Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tree Study

Tree Study
20cm x 50 cm or 8 inches x 20 inches

A wild tangle of trunk, branches and twigs, lichen and moss tattoed bark, twisted limbs, slowly revealing patterns.  A soothing balsam for a tired soul.  I have had a lot of work buzzing through my mind this past week and therefore, on a quiet Sunday, there is nothing better than a little tree study to calm me down!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ducks Swimming

Ducks Swimming
20cm x 50cm or 8 inches x 20 inches

Cold afternoon, high tide, still water, swimming ducks, silent trees, deep-green winter-light.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tracks in the Snow

Tracks in the Snow
112 cm x 50 cm or 40 inches x 20 inches

This is the first painting on the new, enormous roll of watercolour paper.  Possibly a bit tame, chopping off a mere 50 cm but it feels a bit like a new excersise book, scary!  Anyway I climbed over my scary timid self and got out the "I dont care, let me have a go" self.  It was great... I shall explain:
Working large means working fast and loose, slapping on colour and hoping for the result,  it seems to be easier to see bigger things like form and tone.  Because it might not work and because it would have to be a very fine painting to afford to get it framed it seemed to loose any sense of preciousness and therefore I think it is a better painting for it.  Is that a top tip for painting, yes it is, dont worry about the outcome, just enjoy the process.  Big arm movements are a good thing, trying out unexpected colours is also a good thing.
This painting was made in the studio, from a set of photos and some sketches so it is a sense of place rather than an actual place.
Here are some of the details for you to see how weird little marks make sense in the larger painting.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Swan Song

Swan Song  SOLD
Oil on wooden block
10 cm x 10 cm or 4 inches x 4 inches

A tiny version of the swans, I think the slow moving ripples in the almost freezing water worked well here.
This is painted on a wooden block which is 3 cm thick, so it sits nicely without a frame, wonderful surface for painting on.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Early Morning in Snowland

Early Morning in Snowland
50 cm x 20 cm or 20 inches x 8 inches

We dont often get snow in Cornwall, when it happens everyone goes mad.  Shops empty, bread and milk are quickly snapped up.  People talk to their neighbours, help each other accross icy roads, meet up in the pub for a warming lunchtime drink.  Kids are all off school and whole families go sledging, Dads and Mums unable to go to work spend "quality time" hurtling down slopes on firtilizer bags with their delighted children.  It is fantastic.  I wish that we closed normal life more often.  What about heavy rain, we could all stay in reading books, eating toast and watching old films, or going for walks through puddles all wrapped up in raincoats.  When it is really hot everyone could have a picnick day, sit in a park under the shade of trees while kids play in paddling pools which would be supplied by the council, you would be legally obliged to have bar-b-ques with people in your street that you had barely spoken to, since the last snow day.
Anyway I love this snow thing and have been trying to make the most of a different looking landscape.  This is an early morning one, just as the sun is colouring the sky and splashing the most suprising colours on the frozen fields.  I am tired of titles which is why this has a silly one, I would accept any suggestions for a better "official" title for this painting!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Swans on the River

Swans on the River  SOLD
50cm x 20 cm or 20 inches x 8 inches

I got so excited about the snow and so captivated by these swans gliding silently through the falling flakes that I made several paintings, this is the watercolour version and the next one that I shall post will be a tiny oil.
I like skipping from one medium to another, it makes you think and concentrait!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Afternoon Light

Afternoon Light
24 cm x 10 cm or 9.5 inches x 4 inches

The tide is out, just a little rivulet left running through the mud.  The last blaze of the sun catches the distant trees, a glory dash of gold on a cold afternoon.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Swans in the Snow

Swans in the Snow  SOLD
18 cm x 10 cm or 7 inches x 4 inches

Here we are, at the top of Carn Creek, in the snow.  The woods are cracked hard with ice and frost, the river slow and thick.  Snow falls soft and silent as two swans glide up stream.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Ghost Tree

Ghost Tree
18cm by 10cm or 7 inches by 4 inches
Finally we got some snow, I rushed out and spent the morning walking and doing some painting. 
It is another world, so quiet and still.  This tree is one that I usually climb, like a strange bridge, out over the river to get views over the water.  Today it lay with a blanket of snow turning it into a ghost tree, dark snakes of reflection in the cold water, the far bank an upside down forest as the snow silently fell.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Cold Creek

Cold Creek
Oil on board
14cm x 14cm or 5.5 inches x 5.5 inches

Cold!  Very very cold, especially after sitting still for a while.  Also very quiet, I saw a little egret sitting huddled on a branch, her feathers ruffling in the wind, almost looked as if she was steaming!  Water seems to flow thicker and slower in the cold.  There is a little dusting of snow but where the trees are it must be slightly protected as it is just frozen-not-snow.  The sun makes feeble attempts to put a brave face on and occasionally splashes accross the creek.  I however have a very cold bottom and am off home for my tea!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Learning How To Fly!

Creek Walk  SOLD
35cm x 77cm or 13.5 inches x 30.25 inches

This is the first painting of my new year, new project.
I am organising some flights to get a new perspective on places that I know well, I would really like to learn to fly but that might be a little ambitious. 
Recently I have found myself being attracted to higher viewpoints, huge vistas, tops of towers.  Searching for a bigger view I started looking at ariel photographs and maps and became fascinated by the shapes and patterns in the landscape.
So I am planning a few paintings like this, combining them with little field sketches so that they become like maps, image maps, mind maps.  This is the first, of Frenchman's Creek, one of my favorite walks, with the tide out and the river little more than a vein in the mud.  Below are some details of the painting.
I also wanted to let the watercolour make some descisions, building up layers of colour, letting colours work together or repel each other, scrubbing out some areas and painting back, so that ghosts of paint marks are left.  Just as ghosts of workings are etched upon the landscape, old field patterns remain only really visible from the air.

So thats the plan, I am taking to the air!