Saturday, 29 September 2012

Time to add some imagery!

Hi everyone,

What a busy week since my last post. Today is the first opportunity I have to sit and record my thoughts on the next layers. 

As you know, I was adding black and white to my canvas last week. This week, on Tuesday, it was all about introducing warm colours and starting to sketch what imagery I was drawn too. I am in the process of 'sketching' in my journal and drawing straight on to the canvas (as seen in the detailed action shot below).  The lesson is just about outlining my inspiration and not to see it as a final outcome or positioning on the canvas. The inspiration for my canvases comes from a love of natural forms, especially trees and insects as you can see here. We are asked to keep an open mind and have fun as the canvases evolve.

Canvas 1:
In action!

Warm colour layer

Can you see the woods from the trees?

Canvas 2:
Warm colour layer

Can you see an awkward teenager? Or is it Yoda in disguise?

   Adding dragonflies and flowers

I have been buzzing with inspirational ideas, researching my nature books and eagerly awaiting the opportunity to put paint on my canvases. This week has been invigorating, and I think I have now passed the awkward teenager period we were told to look out for that I had with the tonal exercises last week.

Canvas 3, which will be blogged at its completion, is coming along well and has a totally different character to his brothers. Here is a sneaky peek!

I can really see the journey I have taken so far on all the artworks, and how they are progressing in their own, natural way.

I hope, this weekend, to catch up with my fellow bloggers and the class forum.

We are lucky to have some warm sunshine today. Enjoy your weekend everyone, Andy

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Adding tonal and contrast...

Hi Everyone, 

I had a wonderful and non-stop weekend with my family... so, as you can imagine, I was unable to paint as many layers as I hoped. Last week's lesson was to playfully add black and white to the canvases, in order to add tonal contrast, and make the strokes and mark-making 'pop' from the canvas. Of choice, I wouldn't normally add these colours to a painting and I really had to trust myself not to over-think it too much. I have to switch off the critical button that I use everyday as an art teacher. My gut (Yoda) had lots to say but I am looking forward to this week's lesson to bring back colour to the canvases. 

For the moment, here are the canvases and their playful black and white strokes:    

Canvas 1

Canvas 2


Thank you to everyone who is enjoying the journey as much as I am. It is amazing to look at the contrast from week 1 to week 2. I have now started a third canvas. I am recording all the layers as I proceed so that when it gets nearer a finished piece, I will do a post of the whole process in one blog post. This idea came from one of Flora's interviews and it has inspired me to give it a go too. It has had a big, visual impact on me!! Fingers crossed.

I hope everyone has a great week. 

Keep you posted. 


Saturday, 22 September 2012

Continuing my journey...

Hi everyone, 

Here is my third layer, this time using warm colours. I'm painting with fingers, a bristle brush, foam brushes, paint lids and bottle tops! I am really enjoying listening to my intuition and letting it speak to me!! I imagine my inner voice to be a little bit like Yoda, (my favourite character) only a little more messy.

Canvas 1:-

Here is a more detailed close up!
Canvas 2:

At last I feel I have caught up and want to keep up the momentum. I am going to attempt a third canvas at the weekend so I can rotate them whilst I am painting. 

I hope you are enjoying these layers and reading my blog posts? There is enormous pleasure in painting on such a large scale. Keep you posted.


Thursday, 20 September 2012

Cool Colours!

Hello everyone,

Time to add the second layer using cool tonal colours, blues and greens, to the canvases for Bloom True : the e-course. We have to try and create a layer of different textures any way we can. 

I love using lots of different tools, it makes such a change from just a paintbrush! 

Painting these canvases is becoming a release after a day at work, which at the moment is quite intense. It feels good not to have a finished outcome in mind for them as its all part of the adventure.

Canvas 1 : 

Canvas 2 :

I love the texture in this canvas, it almost looks like water

I am enjoying it so much, I am going to start a third canvas now so that I can keep up the momentum, as well as add a third layer to my already existing paintings. I will try and post my progress soon. 

And finally, I have thought a lot about which Inspirational quote to use for Alisa Burke's course. Below is my last hommage to Ode to nature. It is a quote by Terry Pratchett from Hogfather.

This course brought so much enjoyment and more...


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Lets' paint!

Hi everyone

Sorry I have not posted in a while, it has been a busy start to the term. So wish I had more time to blog and commit to my own artwork instead of the day job... Maybe one day!

I enjoyed Alisa Burke's 'Ode to nature' class very much. I have met so many wonderful artists and appreciate their input and comments on my work. I never expected to be welcomed into the class community as I have been. I feel I have made some new friends. 

As the class was ending, to my surprise, I was given an early birthday present (November, in case you are wondering!). I have been enrolled on Flora Bowley's  Bloom True : the e-course. I have always wanted to get back into large canvases and abstract painting. While I was at University was probably the last time I had the opportunity. This course is the perfect start on another journey.

Week One is all about using your intuition and getting over blank canvas nerves.

When I started painting, I was listening to Florence and the Machine. The technique I used was layering the colours and then a spray bottle to diffuse it. I really enjoyed the freedom of this layer and not knowing how the layers were going to intertwine.

Canvas One

This is a detailed version.

Canvas two was all about finger painting and moving to the motion of the background music whilst blindfolded. We were requested to use warm colours reds, oranges, yellows. I was listening to Mr Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra.

In the process...

This is the final outcome.

This was a very tactile experience and one I hadn't really thought of before; doing it blindfolded. It helped me to have the freedom to mark make and use my other senses.

I am really excited to see the beginnings of these paintings and eager to get a second layer on them using cool colours, and finding an inspirational quote for my next blog post!!

Can't wait to meet other students on the course and see what inspirational work they have achieved. Shall we catch up over an internet cup of coffee?


Saturday, 8 September 2012

Shape, Texture and Colour

How did that happen? It is over a week since I last posted about Ode to Nature and during that time the course has ended. Being back at school has been all consuming. Lesson plans, timetables, a new Head of School bringing fresh ideas and changes this year.

I did find time after school to manage some sketching and drawing. I have been drawn to my small collection of Dogfish egg cases that are commonly known as Mermaids Purses. 

I used a Berol fine-liner pen and water to create a smokey effect here.

It has been all about shape, texture and colour.

One of my favourite group of cases was originally laid by one fish, and within that group is a myriad of different tones which I have tried to capture in the guache painting above. I used a Sharpie pen for the lines. 

The dogfish, attaches her eggs to an object on the ocean floor so that they won't wash away, and here she used the seaweed as an anchor. I am fortunate that the seaweed I have drawn is still attached to my Mermaids Purses.

I also have a large collection of sharks teeth amongst other things and I have now started to draw them. 

Although the course has now ended, I will still be placing some of my sketches on the Group Flickr page. I have enjoyed the whole process of creating a sketch book and a field journal and sharing my work with like-minded people.