Wednesday 31 March 2010

A Useful Hour

Chania Harbour (work in progress)

On April Jarocka's blog, there's a thoughtful post about time, the uses of it, and its effect or otherwise on achievement. Finding myself with other things to do today, I could still identify an hour or so in which I might get some painting done and I knew I had a small (30 x 30 cm) canvas ready primed with a burnt sienna ground.

I still have a plan to get a good number of small works under my belt this year, so here we are with one of them - a view of Chania harbour with the old tourist ship in the foreground. A decent start, but some way to go yet.

Monday 29 March 2010

Sawrey Farm

Sawrey Farm (Oil on canvas, 24 x 18 ins)

After some thought, I've decided to do no further work on this painting. I like it the way it is.

This means that there is one more painting outstanding in this series - the Split Rock painting still being worked at the Club. However, I've enjoyed making these images so much that I think it very likely I'll continue with them. I already have my eye on a remarkably deformed tree I found on one of the Compo & Clegg Painting Weeks at Duntrune in Scotland.

Friday 26 March 2010

Unrecorded Work

Hot damn! No camera! I went to the Club again today and worked on the Split Rock painting, adding trees to the brow of the hill behind the rock. I also did more to the rock, but I had no camera to record what I'd done.

As a consequence - short post.

Thursday 25 March 2010

Critical Mass

Clothes Shop (work in progress)

Like Bob Dylan in Maggie's Farm, I got a head full of ideas/ That are drivin' me insane, which is why I keep beginning new paintings: I need to keep getting them out of my head and onto canvas. So, rather than finishing one of the pictures at the Club today, I took in the new Clothes Shop (which I began just before going off to Corflu) and worked on that. I think it's coming along quite well.

This means, however, that I now have four paintings on the go and that's approaching critical mass, by which I mean that unless I want one of them to start slipping into the background and not be thought about again for maybe some months, I have to start finishing off.

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Home Again

Corflu Attendees (minus a couple who couldn't get out of bed) (Photo:Mike Scott)

What a wonderful weekend! I met people I haven't seen in thirty years and it was just like yesterday. In all sorts of ways I can't begin to describe, I came back from Winchester thoroughly invigorated. One cartoon for a fanzine cover already under my belt (a rare enough event in itself) and ideas for new paintings in a notebook.

Wednesday 17 March 2010

Old Drawings #55

Snake Root (Charcoal, compressed charcoal on A1 cartridge paper)

This seemed an opportune moment to post the third and last of the Picton Root drawings, because I won't be able to post anything new for a short while. I'm off to Winchester for a few days, to have fun at Corflu, "the convention for SF fanzine fans". If you don't know what a science fiction fanzine fan is, don't worry about it.

As a parting shot, here's something I started last night. Can you tell what it is yet?

Monday 15 March 2010

Right Turn

Right Turn (Oil on board, 18 x 17 ins) £420

It seems I'm faced with a dearth of exhibiting opportunities this year. Many of the galleries I've shown in during the last couple of years are now booked up for the next couple of years. So, whenever an opportunity arises to get paintings out of the studio and onto a wall, I take it.

The Federation of Northern Art Societies is about to hold its annual exhibition at Preston Hall Museum in Stockton-on-Tees and as a member of the North of England Art Club, I was entitled to submit two paintings for consideration. Which I did. When I got home today after a weekend in Tynemouth, there was a phone message to say that, not only have my paintings been accepted, this one, Right Turn, showing a street in Crete, has been Highly Commended. There's a cheque attached to the Commendation, too.

No major exhibitions maybe, but this year seems to be turning into one of Success by Drip Feed.

Friday 12 March 2010

Another Rock

Split Rock (work in progress)

There was a private view in town this evening, so I decided I'd go to the Club this afternoon and go on to the preview from there. This turned out to be a not terribly good idea, given that by the time I got to the preview, I'd been on my feet continuously for five hours, so shuffling round the gallery became a test of endurance.

However, on the positive side, at the Club I got yet another rock painting going. There are trees to put in on the brow of the hill. I know I eventually took the background trees out of the Sawrey Farm painting, but - at least for the moment - I think the skyline trees are necessary to make this picture balance. But you never know, I've been wrong before (just don't tell Pat that).

Thursday 11 March 2010

Seeing the Wood for the Trees

Sawrey Farm (work in progress)

Back to the Club today where I was hailed as some kind of hero for my page in Artists & Illustrators. This was, of course, deeply embarrassing and I busied myself with painting out the background trees from the Sawrey Farm picture.

I think this is a big improvement and leaves the painting almost complete. A bit more work on the upper parts of the trees and I may make the sky a little more complex in colour (without destroying the overall flattish quality, I hope).

Wednesday 10 March 2010

I'm in the A&I

A while ago I submitted this image to the Artists & Illustrators Magazine for consideration for their Portfolio section. I heard nothing more from them and forgot all about it. Imagine my surprise, then when I was told I was in the April edition!

Special thanks are due to April Jarocka who first drew my attention to the possibility of submitting work to the magazine and then for telling me I was in it! Without her timely heads-up, I might have missed it altogether.

Tuesday 9 March 2010

T-Shirt Diversion

Sometimes a bit of my earlier life catches up with me and I'm asked to produce a cartoon. In this case friends wanted a cartoon knight to be incorporated into a design for a T-shirt logo. After several days of toing and froing, colour corrections and adjustments, this is the character I provided.

Everyone involved seems happy with him, and he certainly looks pleased with himself.

Thursday 4 March 2010

Easels and Trees

Sawrey Farm (work in progress)

I took the Sawrey Farm painting to the Club today. It was fairly quiet by the time I got there, but I couldn't help noticing a dismaying number of easels left for someone else to put away. Lot of new members, not enough explanation of studio etiquette perhaps, but who do they think is going to tidy the place up?

I've moved the painting along well, I think, but the trees in the background, which I included for what I thought were perfectly well-justified reasons are troubling me. I'll try losing them next week and see how I feel about it then.

Wednesday 3 March 2010

Old Drawings #54

Machine Root (Charcoal, compressed charcoal on A1 cartridge paper)

Yesterday was one of those disastrous occasions in the studio. I attempted something which turned out to be ill-considered and seeing it in the bright light of day today, I recognise that it'll all have to be scraped off.

No time to start afresh today, unfortunately. I have other jobs to do, so here's the second of the Picton Root drawings. This one turned itself into something oddly mechanical.

Monday 1 March 2010

Abroad Posting

Sawrey Farm (work in progress)

I've recently sold two paintings to a friend and client in San Francisco and had to make arrangements to get them there. My mate and fellow painter Mike Bell (no relation!) suggested I use an online Agent called Interparcel whom he'd used in the past and from their differently priced services, I opted for delivery by UPS. So on Thursday I had to wait for the UPS van to come and collect the parcel. At the time of writing it's in San Francisco now and on the point of being delivered which I think is pretty good service.

What this meant, of course was that I didn't go to the Club to continue with my painting, Above Harry Ramsden's . Nor did I go on Friday, so the painting awaits completion. What i did do on Friday was go to the preview of ØRNULF OPDAHL Mood Paintings of the North at the Northumbria Gallery. I love Opdahl's moody paintings of Norwegian fjords. In fact, although the oils are out of my price range, I have two of his lithographs which I treasure dearly.

Because of the usual chatting with folk I haven't seen for years, I didn't get to see the video interview with Opdahl. People would come up to me and say, "Have you seen the really interesting video?" then talk to me long enough to ensure I couldn't. I'll go back to see the show again and the video, but if you'd like to see the video now, you can do so on the King's Place website. Make sure you enlarge the view to full screen.

Aware that the Harry Ramsden painting presents little in the way of concentrated work to get it finished, I decided I need to get one or two more started, so today I got this Sawrey Farm painting under way. It's another in the Rock & Tree series which is holding my attention at the moment.