All posts by admin

Finding Colour

This week I was delighted to be asked permission to use one of my paintings in a flyer for an exhibition at Morley College.  I painted at an evening class there for a good few years before I had children and have very fond memories of that group.  I have always loved to use beautiful colours but I’ve been feeling that my paintings are a little muddy recently.  So, following a couple of reminders from Sarah, today I have been using pure colour and trying to keep all the colours beautiful.


abstract landscapecolourful abstract

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In Need of a Shed

The weather has been gorgeous this week and rain was forecast so I decided to paint outside in the garden.   I like using negative shapes as the basis of an abstract design.  We have an area in one corner of the garden which, to the untrained eye, looks like a heap of junk. In fact it’s  just waiting for a shed.  Boxes, pots, hosepipe, football goal in pieces, wheelbarrow and so on.  Lots of good shapes.  And opposite a sunny bench.   I wanted layers of shapes and I think that worked quite well. And my painting only blew into the pond once.

image


 

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Primroses

We are in the process of recreating the garden following destruction by the builders.  My favourite area is a long raised bed outside the kitchen window, which then steps up again to the level of the garden proper (or football pitch).  This was gorgeous with snowdrops a few weeks ago and now has a good nine or ten clumps of primroses.  Having failed to grow them in the dusty south, it’s great to see them flourishing right under my nose. I wasn’t going to paint flowers today, but spring flowers are so lovely…


primroses

 

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Painting (quickly) with Children

The Easter holidays are here, which means finding the time (and space) to paint is even more of a challenge.  So I decided that we could all paint.  I spent a good half an hour setting things up for the boys – finding paints, water pots, brushes that could be ‘heavily’ used and letting them have some of my paper.  They managed a quick ten minutes.  The older carefully planned out what to do and the younger threw down a quick portrait of his brother.  By which time I’d just about found my own brushes.  They were ready to move on to something else.  Probably “no rules rugby” unless I acted fast.  So this week my painting is a small abstract based on the garden.  I enjoyed putting the paint on strongly and mixing on the brush/paper.  Which was good as there was little time for anything else.


easter abstract

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Watercolour Portrait from Bamburgh

I made a painting of my younger son a couple of weeks ago so, in the interests of fairness, this week is the turn of my elder.  This was from a photo taken on Bamburgh beach, which we love.  It was my birthday and the boys were having a great time climbing on the rocks.  The photo is full of the joy of leaping around on a cold winter day, with the promise of fish and chips to come.  I wanted to capture some of that joy.  I’m showing the half way point as well, as I liked the mysterious quality as the face emerged.


at bamburgh emergingat bamburgh

 

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Difficulties with Daffodils

Three days until Mothers’ Day and a vase of daffodils on the kitchen table meant that my decision on what to paint this week was easy.  But making it happen turned out to be a quite a challenge.  I love yellow, but sometimes find it difficult to make it interesting in a painting.  The daffodils were doing their cheerful thing as my paintings got muddier and muddier.  I had two on the go as I wanted to make a card too.  I used masking fluid.  I washed paint off.  I used watercolour pencils.  Nothing seemed to help until I decided to cut the paintings up and make a mini collage.  Not a triumph but much better, and I like the simplicity of the little one.


daffodils

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Week 4: Rockpooling

I wanted to paint a landscape this week, so I looked through some photos for inspiration.  The ones I especially liked were of us rockpooling with lovely friends at Whitburn.  Lots of craggy rocks, slimy seaweed and patches of water.  And children having fun.  So my painting for week 4 is from a photo of my younger son.  I liked his thoughtful expression.  There’s an element of landscape, but in the end it’s really about the boy.  If I did it again I would stress the horizontal feel to the rocks and probably miss out the dinosaur egg in the background…


rockpooling

 

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Week 3: Snowdrops for Mags

I have some snowdrops in a large planter just outside my kitchen window.  They look lovely but will soon be over so today was the day to tackle them.  I decided not to use pencil or charcoal and to do any drawing with the paint, so this is pure watercolour.  The negative shapes were a real challenge, as was the bright white colour of the flowers.  I finished up with a few unusual snowdrops to satisfy my need for colour.


 

snowdrops

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Week 2: Quick Charcoal Sketch of Tulips

Half term slightly scuppered week 2, so thought I would try a quick  charcoal sketch this morning.  I don’t often use charcoal, but I recently saw a beautiful charcoal and watercolour landscape so I’m feeling inspired to try it more often.  This was the work of 20 minutes while the flapjack cooked.  It’s ok but there’s something a bit funny about the bottom left corner… Might be fun to put some colour on this later in the week.


 

charcoal tulips closeup

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Week 1: Pencil and Watercolour of Lilies

A week after my rash promise to myself to create a painting each week, and following quite a bit of procrastinating, I sat down with a pencil drawing from a couple of weeks ago of some liles in a vase.  Not my favourite flower but I liked the positive and negative shapes all the leaves made.

I had just a few simple aims: to finish the painting, to keep the transparency of the watercolours and not to slavishly follow the lines of the drawing with paint.

I didn’t paint for long – maybe an hour and a half – but I was absorbed by the process.

It got slightly muddy, but for week 1, after a long break, I’m pleased.  It felt good to be painting again.


lilies closeup

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