development piece to feel my way forwards, not being confined, not tolerating the unwanted, trying things and then some more. It is noticeable how much white gouache remodels the centre section. This is a work for me, a working diagram for the journey.

This drawing is much larger, about a metre wide, and at this point is charcoal and Indian ink on a primed board. much has changed, much abandoned and in general an improvement.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Shopper revival

New look shoppers
These are reproductions of a gouache draft to examine ways to develop an old painting. These upgrades are not straightforward because the past clings so much. To begin with I did a number of drawings but they hung  tightly to the old scheme, and in order to break the logjam, I pulled gouache out and an old piece of paper and after a number of reworked attempts found this image that marked a step in the right direction

This is a step, A piece of  primed ply is waiting for my next opportunity to work on it. below is the early painting that is the source idea. It dates back to about 1989.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Car

For my first day in the new work I retrieved this drawing, one that never saw the development it deserved, so I was pleased to give it some time today. The fact that we spend so much time in 'cars' today made the image worth another look and a new treatment. Car in the Archaic use of the word is a chariot, carriage, or cart, a vehicle for kings and warriors. This angle appealed to me more than the Ford Focus or some other more expensive machine, so my 'car' is a classical hybrid concept of my own making and a suitable carrier for my 'family'.
The painting will be 1.2M x 09M and a canvas was selected and an underpainting laid down. Next a sketch in charcoal based on the earlier drawing but now in a corrected format, followed by another oil sketch this afternoon as a basis for development.

This is the Charcoal sketch that at the moment will form the basis of the new painting, in reality it should be a sort of launching cradle that will fall away as painting proceeds.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New people

This was started yesterday and I have worked on it this afternoon.
It is probably finished, or at least I can't see more would be better.
It is a reworking of two figures drawn on a BA flight back from Madrid earlier this year. I was surprised to enjoy painting this, detached from any expectation I drew it with colour, allowing the work to just fall out of myself.
Contrary to the two in black frame in a recent post, they now need a powerful attack, maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

work in progress

Like the previous post, these two black paintings come from my Spanish Sketchbook, they are about 40cm sq and I have made some wood and copper frames to match the pencil scribble that I had put around the sketch. The initial blocking in was with four colours and I had them at one side for some time, not knowing what to do next.

Looking elsewhere is of little help, I have to look within. I put one on the easel and begin to paint. After a few false starts this morning I applied only two variations of existing colours, an orange adjacent to the cadmium deep red and some cerulean to modify the existing blue. Choices and placement are not recipe or design but are a probing in the dark as I find solutions. 

I paint the frames black and approve. I will leave them for a few days and meditate on the way forward.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

hunting unicorns

The unicorn is a mythical beast and not easily found.
the symbol for 'body and soul' is in the same category, elusive. 

For two days now I have planned and practiced a circle and a square.
selected, deselected and reselected colours' what colour wash goes under - what colour wash goes over, drawn and redrawn the shapes

in the picture above - on the left -  is a satisfactory draft, it is I have to admit, part of two painting pasted together. But it pleased me. Have I cornered a unicorn?
eight sheets of Hot pressed Arches paper are ready, 
can I pin the image down.

now it is 7.00pm   
. . . . just one may be acceptable
if it looks okay in the morning I'll post on 'new release'

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


The painting above is only an idea, a beginning.
I developed it from a tiny drawing in my Spanish sketchbook.
The concept of a circle in a square will not leave me.

Today I have worked on the problem.
I have prepared for a series of drafts in pure watercolours,
with a view to paint a large oil or two.
The project now has a title - it will be 'Body and Soul'.
I had thought that the 'henge' series was the solution to this problem,
but no, the little drawing beckons me back for another look.