Yesterday was a now rare visit to a life session. I took my pastels, deciding to focus on one medium – well apart from half a dozen pencil sketches done at different points of the session.
Before I went to the session, I played around with with photos off the internet from Line of Action and explored possibilities I could try yesterday. Here are a few of them, below.
I wanted to mix bold and unusual colours alongside more natural flesh tones.
I hoped that by playing around in my own time, without the pressures of a ticking clock, I would develop a process I could take into the life room and produce whilst dealing with all the other issues that crop up.
Well, it half worked. I think I should be doing more at home with photos so that I have a clearer and more honed pathway when I attend another session.
It’s getting a bit busy here with visitors and exhibitions. I did a group exhibition last weekend and there are three more coming up, the last one being a solo show. I have been tweeking a few of the paintings that have been up on this blog over the last few months in readiness for the shows and was considering reblogging those, but went instead with a couple of life studies from last week.
Today I have to do a floral demo a a club north of Blackpool, so I have also have been preparing for that. I will be demonstrating the geraniums painting I posted a few weeks ago.
Anyway, once I get everything prepared I can start to calm down.
One of the limestone stacks just off the beach at Krabi, Thailand. This was painted from a beach in a national park where some of the rules on the sign as you entered were: no food and dont feed the monkeys. How could you feed the monkeys if you weren’t allowed food?
When we got to the beach there were some exclusive hotels – but you couldnt get anything to eat as they firmly said Guests Only. So I just sat on the beach and contemplated the view. It was pretty good and there there was even a long tailed boat in view.
On another day we went on an island hopping boat trip to some exclusive beaches – though they weren’t that exclusive as everyone else was doing the same. So we had small pockets of sand overrun with tourists like us, wondering why they had come. Outside our hotel there was a vast sandy beach with hardly anyone on at all – oh well… .
The second sketch was done whilst we jostled for space on Paradise island, named possibly as it was one of the few islands with a toilet.
A little more extensive use of charcoal with the pastel though still not getting the grittiness or directness I am after.
In the one above I used even more charcoal, though probably too much and not to its greatest effect.
And finally a portrait of the child of a child of the sixties, but with the lighting so poor in the studio the features are flattened by the glaring light. Another of life’s little challenges, I expect some of you have shared.
I went to Chester the other week primarily to see a contemporary watercolour exhibition, but the person I was with wanted to visit a sculpture exhibition in the cathedral which contained a work by the brother of someone we paint with in a life group. In fact they were dismantling the exhibition when we arrived – I didnt even know it was running – but there were still a good number of exhibits on show by many world class sculptors. Some of the work was displayed in the cathedral grounds and as we were walking through in the sunshine, there were people sitting in the sun, surrounded by the great pillars and walls of the building, taking a lunchtime break. I thought I might paint something from a couple of the pictures I took.
The watercolour painting was also quite interesting, featuring some local artists, two of whom I knew – and the day was glorious for a walk around Chester.
This is a painting of a guy I was at art college with and who occasionally models. He stepped in last week when the original model pulled out. I was pleased with the face as it captured him really well, the trouble is with the hands, which I could have tidied up later, but as I gave him the painting at the end of the session, it’s too late.
I was watching TV and there was an artist Norman Ackroyd painting some watercolours of woods in winter. I loved the greyness of these images along with the bare trees and after the programme I made up an image, just using washes of greys blues and purples just to see where it went.
Norman Ackroyd is a printer and I think he coordinated this year’s Royal Academy summer show. Some time ago there was an infrequent series on the tele called “What do Artists do all Day” – a title which amused me. He was featured in it and it showed him working on an etching of seabirds encircling a far flung Scottish Island. Needless to say some of his day was spent in a hostelry whilst he was waiting for things to develop. It’s a hard life, but someone has to do it.
I don’t know what fascinates me about these cottages, just off the road at the foot of Clieve’s Hills as you approach Ormskirk having travelled across the moss, inland from Southport. I did them as a watercolour (shown on this blog on September 24th) and have previously painted them plein air by the roadside, although the best view point is in the middle of the road, which isn’t much good.
Perhaps the middle bale needs a bit of tidying up as I look at is as I write.