Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Venice At Night

Posted: April 11, 2011 in Art, Rants & Ramblings

Click on the images if you wish to view them at full size.


















Experimenting with Watercolours

Posted: March 2, 2011 in Art, Artists

A couple of weeks ago on BBC1, Shelia Hancock hosted a programme about watercolours.  It didn’t focus on how to paint using watercolours but on artists, especially Turner, who were famous for painting with watercolours.

It was a very enjoyable programme and sadly, a one-off, but it did remind me that some years ago I bought my wife a set of watercolours and she had never used them and I knew exactly where they were, which in this house is no mean feat.  The next day I got them out of the cupboard where they had been since they had been bought, dusted them off and had a go.

Being use to oils, it was a very different experience and my first 3 or 4 paintings were pretty poor.  A few days later I came across an illustration by Rene Gruau that he had done for the fashion house Dior.  I was very taken by the illustration and decided to try to paint it with the watercolours.

Now I know it’s not very artistic to ‘copy’ another piece of art but I wanted to focus on ‘how’ to paint with watercolours and not worry about ‘what’ I was painting.

I was very pleased with the end result and here it is.  Although I must say, since looking at it again, her shoulders are way to wide, poor girl. I must make them more petite if I try painting her again.

On Thursday evening I went down to Gunwharf to pick my daughter up from work at 7pm.  It was a lovely evening with few clouds.  Any clouds that were in the sky had an amazing red glow to their underside from the setting sun.

As we drove along the hard, I suddenly had an impulse to take a picture of HMS Warrior as we drove towards the Dockyard gates. As we neared the bend and slowed down, I took the picture using my iPhone.

Looking at it on the screen, I could see it was blurred but liked the look of it, so I didn’t delete it.  When I got home, I looked at it on my PC and actually quite liked it.  I like the way HMS Warrior is framed by the tree and the wall of the dockyard.

I also like the bench in the foreground and the steps behind.  To me, it looks like a great photo to use a the basis for an impressionist painting of the ship?

Paintings of Cornwall

Posted: August 9, 2010 in Art, Artists

In 1986 and 1987 I spent time in Cornwall and in one week I drove just over 2,000 miles, including the drive from Portsmouth and back, discovering the coast of Cornwall with my wife.

We would leave the hotel early in the morning and just drive off along the coast road and find incredibly beautiful bays which were completely deserted (in July!) and have them all to ourselves to enjoy.

Recently memories of that time have come back to me thanks to my friend Chris (@Artythings on Twitter) who introduced me to these two artists via his twitter page.

The first artist Chris led me to is Kurt Jackson, a British artist who is about 49 years old.  If you go to this page and then click on the image it brings up a slide show. Its amazing.

The second artist is Simon Andrew and again, these pictures are of Cornwall and they too are amazing

Opinions Sometimes Surprise.

Posted: August 4, 2010 in Art

My oldest daughter was in my study the other day using my computer.  Amongst all my other stuff in there are the various canvases that I am working on, all at various stages of drying/completion.

One canvas is  two faces, cut in half.  Sounds odd but you can see it below.  This picture is now in its 4th or 5th reincarnation and whilst having yet another go at it last Saturday evening I almost threw down my brushes in frustration at how poorly I felt it was progressing.  Anyway, that was Saturday evening.

So, on Sunday morning, there is my daughter on my computer and on the windowsill is the painting from last night drying.

As I walked in, without even looking up, she said ‘I like you painting, looks a bit like the Donnie Darko Cover’ and that was it.  That was the nicest thing anyone could have said to me that day ‘I like your painting’.

A Dry Run.

Posted: August 4, 2010 in Art

I started this painting as a dry run for a much larger canvas I intend to do for a friend.  This canvas is 12″ x 18″.  The large one I am hoping will be about 6 – 8 feet.

I don’t like copying other artists work, but this is a copy of a picture by the American artist Harry Ally.  I did it to try and get a feel for his style and the canvas I will do for my friend will be an orignal piece and not a copy, so like I said, this was just a dry run for the real thing.

The funny thing I find about oil painting, and I am sure the same can be true with water colours and acrylics, is that paintings seem to go through stages where you like them, and dislike them, they feel right, they feel wrong, they look right and they look wrong.  It can all be very frustrating but maybe, like playing golf, that is part of the challenge and dare I say it, the enjoyment in a perverse way?

Obviously I don’t know what you think of it.  I am fairly happy with it.  I could spend more time on it, but couldn’t you do that with every painting.  Sometimes you just have to decide its finished.

Any critics out there? I am happy to hear your views.  Good or bad.

Dirty Lens

Posted: July 21, 2010 in Art

I was just going through a file of pictures on my laptop and came across some I took last summer whilst sat on the beach.  They were taken with my phone (Blackberry Pearl) and the lens was dirty.

I think they actually look better because of the lens being dirty as it gives that hazy, summery, impressionist look to them.  They look better if you click on the photo to enlarge them.

Must try and paint them.