Sunday, January 24, 2016

Xmas flowers

I'm a bit late with this story, but here goes!
I never really buy cut flowers, we're on a tight budget and if I splurge I buy a magazine, or art supplies or cake!! On christmas eve I was dashing around my local supermarket like everyone else, buying all that food for christmas day. As I came through the checkout one of the staff I see every week stopped me. "Hang on a second", he disappeared then came back with two flower arrangements...I was thrilled. A few of the flowers were starting to brown, I guess that by boxing day they'd be too far gone to sell, so better to give them away.

They looked lovely on my christmas dinner table, and I did a couple of tiny sketchbook drawings of them which turned into this linocut. It's much finer and more detailed than my usual, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

At the same time as I printed the xmas flowers lino, I printed one that I'd chiseled in December, of an elegant lady walking her dog down by the beach. Most people I see walking there are in serious sports gear, or casual shorts and runners, she wore a floaty dress and bare feet, tall and elegant, her dog was elegant too, maybe a greyhound? It's funny the things that stick in your head and appear later in an artwork.

I hope you've had a good weekend :)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Terrible watercolours!!

For the past few years, every Christmas holidays I plan to go painting 'plein air'. Sometimes I have managed a couple of watercolours, one year I bought myself a beautiful moleskine book with heavy paper...which is still in the wrapping, far too daunting to use.

I have the idea of painting sunsets, storm clouds can be glorious at this time of year. But evening is the time of day when I'm low energy and have chores to do. I found that the holidays were zooming past and I hadn't done one painting. So instead of worrying about sunsets I took my paints along on my morning walks. I did these 2 quick sketcches on a windy morning at the beach.

And this one down at the park on new years day.

These are just in a normal little sketchpad, I'm using good quality paints but they seem to soak into the paper and disappear. So I bought a little watercolour pad to see what difference it would make. I did this sketch of evening clouds above my house yesterday, and the colour seems much better.

Hopefully I'll get a few more done before the kids go back to school and normal routines kick in. When I think about going painting I imagine doing something like the watercolours of Emil Nolde!!! with free brushwork and intense colour. The reality is very different, wrestling with a medium I'm not comfortable with - I like to work with line not light...

One of the blogs I follow has some gorgeous watercolours, I wish I could do some like that!! Go visit Jumie's blog and take a look :)

I hope your new year has started well. Best wishes to all.