Monday, 11 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thur 11th December 1947

"Damp & cold.

Took Doris to Gateshead Odeon."

Sunday, 10 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Wed 10th December 1947

"Coughing well - cold continues.

Weather is very cheerless."

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Winter's Jar WIP

Winter's Jar WIP
(acrylic on board, 24 x 24 cm)

One of the problems with sticking too closely to Gateshead Art Society's programme of suggested activities is that I seem to be ending up with quite a few unfinished paintings. This is certainly not a new situation for me in that I've always liked having several pictures on the go, but the number of unfinished ones is growing.

This came home to me yesterday when I found myself starting yet another. The suggested subject this week (and last, but I wasn't there last week) was "Winter". Using a photograph of a hillside in Little Langdale, adapted to show a covering of snow, I've added another of the pharmacy jars I saw in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

There's a long way to go with it and I'm not entirely sure it will work the way I thought it might, but for now I'll take it forward.

My Dad's Diary : Tues 9th December 1947

"Full of cold.

Brought in 2nd overall for Mr Moody."

Friday, 8 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 8th December 1947

"Griffiths, Ministry of Health visited Benton today - loads of bull.

Cold still bad."

Thursday, 7 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 7th December 1947

"Work today - same job as Saturday. Finished 5pm.

Gladys churched."

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 6th December 1947

"Work all day.

Corridors of No.8 block to clear - finished 5 pm."

The printed motto at the bottom of the page reads:

"Lost time is never found again."

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 5th December 1947

"Bit of a cold this morning.

Usual sort of day.


Monday, 4 December 2017

Mint Street Recovery

Mint Street WIP
(acrylic on board, 25 x 25 cm)

I'm pleased to say my solution for eliminating the annoying Sharpie lines worked. Using acrylic matte medium, I pasted down two layers of very thin paper so that I could see the general outlines of the painting, then re-established the main colour areas. 

Tidied up and corrected with a few Posca Pens (which is why you should ignore the rather insistent blue lines), it feels ready to to be taken forward. The little man outside the shop has become a ghost, but I expect he can be summoned into life again.

My Dad's Diary : Thur 4th December 1947

"C.S. Exam today.

Sat for it and didn't do too bad.

Rain poured down.

G.W. did overtime."

I don't know if we'll find out the result of Dad sitting the Civil Service exam before the Diary ends, but I do know, of course, that he did go on eventually to be an Executive Officer.

Years later, when I was in the Civil Service, I worked with a man called George Wilson who'd worked with my Dad. I wonder if he might have been "G.W.".

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Bad Sharpie!

Mint Street WIP
(acrylic on board)

I spent yesterday afternoon in the Shipley Art Gallery, sitting at a table in front of the big Tintoretto, smiling benignly at the people who'd come in to look at Gateshead Art Society's Xmas Exhibition. As part of my duties, I'd been asked to do a bit of painting, just to demonstrate what it is we do at our meetings (as if the paintings on display weren't enough), and so I did.

I'd hurriedly thrown some paints, brushes and a prepared board into a bag, together with a printout of a potential subject, but what I neglected to add was a pencil. So when it came to squaring up the board I had to fall back on the only alternative - the black Sharpie in my coat pocket. And what a disaster that turned out to be.

I'm sure you can see from the photograph above that the construction lines are still plainly visible and that's after several layers of paint. Acrylic is so transparent! Even the layer of white acrylic gesso I added when I got home failed to cover the lines.

I have one other solution in mind, but if that doesn't work, I'll simply have to scrap several hours work and paint over the board and begin again.

My Dad's Diary : Wed 3rd December 1947

"Frost broke today.


Saturday, 2 December 2017

Friday, 1 December 2017

Sisyphus SOLD

(acrylic on canvas, 8 x 8 in)

This little painting has intrigued me since its creation. It grew out of my current line of Path Through the Woods paintings but unlike the others in the series, it really owes its existence to something in my subconscious. Derived from a pastel drawing done quite a few years ago, it went through several changes, mostly driven by instinct. I sometimes wondered whether it would appeal to anyone other than me.

Yesterday I sent this little painting on its way to its new home in Roswell, GA. 

My Dad's Diary : Mon 1st December 1947

"Still freezing.

Using tramcar now as roads are too bad.

Overtime until 7 pm."

Thursday, 30 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 30th November 1947

"Took Harry in pram to garden.

Everything frozen - bad walking.

Went to mother's at night."

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 28th November 1947


Drew back pay to 10th Nov. -- £15.6.1."

Monday, 27 November 2017

Memory Lane

Memory Lane
(acrylic on canvas, 8 x 8 in)

Another painting completed recently for the Path Through the Woods series. The title is somewhat ironic because I can't remember where this lane is. 

My Dad's Diary : Thur 27th November 1947


Sunday, 26 November 2017

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Tower in the Woods

Tower in the Woods
(acrylic on board, 12 x 12 in)

I finished this painting fairly recently and took it along to a meeting of the Newcastle Painters' Group last weekend where it was warmly complimented. Silly, I know, but I needed that confirmation that my work, slightly changed by methods and medium, is going well.

Photographing artwork is difficult at this time of year, with the light quality being seriously reduced, so this is the best I could manage under the circumstances. I'll try for a better quality photograph in due course.

My Dad's Diary : Tues 25th November 1947

"Windy. Greased all Fire Extinguishers."

Friday, 24 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 24th November 1947

"Fine morning. Took B.C. to S/E. told to keep it until needed.

Quiet evening at home."

Thursday, 23 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 23rd November 1947

"Wet morning. Went up to Five Wand Mill before dinner.

Usual night. Billy and Winnie at Mother's."

Winnie was Dad's sister, Billy her husband.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Oil Pastel Progress

Across the River WIP
(Oil pastels on grey mount board, 11 x 11 in)

Looking at this oil pastel I see that some progress was made on it last week before I was taken away by other duties. Not a lot, I admit, but there's some added subtlety in the water and a few more silver birch have grown up across the river. 

One of the problems I found was in dealing with the wood itself. I simply don't have enough dark pastels to get the interior of the wood as dark as I'd like. Dark green, dark blue and black aren't sufficient. I may have to buy a few more if I want to get this picture to where it should be.

My Dad's Diary : Sat 22nd November 1947

"Raining - Had quiet afternoon.

All chrysanths nipped with frost."

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 21st November 1947

"Very mild.

'Campaign in Burma' taken from 114A"

The Campaign in Burma appears to have been the book by Frank Owen written in 1946. This is the 1957 edition:

Monday, 20 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thurs 20th November 1947

"Milder today.

Saw Griffiths re. shuttles.

Rec'd 25/5. Overtime money."

Sunday, 19 November 2017