Tuesday 29 June 2010

Grey Day

Turnbull Winter (work in progress)

One of the hardest things about this painting is that I need to grey down most of the colours to make the seasonal light look right. This is particularly difficult with red because to do the greying down you really need to add green and as I've indicated before, my eyesight is red/green deficient. The Turnbull Building is proving resistant to the right amount of greying, but it seems to have worked okay for me in the building at the bottom right.

Ah well, who wants to be able to get a painting right in a day anyway?

Friday 25 June 2010

Winter Again

Turnbull Winter (work in progress)

It's been a funny old week, with some tests for an ongoing eye problem which I won't go into here. I used what was left of the week to catch up with the guys at the Club, but did no work there. However, I made a start today on another possible Winter painting.

This is a view across the Tyne from Gateshead to the Newcastle shore, with the Turnbull Building on the crest of the river bank. It's unusual for me in that it's a low viewpoint. Normally I go for something high above the subject because it enables me to flatten things out and emphasise the abstract pattern. Nevertheless, I rather like this current approach as it allows me to work with horizontal banding again.

It's a reasonably large picture (36 x 36 ins) and those big areas of flat colour take some filling. But they should prove interesting as new layers are applied and the colour becomes, I hope, more complex and subtle.

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Grey's Monument

Grey's Monument ( oil on canvas, 20 x 20 ins)

I thought it was time I put the finishing touches to this painting. I last worked on it over three years ago, but I got distracted with other projects and enthusiasm for it waned. Ridiculous, really, but that's how the mood takes me sometimes. Had there been a need to finish it, I'd have done so in a very short time - less than an hour.

Anyway, here it is finished after all, one more to add to the collection in the back of the studio.

Thursday 17 June 2010

Rugs & Icons

Rugs & Icons (oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cms)

Working on the Shops & Stalls series gave me a greater insight into what it was I wanted from this subject so, although Rugs & Icons was the first of its type, I found I wanted to make some alterations to draw it into closer alignment with its children.

As a consequence, I've brightened up the colours of some of the rugs and taken down the colour of the walls round the shop. The blind has been made more substantial. I think now I'd be happier to show this with the later additions to the series.

Return to Kastela

Kastela Restaurant (work in progress)

I'm very fond of the work of Lionel Bulmer and that of his wife, Margaret Green and some of Bulmer's pointillist techniques seem to have come unbidden to my mind when I started again on this painting of a restaurant-on-stilts in Kastela, Croatia.

It's odd the way a painting can demand something different from you, but giving in to the demand often turns out to be so rewarding. I'm looking forward to seeing where this picture may yet take me.

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Rooms & Mannequins

Rooms & Mannequins (oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cms)

Another in the Shops & Stalls series brought to completion. I think they look good lined up together and now I have only to finish the slight reworking of Rugs & Icons, the painting that started me on this theme.

Open the Gate Again

The Gate (work in progress)

This painting has been languishing in the studio for some time now. I last worked on it in 2008 and it just didn't seem to be going right. But today I pulled it out of the rack and had another go at it. I've simplified the composition and taken the colour down somewhat, which I think suits Newcastle better, but there's still some way to go before I'll be satisfied with it.

Another Black Ship

Black Ship and Mosque (work in progress)

I thought I'd get the day off to a good start today by laying out this new small picture of the black ship in Chania harbour, the disused mosque in the background.

Sometimes I'm really surprised when the first layers of colour turn out to be as vivid as these, because it's not something I generally do deliberately. Colour is something I think about when the composition is established, but maybe my constant colour thoughts are coming to the fore more than they once did.

Wednesday 9 June 2010

Two Toothbrushes

Two Toothbrushes (2B mechanical pencil, A5 sketchbook)
Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head ....
and then I drew this. Something about it caught my eye and I just had to get it down on paper. This doesn't happen often, unfortunately, but I've been looking at the blogs of Michael Nobbs and Jay Mercado recently, and something of their enthusiasm for drawing must have rubbed off on me. Whatever the reason, it felt worth going with the flow.

And then into town. Into the drizzly-grey-raininess of Newcastle. Please someone tell me that this isn't going to be another of those awful summers! Don't let me find by the end of the year that summer was that nice week I had in the Dales in April.

It was all worth it anyway. I was there to lend my expert opinion on the purchase of an outfit for Pat's son's wedding in September (by which time, we hope, the summer really will be here). The expedition was a success and Pat will look fantastic in her emerald green. Now I have the far more arduous task of finding just the right tie....

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Six Years

Waste Pipe (2B automatic pencil, 6 x 4 sketchbook)

Another Boogie Street anniversary slipped by without my noticing. On the 15th April, the six anniversary of my first post came and went.

A little googling shows that the traditional gift for a sixth anniversary is something made of iron, so I thought I'd trawl through my sketchbooks for something suitable. Quite a lot of things made of steel, but the only subject definitely of iron is this cast iron waste pipe. Drawn in a break from office life, it evidently took me away from my duties for 20 minutes, yet another example of public spending waste.

The subject should not in any respect be taken as a comment on the blog, however. I still find it fun to post things here and it often serves as a stimulus to get some painting done to show you. But not today it seems.

Friday 4 June 2010

Breakfast & T-Shirts

Breakfast & T-Shirts (oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cms)

This one has just been waiting for me to finish off the top and tickle one or two areas round the clothing. It's all done now and I'm an increasingly happy man.

Thursday 3 June 2010

Paintings & Prints

Paintings & Prints (oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cms)

Pushing the painting style dilemma to the back of my mind, I had a good day today, pressing on with this painting in the Shops & Stalls series and finishing it. I feel this series is going well and my initial enthusiasm for it has had a resurgence.

Not to be defeated with the Winter painting, however, I've done a little more to the Night Station 2 picture. I know it looks as if I've depicted the mouth of hell but have patience. It'll come right in the end.

Night Station 2 (work in progress)