My Paintings website

August 31, 2010

Three small paintings in the works

I'm beginning to warm to this smaller paintings exercise.
Here are three in the works in various stages of advancement:

Walking in The Rain
Oil on board 20 x 30 cm
click image to see larger

Venice Boat
Oil on board 30 x 20 cm
click image to see larger

Climbing the Alley
Oil on board 30 x 24 cm
click image to see larger

August 26, 2010

Shady Bridge - An intimate relationship.

Here is the finished painting "Shady Bridge" in my "smaller paintings" series. I had a very intimate relation with it while painting, which does not always happen, unfortunately. Sometimes it takes more digging and effort. Now I just have to find the "intimate" switch!
I managed to finish in two sessions. My speed is increasing for the small paintings.

click image to see larger

August 25, 2010

Next Smaller Painting Started

I also started my next smaller painting today. I am temporarily calling it "Shady Bridge".

click image to see larger

Second Nocturne completed

I have finished my second nocturne, the one that I felt was a bit static. I gently increased the contrast in some places, I planted some flowers in the fountain, and switched on the water.

It will duly also be pasted to my Smaller paintings blog.

click image to see larger

August 24, 2010

Nocturnes - progress

The two nocturnes from the previous post have progressed.
The first one, The Night Tram, is finshed and posted on my Smaller Paintings blog .

The night square "Sainte-Croix, Nuit" could be finished, bit I find it  a bit static. I will mull it over.

Tram, Nuit

Sainte-Croix, Nuit

August 23, 2010

Two nocturnes - paintings in process

Continuing on my smaller paintings drive, here are two more paintings I am working on. They are both night scenes from my town. The first of the church and square illuminated is my local market square, and the second is my nearest tram stop. Both are on wood panels.
They should be finished by tomorrow evening, and I will then post them in my Smaller Paintings blog

Sainte-Croix, Nocturne
30 x 30 cm
click image to see larger

Tram nuit
25 x 25 cm
click image to see larger

August 20, 2010

Venice Canal - Finished

So I worked on the painting another couple of hours. It's much better  but I'm not entirely happy. That is also part of the point of doing smaller (faster) paintings: to hold back on excessive finishing. (it is also posted on my new Smaller Paintings blog)

August 19, 2010

Venice Canal (smaller painting)

My second "smaller" painting. I am getting a bit faster at this. I went slightly larger this time ( 35 x 25 cm) still on board; this time it is birch ply.

I will decide if it is finished tomorrow.

click image to see larger

August 18, 2010

My first smaller painting finished

So here is my first "smaller" painting finished. I waited for the first layer t dry, and went in with some emphasis in a few places. On the hole I am quite satisfied. Hopefully my speed of execution will improve. (I have already started the second - but more on that later)

The painting is 25 x 15 cm on ash ply (8mm thick).

click image to see larger

August 12, 2010

Going Smaller

I have decided to try my hand at some smaller paintings. The aim is to shorten the painting time and hopefully sell them at a price well below what that of my larger paintings.

I bought an assortment of wood cut to size and have started the first painting. It is 25 x 15 cm on ash ply. (that's approximately 10" x 6" for Avoirdupois aficionados)

The first thing I discovered is that I'm not at all used to painting this small or this fast. Most likely I will improve over time, but its a different feeling. I'm used to holding my brush in my fist  a lot, and therefore using arm and shoulder muscles to paint.

This first one is taking longer than I expected, but I should be able to finish it off fairly quickly once the paint I have put down is dry enough to flick on some emphasis.

When I start to get into the pace I will set up a blog for these.
If you click the image  it should be about real size on the screen.

click  image to see larger

August 10, 2010

Two books about the ups and downs of creativity

Further to my thoughts in my previous post, Painting and confidence  , on my painting session yesterday, there are two books that I warmly recommend to those who encounter pitfalls on the way to creating art:

Art & Fear by David Bayle and Ted Orland - A shortish book clear and to the point - which, at the very least, allows you  to recognize yourself and be reassured that you are not batty, and more, to articulate things you may have experienced in a strikingly simple and direct manner with a spice of humour.

Trust the Process: an Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff - A little harder to get into but well worth an initial push, once you get going you don't look back.

I re-read passages from time to time from both of these books.

Painting and confidence

Yesterday, I wasn't very happy with my painting. I spent several hours painting without conviction, hesitantly, you could even say fearfully or at least anxiously. It happens sometimes.

I think the why of it is that having advanced a painting so that it begins to please or satisfy me, I start being afraid of messing it up. I paint, but I am unconsciously holding back. Actually it's not that unconscious, which helps to maintain the general level of tension, but I am unable, at the time at least, to do anything about it.

I am not alone in encountering these bouts, from what I read and hear, it happens sometimes to artists - people creating. It is sometimes a part of the process. 

Inevitably, I paint less well when I feel this way. Not that it is necessarily *bad* painting, but it is more of grind, maybe less "true".

Today all was well again, and I painted with quiet attention and confidence, feeling nourished as I painted.

Here is a detail of the painting from this evening (I worked a lot around the eye and nose):

click in image to see larger

The full painting, still in process but feeling good:

click in image to see larger

August 6, 2010

Gazing up - so far

Here are stages so far :

click image to see larger

Advanciing little by little. The face is taking on more a little more life and the skin is beginning to feel translucent.

click image to see larger

August 5, 2010

Gazing up - progress

Still temporary title, if a bit better than yesterday.

Slowly building up the tones, in fairly thin paint for the time, and sclupting the hair a bit.
So far managing not to go too tight.

August 4, 2010

Necky Woman looking up - Painting process

Just a provisional title for the painting I started this week.

Below is my painting broken down into a few snapshots.

The painting is oil on acrylic base on linen canvas 50 x 70 cm.

The painting as it stands this evening
click image to view larger

4 stages of the painting
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A few words on the process:

In the first snap I have put down two layers of acrylic, first red and then green. Why did I choose those colors? Difficult to give a very rational reason. The original subject in the photograph was outside with trees in the background - that gives green, and red is a complement to green and so vibrates with it. When putting on the green I painted loosely leaving large spaces to let the red show through. I don't know how much of the under coat will be left visible at the end, but at the least it serves to stimulate me with the color interaction and the texture.

In the second snap, after transferring my drawing to the canvas, I painted the broad outlines, still in acrylic. Those two snaps are from the first day.

The third and fourth snaps, on the second day,  show the colors beginning to block in and the light and shade beginning to show up, this time in alkyd oil - it will be dry by tomorrow.

As ever I will exert myself to try and retain the freshness which comes easily with the first coats of paint, but gets more difficult as the painting comes closer to the finish.

A painting is a moving target.

August 2, 2010

Provencal Sunset - finished

Declaring it finished now. Adapted the distribution of light in the sky and enhanced the glow from the sky in the land and vines.

oil on canvas 70 x 50 cm - click image to see larger

a detail