Friday, 29 February 2008
Old Town Hall (second day)
But the pressure is on to get this finished. When I go to collect my Figure 8 work from Gateshead Library Gallery on Monday, I have to hand in the Heritage Buildings paintings. There were going to be three, but two will have to do; no time to complete another.
Wednesday, 27 February 2008
"Gaynford Close?" he asked. I shook my head, and mumbled another, "No."
He looked puzzled and stared at the piece of paper in his hand for a while. "Do you know where it is?"
I shook my head .... well, you get the picture.
After he'd gone, I figured it would just be lazy to go back to bed, so I decided I'd go to the Art Club. Last week was the start of the new Wednesday Still Life Group and, although I'd put my name down as an interested party, I couldn't go. Today I would show my support.
As it turned out, I was the Wednesday Still Life Group this week. No one else turned up, so the studio was all mine. I made some coffee, turned on the radio which would generally get a shout of "Put that bloody thing off!" and thought about what I might want to paint in the still life vein.
It's about ten years since I last sat down in front of an object and tried to paint it in one go. I found an old shell, a tea towel and a small table, and off I went. The paint soon got pretty worked up and I had to resort to the palette knife and dollops of Spectragel, but in the end I felt that one and a half hours had been well spent. I think I'll do it again.
Shell (oil on board, 5 x 5 ins)
Thursday, 21 February 2008
Old Town Hall (1st stage)
I started another of the "Heritage Buildings" pictures at the Club today. I feel like I'm really flying by the seat of my pants with this one. The colours with which I've laid it in are much more exaggerated than I might normally use, mainly because the subject is so difficult. The Old Town Hall is a nice enough old Victorian building, but it's difficult to get a good look at it it, or indeed take a decent photograph. To get the reference photograph I'm using, I had to stand on a grass verge at the other side of a motorway.
As a consequence, to try to make it an interesting composition, I cranked up the colour in the sky and the Sage in the background. As the picture progresses, it's possible the colour will be played down again and simply become more complex, but I have no real idea if this will happen.
But then, that's half the fun of painting: the not knowing. Richard Diebenkorn said:
I can never accomplish what I want, only what I would have wanted had I thought of it beforehand.
Thursday, 14 February 2008
Shipley Art Gallery (Oil on canvas, 11 x 14 ins)
I pushed myself to get this done at the Club today. It's one of a set I've been asked to do for inclusion in an exhibition in March. Not really a subject I'd have chosen, but the theme is "Heritage Buildings of Gateshead," so my choices were limited. For something completed in about three hours, it's turned out OK, I think.
I needed to get it done today so that they might consider a photograph in the publicity being prepared this week. There's a flag pole missing, but the paint was too wet to try adding it. I'd rather be able to add it later anyway, because I'm not sure I want it in. I've already eliminated a lamp post.
I wonder why red comes out so strong when photographed? It's not that red in the painting itself - I used mars red toned down with a bit of alizarin crimson - but even Photoshop doesn't seem able to do anything about it.