I was in Green Park in London last Saturday. We had just come out of the Royal Academy after seeing the summer exhibition and were walking through the park to the Mall. Most people were sitting in the sun but this group had pulled their deck chairs into the shade and were in deep debate. I might have another go at the grass by the deck chair. As I look at it now, writing this, I feel it could do with a bit better finish, but I do like the overall feel to it.
I initially had a notion of this painting from a side view incorporating the steam from the soup against a dark background. Looking for suitable images to use I came across one of my dad, but a frontal view. Unfortunately he was wearing a hat and had no shirt which was a step too far for me, so I changed that, and added a book.
The real problem came in filling the 50x65cm sheet. I rescoped the head a couple of times, to try to ensure that sheet was filled, but despite all this I only managed 2/3 of the paper and with all the chopping and changing I lost the likeness – well, it’s a bit like him, but I’ve done better – perhaps a candidate for another attempt.
Compared to that the reworking of the Cambodian woman (an image I posted a couple of weeks ago as a smaller sketch) came out so much easier on this larger format – perhaps there was more to squeeze in so I was struggling to include rather than fill it out.
I might do a bit of tweaking to this yet, but in the main I am happy with it. Perhaps this larger format allows more detail and nuance giving it, for me, more authority.
Being a bit tied up with family issues I just had time to sketch out this portrait of a Cambodian Lady I spotted when I paused on a cycle ride by a river near Battambang – the second city of Cambodia. The light on her face accentuated her features as she squatted by some sugar cane that she had collected. I have a few pictures of different people of southeast Asia I took on my recent travels and was considering creating a small collection.
I did most of this by the banks of the river at Hue. Scooters and small motorbikes are a major form of transport here and there are lots of them. The group of people changed in this one, but the woman in the sunhat stayed. They were a family or group trying to sell tourists trips on dragon boats and boy did they try – though they left me alone – perhaps they thought I might sell them a picture.
The land in Vietnam from north to south is heavily utilised. There are paddy fields everywhere and quite a few water buffalo. Many people work on the land. It looks like hard graft – reminds me that there might be some gardening to do when I get home.
Yesterday was spent manning an art exhibition I have a few paintings in. The other person scheduled to sit in failed to show, so I was on my own. There were not many callers and I spent my time painting this – so not all was lost. It was from a photo I took last year which I altered considerably, but I loved the figures in the dappled light and the contrast between light and shade. I was quite pleased with the result.
The exhibition is in an unused shop in town we are able to use. I have had some good results in the past, though so far on this exhibition I have only sold one painting – but there are two weeks to go.
You can just see the painting in progress on the easel.
This is a modified painting which I posted some time ago. When I first posted it I had some reservations about certain aspects. Then, the other day as I was searching through some old paintings, I came across it again and took a moment to reconsidered it and realised that my issues could be addressed. One problem was the central tree which I modified and then I enhanced the main field and strengthened the top field. It may have moved away from the original scene, but it was a bit of a combination of views in the first place, broadly based on the Wear Valley in Durham City.