Of late I have been playing around with abstracts and imagined landscapes now that I know where I am going with my upcoming demonstrations. I do find working on abstracts and experimenting with techniques quite slow and wearing as I tend to hit many dead ends and I need time to reflect on my next step.
So in one of these periods of contemplation I thought I’d paint this view of a lane in Wharfedale, in Yorkshire, we visited last year.
I suppose I did a bit of experimenting even in this piece. I was pleased with the effect of slightly dampening the paper to get the soft shadows cast by the trees. I did shadows of a tree in a local park in a painting last year and was dissatisfied with my shadows done on dry paper. I may have to revisit that. The other thing was the cluster of daffodils: I initially just dropped a load of yellows on the paper and covered some of it with blobs of masking fluid when the paint had dried. Later I worked in some darks around the remaining yellow and later still, rubbed off the masking fluid. Lo and behold I got some bright blobs of yellow that could be daffodils but whatever, they glow from the shadows.
So it wont be long before we start seeing the daffs this year – and the worst will be over: well apart from the heating bill.
Not being of hardy stock I only venture outside to paint when the sun starts to shine and the temperature rises. I have spent too long in the past waiting for washes to dry in cold bleakness or battled to warm up frozen mixes on my palette. Not any more.
So with some sunshine forecast we went over to Yorkshire and into Wharfedale to do some walking and along the way I was able to sit in the spring sunshine and do a bit of painting.
Starting out from Burnsall we climbed above the River Wharfe and amongst the hill farms I saw this scene, above, of broken down walls, isolated buildings and patchwork fields populated by grazing sheep.
Later, after lunch at a pub, we walked along the river and this was one of the derelict farmhouses alongside of the Wharfe in the shadow of the hill, crisscrossed with the drystone walls and peppered with a helping of the ubiquitous sheep.
A great day in the early spring sunshine which sparkled off the rippling river waters.