Friday, 28 August 2009

A week spent painting...

If you look closely you can see a wine glass on the left hand side, next to the jar with dirty paint water. Dangerous, this. Accidents do happen when you're not concentrating...

I'll have to clean this palette off eventually. Absolutely the worst job when it comes to being a painter. However, one of the lovely things about being back at home is that sometimes I pop up to the studio and Mum has cleaned it for me. Bless.

I'm quite pleased with the way this is going. The sketch completed on Monday is about as much planning as I do. As long as I have a template and a rough idea of colours then the rest just follows. I like to work instinctively so I find it quite tough when i'm trying to explain to students that to avoid mistakes it's better to plan things out rather than just dither about and hope it all works out for the best. There's at least another three days work on this to be done. I'm never happier than when I've got music I like on the stereo and a painting going well.
I'm doing a car boot on Sunday as I have so much stuff to get rid of since moving out of the cottage. Mum keeps holding up little bits of quaint pottery and asking if it can go- I'm trying to explain that I need some things to furnish my French farmhouse/Scottish barn/cottage on a wild moor somewhere.
The Tudors and True Blood tonight and three days off work! I do love Friday.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Weekend sketching and homemade orange squash.

Well, it's been a fairly productive weekend but this last painting went horribly wrong! Looking at it here it's not so bad but I made the stupid mistake of doing loads of detail before bothering with the sky (I always tell my students to work dark over light and to always save the details until last- clearly I'm incapable of following my own advice). I ended up painting an awful sky and then painting over large areas of the rest of the painting in white gesso, just leaving the foreground, as not a single element hung together. It looked like 10 different paintings in one.
So.... I went back to the drawing board this evening. The disaster has been put away for the time being and I've started sketching a clematis, this will eventually be transposed and painted on to a bright watercolour painting that I've just started. I nearly leapt straight in without any sketching first before a little warning voice suggested that a bit of planning might be an advantage. I'm just too eager to get started.
Friday evening saw Mum and I making homemade orange squash. It's gorgeous and very sweet. And an absolute magnet for wasps, of which there appear to be many this year.
I can see how this blogging thing might actually help with the work thing- I've been in the spare room painting and sketching away every night now just to have something to post that isn't about what I'm watching in TV (True Blood and Desperate Romantics in case your wondering), what new clothes I've bought (a White Stuff kaftan) and what I've been eating (chocolate mostly).

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Some sketchbook work, some context, one spider.

Thought I'd give you a bit of context this evening. Back in March I was mercilessly dumped by the man I thought I'd spend the rest of my life with. Hey ho. Never mind. So, I'm back at Ma and Pa's, and they have been lovely. It's been a fairly grim summer (I'm a master of understatement) but I am, I think, finally emerging into the light, though the thought of Autumn, Winter and a box of carefully chosen and romantically bought Christmas decorations in the garage fill me with foreboding.
The point of this little exercise in explanation is too ask whether, at 30, I am too old to be knocking on my parent's bedroom door at 10.30pm and asking, in a small voice, "are you still awake?", "yes" was the reply, followed by "why?", "because there's a really big spider on my bedroom wall".
Dad hastily donned his dressing gown and disposed of the beast out of the landing window. And it was huge, I promise you. Perhaps I should have explained when I moved back in that it was on the understanding that spiders would be dealt with by the man of the house.
I have a day off work tomorrow and plan to do some more sketchbook work. I have little in the way of large paintings started, so I thought I'd use the next few weeks of quiet to plow through some sketchbook pages. The above doodles look a little windblown and desolate I think.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Procrastination. Diversification.

Right then.

It's only taken 5 months to get started on this blog. I've been putting it off for far too long. Now, though, I have good reason to get going. I have my first solo show coming up in November 2010 and this will be a great way to document that particular journey.

Blog posts may appear stilted for a while- just until I get into my stride. I'm generally not a confessional person (unless a bottle of wine has been consumed beforehand), and I don't really talk extensively about my own particular creative process, despite working in a busy arts centre and being surrounded by frighteningly creative and talented people all day, every day.
I am a lady of quiet, silly secrets, of private journals, sudden obsessions and whimsical diversions. I do remember being a person who liked to write though and, hopefully, this will overcome any propensity towards shy awkwardness.

To me, the blogging world feels like the school playground and I'm the sad sack in the corner wearing the wrong clothes and a boyish haircut.

Generally, I am a watercolourist though I have been known to wander down other paths from time to time. Such as the jewellery I have been making over the last two weeks pictured below. The pink bracelet went to my friend Ellie for her birthday.

A recent watercolour. This started life as a class demonstration on poppies. I find it quite rewarding to go back and rework them , especially when they start out looking like they might not amount to much.

I do wish I had never started the beading. It has resulted in stiff shoulders and some fairly severe headaches!

A little pile of pretty things....
I do love buttons.