01/01/2021: New years day 2021. SNOW!
We started the new year off the same as any other new years day, with a long walk. This years obviously a lot less people, just my current household bubble. It was also a LOT colder than normal! We went to one of my new favourite places to go, its only around the corner from where I live but there is never anyone up this part of the long mynd - great for social distancing. We were surrounded by thick snow and panaromaic views of white fields and I was feeling very inspired to create a new series. It has somehow been two years since my last snow series but thinking about it i can't remember the last time we had 'propper' snow. It felt like what I imagine Canada to be like, the landscape felt entirely different to nromal, something out of a fairytale. What I love about the snow is that it instantly abstracts the landscape, making it easier to envisage a painting.
04/01/2021; Back in the Studio
After a lovely quiet christmas it was time to get back in the studio. I hadn't been in the studio since christmas eve and the studio was an absolute state from the pre-christmas chaos. I took the tree down and gave the studio a once over ready to start working on something new. I completely regretted not being in the studio for 10 days, there had been no heating in there and the temperature has also dramatically dropped since i was last in - it was blooming freezing.
I spent the morning filling a sketchbook with some composition studies based om the snowy landscape from new years day. They may just look like scribbles but these simple compositions really help me work out ideas to paint.. Straight away i can see what won't work.. I use liquitex paint markers and mark out lights and darks and try and come up with as many compositions for the same painting. Then when it comes to painting i have an idea of what im going to do, the paintings never stick to the exact composition but it is a good help!
The desk chaos.
The start of the new series. At the moment there aew only 4 but i can see myself adding and removing paintings as part of this series as time goes on.. These are just the initial compositions, but i am hopeful.
Update to the paintings at the end of day one. still a long way to go on these but I am fairly happy with the colour pallete, for the first time in forever i havent used any green... so far.
09/01/2021 -- Sunday stroll
A lovely sunday stroll in the forrest behind us. The snow has almost all gone and the landscape is starting to look a bit more green. Looking forward to getting back in the studio next week.
I have decided to try and get back into blogging. I haven't posted any in a very long time but with lockdown i feel that keeping a blog may help me keep to a more consistent routine. I am aiming to post a blog once or twice a month with updates.
Thanks for reading , keep safe and happy painting!
Saturday: April 21, 2017, Throwback to the Guggenheim, Bilbao. The building creates an experience like no other with the twisting and curving forms that make you move direction without realising. It is truly a piece of art in itself and seeing the works of some of my favourite artists all in one place has to make it one of my all time favourite galleries for its’ architecture as well as the art. I hope to return soon.
Easter Morning: sheep in the Garden!
I am spending Easter in the Shropshire hills, aka Mum and Dads!
Over the past few days, I have been working and watching everyone enjoy their bank holiday weekend, so it was nice to have the day off and spend some time with the family.
At the end of the month, I will be giving a presentation on my artwork and influences from over the past year. Over the past few days, I have been organising all my photographs ready to put on the presentation, I find that uploading and sorting the images out takes up the bulk of the preparation time, but I enjoy the making process more than the delivery!. Since I did the last presentation in the third year, my artwork has changed a lot. I used to be more interested in expressing how the landscape made me feel with thick impasto oil paint, moving the paint around with palette knives. Recently I have been looking more at layering paint and finding the image through the paint in an aim to shake up my compositions; however, I am still looking at creating atmosphere, mood and a sense of place. The presentation deadline marks almost the last part of semester two, meaning I am nearly a third of the way through my masters. It is going so quickly, and I don't want it to end!
This week I have been going through the photos that I took and getting them ready for my website and catalogue with the help of photoshop.
In today’s tutorial, we debated which paintings to put forward for the show. What colour background they should be against, and observing things that are just generally off.
Bringing over the ten boards from the old college by hand was quite a challenge- but had to be done. Seeing them in a show setting changed everything about them. White did not work one bit. There needs to be another contrasting colour to hang the paintings against to allow the eye to move around the images and bring some of the subtleties back to life. Seeing them in the bright lights also let me see some of the layers which I thought had been covered, but were still shining through- this needs to be amended before I varnish them.
Recently I took photos with the app FrameX to see what they would look like on the wall setting- I chose a grey background which helps bring out the colours, and I’m hoping I can mix/find the same for the show!
I don't make my art to sell it, but that doesn't mean it's not nice when one sells! It always puts a smile on my face to know that someone likes something I've made enough to hang it in their home. Today I have touched up this painting before posting it off to its' new home in Yorkshire. I am always weary when sending a painting off after having sent one abroad that never made it to its' home as was damaged and disposed of in distribution- since then I have changed supplier! I am thinking about starting to make some prints which would make deliveries a lot less stressful, especially for overseas delivery.
This week i met with a current undergraduate student who had a few questions about my art. I thought i would post my answers on my blog for anyone interested in finding out some more info on my Art journey
Painiting in my Grandad's studio aged 9.
.How did you first get in to art?
I have been surrounded by art from a young age. My Grandfather is a working professional welsh landscape artist and has been a huge inspiration of mine. He has spent a lot of his art career teaching art classes, and I can remember tagging along to some when I was little. We have often gone out sketching the North Wales landscape together, and these young memories continue to feed into my work. During my teen years, I was living in Spain, surrounded by a wide variation of landscape, from the calmness of the sea to the great heights of the Alpujarran Mountains. My Spanish Art teacher was very encouraging, and pushed me to enjoy creating art, which then continued by my teachers back in the UK during my GCSE’s and A-levels.
This week has turned in to two weeks and still working on this series. The more I paint I lose more of the glow, but it is all practice and I would much prefer to have a painting which I have hopefully resolved. I am happy with three of these paintings for the time being and the fourth actually doesn’t exist anymore, I scraped the paint back completely and am working on changing the composition. However at this point I am putting these paintings to bed as I feel I have learned all I can from them for the moment.
Thinking back along the lines of my assesment and trying to push my paintings further in to abstraction. I’m still not bold enough to go completely abstract, but where abstraction and representation meet continues to inspire my paintings.
The paintings I work on now will potentially be my first MA exhibittion pieces, but I’m trying not to think of that too much and to power on!
I don’t really find artist block exists all you have to do is keep painting and it doesn’t matter if you go months or every years just making a mess as during the process you will progress and find a new path.
Thankfully this week we have been blessed with lots and lots of snow.
I always am inspired from my everyday life, and this week was a drive through the mid wales mountains bringing my kitten home from Spain. ( Long Story short) .
Anyway I find that snow is quite helpful in abstracting the landscape.
These paintings have begun and I’m enjoying the layer so far, now comes the tricky part - finishing paintings which is my least favourite of all the stages of painting! .
After a three week illness it is time to get back to work. Having a very limited time to write an essay and a few days to start some more paintings and finish some old work, it is safe to say i wont be getting much sleep this week.
The final week before going home for a week or so. Involving tutorials, essay writing, and finishing paintings. I am definitely in need of some kind of break, even if i am going to be working a lot over Christmas. It will be nice to let my mind not think about uni work for a small while.
Wednesday: A small A4 Study i decided to paint on a pink ground. Really enjoying the night time light at the moment, as well as street studies. I think its because of the challenge of drawing the perspective, and also it has given me a way to break away from traditional compositions. I am quite pleased with the end result of this semi abstract painting, perhaps it could be a route i continue to push. The space where abstraction and realism meet has always intrigued me, and at the moment my abstract and realistic paintings are still very separate. I hope that some point in the near future they meet.
Artist Inspiration of the week.
Towards Kairaouine Mosque, Fès- Study I 2016
Oil on Panel 13½ x 14 inches.