Wednesday 29 September 2010

The Man Who Came Back in the Cold

The Side, with Snow (work in progress)

Funny, isn't it? I come back from Croatia where the sun shone and the temperature was on average 25C, and it takes only a few days of miserable, grey, wet and cold England to get me thinking about my snow pictures again.

Yesterday I found time to make some modifications to this one, working over the snow, defining the buildings a little and beginning to sort out the chimneys in the foreground. Feels like lots more to do, however, so I'd best get a move on.

Sunday 26 September 2010

When in Doubt, Draw a Tree

Trees, Kastel Gomilica (0.5 fibretip, A4 sketchbook)

There were a million and one things I might have drawn in our week in Croatia, but there never seemed to be time. I did promise myself that I'd get one drawing done in my sketchbook, however, so on the last full day there, Pat and I walked along the Kastela coast to Kastel Gomilica.

Kastel Gomilica is one of the last little towns we'd not walked to to previously and it certainly lives up to its guidebook reputation of being one of the most picturesque. It doesn't reward visitors with copious eating and drinking stops, however, so after feeling a little faint, we made a short detour up to the main road to find a baker's shop, bought a croissant for Pat and a börek for me, then walked back to the sea front to eat them.

Afterwards, I thought about drawing the old kastel (built by Benedictine nuns in 16th C) but I knew I didn't really have the time to do it justice, so, while Pat sat in the sun and watched two elderly men parade up and down the seafront dressed in nothing but rather small Speedos, I spent what time was available sitting in the shade drawing these two aged cypress trees.

Thursday 16 September 2010

Old Drawings #61

Beyond Lemba (Charcoal, compressed charcoal on cartridge paper, 60 x 60 cms.)

This was the second large drawing I made based on the curious wall round the Cyprus College of Art. Things seemed to be going really well, I thought, and I continued with a second large painting of the same subject, working on it at the same time as the painting already posted here.

Beyond Lemba (Oil and collage on board, 60 x 48 ins)

"Great!" said the MA student in the adjoining studio. "You should try not to be simply The Man Who Paints Newcastle."

Ah, if only. Unfortunately, the market locally calls for paintings of Newcastle and until I can establish a greater presence outside the area, I may have to ensure the greater part of my output continues to be Tyneside oriented.

Monday 13 September 2010

Rob & Caz

On the beach below Highcliffe Castle

Sometimes, painting just has to take a back seat. Over the weekend, Pat's younger son, Robert, married his fiancee, Caroline, at Highcliffe Castle. Pat and I flew from Newcastle to Southampton to join them and a thoroughly wonderful time was had by all. They're a great couple and I wish them all the very best.

Only a few days and we're off again: back to Croatia for a week. A drawing in a sketchbook may be made there, but I'm not overly optimistic that many more pages will be filled. But we will have a good time.

And then it's back to work in real earnest.

Tuesday 7 September 2010

Snow - Outlook Clearer

The Side with Snow (work in progress)

More information came to light today about the "winter" show. I now have a clearer idea of what will be needed and how much work I need to get done by November.

I've been mulling over how I wanted to this painting to be; mulling so much that it's taken until today to get it started. It's a view from the Tyne Bridge looking down on the buildings of The Side; a view I've tackled many times before, but never with snow. It always surprises me that the end result is so different from each previous painting of the same subject. At the moment, I'm a little puzzled by the overall look of the painting. Not at all like my usual style, but as the work progresses, I dare say it'll fall more into line.

Friday 3 September 2010

Old Drawings #60

Lemba (Charcoal, compressed charcoal on 60 x 60 cm cartridge paper)

This was the next drawing based on the wall at Lemba College of Art. I was getting quite excited about the turn my work had taken at this point and began to make plans to construct still life set-ups of random junk from which to make drawings.

Meanwhile, I started a painting based on this drawing. It drew no comment from any of the lecturers and as it was nearing the end of term, I think it was abandoned rather than finished (although not a lot more was planned on it).

Lemba (Oil and collage on board, 60 x 48 ins.)