Thursday, 12 May 2016

Other adventures in Art

I have spent some time exploring different media, using acrylics, wet on wet approaches an adding other materials.  This gallery shows some of those experiments.  It is good to try something new from time to time; occasionally the experiments work out, but always I learn something new and can use this learning to improve my botanical work too.

My first attempts at life drawing were surprisingly successful.  I realised that the proportions and relationships in the human body were similarly important as they are in plants!

I try to keep a record of my paintings as i is good to reflect from time to time.  However, whilst scanning of small pieces is relatively easy, larger pieces can be quite expensive to have photographed and I find it very difficult to get the light correct when taking my own photos.

These are a selection from my experiments!

Experiments in acrylics

Ballet shoes, using inspiration from a photograph in a newspaper.

Monkey Mia, from a sketch made in Australia. I added compost to the yellow paint to get the texture of the sand, and did a fair bit of splashing to get the effects of the sea! The original is now owned by the friend I travelled with and a print is owned by a member of my family who also has connections to that area of Australia.

This was painted from  a sketch made whilst staying in the Pyrenees and is now owned by the owner of the house.


This was a corner of my teacher's garden. I was working on contrasts of tome. 

Experiments using wet in wet approaches


These two paintings were done towards the end of a week's painting in Andalucia.  I had set out to try a looser approach and was failing spectacularly.  I then got completely outside the box and started dribbling the paint around and carving into it with a scalpel to achieve the spiky effect. Everyone was quite amazed and I have to say I was fairly pleased with the result.  These two fairly large paintings were sold at the Horsham Artists exhibition in 2015 but I still have cards and prints of the individual thistles.  I am not sure I could replicate this.
After painting a botanical version I decided to apply some newly acquired techniques in using this wet approach.  This painting is still available.


This is a very large piece.  I had a sheet of A1 hot pressed paper I had bought and was on the lookout for subject.  The very large flag irises in my garden presented just the right subject.  So I started with a washed background and a wet on wet approach, then went in later with some finer detail.  This painting is still available and is in a silver tone frame with perspex rather than glass because of its size.



Both of these paintings were undertaken on a painting holiday in France.  I was painting outside and using a wet approach.  The week was very challenging and often cold, and trying to keep my equipment together in villages and fields in the windy weather was certainly interesting.  I think I am really a studio painter, as I enjoy sitting in peace and quiet and concentrating!
These two are mounted only and are available in the Brighton Open Houses Trail during weekends in May 2016.


Other experiments


This composition was an attempt to bring together some embroidery and painting using the style of Ernst Haeckel as inspiration.  I began with paintings of some small Andalusian plants, then grouped them into a pattern, adding some simple embroideries to complete the symmetry.  This is on a bedroom wall in my house, simply because the colours toned well! I don't really agree with choosing paintings to match colour schemes, but as I had it anyway.................





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