I mentioned a visit to Wells in my last blog and I was well impressed with the town. I also loved these two, sitting outside a cafe in the town centre like a pair of bookends, each watching the world go by.
I decided to tackle the scene in pastel. However, the amount of detail I included reduced the opportunities to dwell on facial expressions and despite opting for a tight colour range now feel I may have been a victim of it. I find small details with pastel quite tricky – but then, that’s the point, I suppose – the challenge.
Having got the exhibition up and running on Wednesday I tidied up my studio and got myself back together and decided on what to do next. This painting, below, had been hanging around and I felt it needed changing. I posted it in November and had misgivings about the left hand side.
I am certainly happier with it now and may exhibit it later.
As for the exhibition: I took 30 paintings for the show with 3 for reserves. I was able to breathe a sigh of relief after getting everything sorted out.
Then, yesterday, as I was quietly working on the painting above, I got a call to say one lady had just purchased 9 paintings. It made a bit of a hole in the exhibition as they are allowed to take them away with them. So I have been scrambling around finding more paintings and frames. I went around to my framer, but he’s got to order more wood. Anyway I was able to replace 6 paintings , so the hole isnt quite so large now. It’s a problem, but a good one to have.
Below are some snaps after I set it up, and before the shopping spree.
I have been a bit busy sorting out things for my exhibition which I am going to set up tomorrow. This morning I decided to do a sketch from our last day in Bangkok.
We weren’t leaving until the afternoon and as we had held our room we took the boat up to the main riverboat and rapid transport terminal of Sathorn and walked around the streets and alleyways that surrounded the terminal.
The whole placed teemed with activity and industry from cafes to engineering workshops. You get the feel that the skyscrapers are slowly taking over and there were building sites with lorries squeezing into them delivering materials and everyone worked around each other, all quietly going their own way and all the time the highrises crept forward.
In Siem Reap in Cambodia (the city’s name means Defeat of Thailand – no punches pulled there) we sat in the park with the flying foxes roosting in the trees. Groups of tourists were brought to see them and as the guide spoke , enterprising icecream sales people swooped to feed the stationary tourists.
A few days earlier in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam we sat in another park. A group of children sat to my left painting, Tai Chi sessions were everywhere and one man even washed himself,( sorry, I wasnt quick enough with my camera as he shoved the hose pipe down his shorts to clean the nether regions) then cleaned his bike, changed his clothes and after donning a new hat – he wore a grubby old hat whilst cleaning his bike, – rode off into the traffic.
Before Christmas there was a call for paintings of Liverpool for a book entitled The Liverpool Art Book. The authors have done a number of other cities starting with the Cambridge Art Book. They use quirky media such as CAD, collage and screen print etc so I thought my images might be a little staid. I also thought that they would want images of major landmarks.
This week they got back to me and said that they wanted copies of two of my paintings. One was a watercolour that could be of anywhere. I called it Shopping Can Create a Thirst and it was from images taken in Liverpool One (the main shopping area in Liverpool). I was pleased with the painting – but I actually threw it in the entry by accident.
I suppose the second one was more what I thought that they might want – it was a pastel of the area close to the waterfront
It is called Crossing the Strand and shows the Liver Building in the Background.
I have posted both these paintings in the past, but I must admit their selection was a bit of a surprise. Still at least I got two in. The book is supposed to come out later in the year.
Another sketch just to get the feel of the subject. I had come out of a life session and was getting the train home. The sunshine was bright and the figures were set in deep contrast making me get my camera out. If I do it again I must get the tracks right – it looks like a model railway and there isnt a conductor rail but the use of masking fluid to get the glinting tracks worked better than I thought it would.
I wanted to do a townscape with a little more edge. This is based on Hope Street in Liverpool with a lot of paring away and more reliance on colour. I did the same scene in 2014 in a more conventional way when I started to do a set of Liverpool nightscenes. I exhibited a few but didnt get much response, though this one sold.
I feel the new version still lacks presence and I need to let go looser when building up the backdrop – so back to the drawing board, or in this case, canvas.