I wanted to show you one of my lockdown art journal pieces , now that it is finished. I had seen a few great ideas online using masking tape to divide up paper or canvas into sections. Then you paint an abstract composition, remove the tape carefully and admire ! Well , I couldn’t find the tape , so , rather than waste time looking, I quickly ‘ drew ‘ some strips with pencil and ruler .Then came the fun part . I treated each shape as an independent unit and just painted instinctively. I will admit to having used a limited palette of colours , but no other planning took place . On this mixed media abstract , I used all sorts – watercolour , acrylic , collage , pen , pencil , oil pastel .
Mixed Media with Collage
I really enjoyed using all kinds of media on this piece mixed media abstract – first pen , then lots of watercolour . It might be a bit difficult to see in the image ‘ Fragments ‘, but at this stage , I glued on some cutouts of collage samples I made using leftover acrylic paints ( like the one above ) . After that , I couldn’t resist using coloured markers and oil pastels ( and a bit more acrylic in the strips ) .
Fragments of Landscape
What did I think about during the process ? Well, stained glass , glimpses of landscape through a window and colour experiments . But , to be honest, it took on a life of it’s own and I just painted intuitively . It’s quite small , about 8 inches square and I think it’s time I tried this on a much bigger scale . I wonder , do you ever experiment with mixed media work ?
Actually , I did a few mixed media pieces in my isolation art journal – you can see them on my Instagram account – @margarethallfineart or click on the button right at the very bottom of this post.
This is an intuitive abstract painting from a few weeks ago on a 2 foot square canvas which is the largest size I have ever painted. It took me a while to learn how to adapt the size and shape of the design to the square format , after the initial free expressive part of the painting . Of course , some semi-abstracted shapes crept in , but that was ok because it fitted in well with the story I was developing over three canvases . These formed a triptych which I entered in a commission to produce artwork for a chapel gallery in a local stately home . Unfortunately , I wasn’t successful but I felt it was a very useful exercise and I learned a lot about describing and presenting my work whilst doing the submission .
However , now this work can now go public and here it is in a virtual exhibition called ‘ On a Washing Line ‘ presented by a group of local artists that I belong to. We were due to exhibit our recent work in the real world but this is the next best thing and a lot of fun too !
To let you into a bit of a secret , the piece was called ‘Hell on Earth ‘ the second of three paintings on canvas – a story about the difficulties the world seems to be going through just now. A dramatic piece to catch the eye and make a bold statement in a large space. But , don’t worry , the ending is hopeful and I will tell the tale in a while over a couple more posts .
Colourful Flower Painting in Watercolour and Collage
I was quite pleased with this mixed media piece that I did in my art journal – I used pen ,watercolour , oil pastel, pencil and collage. It was inspired by the beauty of the Spring flowers and colours I could see all around me . I also tried to pay attention to the shape of the design too – a first for me .It cheers me up when I look at it . I hope you like it too !
This acrylic painting , along with the other two I will show you, were chosen to be on display in a ‘Spring Time in Yorkshire ‘ exhibition at Skelmanthorpe Gallery featuring local artists ,in the month of April . But , of course , the exhibition was cancelled due to social isolation . This painting shows a sweet view of my allotment, complete with gardener and a row of daffodils , my favourite spring flowers .
I’ve just started working in the veg garden (a little bit late I know ) and today I sowed rocket and radish seeds and picked a stir fry of little shoots and things for dinner.
This painting – Bluebell Wood – was proving to be quite popular with my art friends and supporters and would have been for sale . But, they didn’t get to see it , nicely framed and in a gallery setting.
It’s bluebell time at the moment here in Yorkshire, UK , making all the little pieces of woodland around us shimmer with that heavenly blue, perfect for a vibrant , colourful painting .
Snowdrops in the Big Rockery is one of my favourite paintings .We often go walking in the grounds and park of a local stately home and this shows the very end of winter and the beginning of spring last year. If you look carefully, you can see small clumps of snowdrop flowers, shining in the low light of late afternoon.
I was really looking forward to seeing all the original artwork from my fellow artists for this exhibition . Alas , it didn’t happen , but , maybe next year ! I hope that you enjoyed my exhibition review .
At last ! I managed to do a watercolour sketch outside from life (well , from the car window). And the house really was painted green ! I didn’t realise how much I would miss painting from life and going on Urban Sketchers Yorkshire days out . This took 20 minutes for the watercolour sketch and a little finish off at home with a fineliner . I like my plein air sketches to keep that freshness and I tend not to do too much ‘ editing ‘ afterwards .
This is a great idea – Virtual Sketch on Facebook. You can do this in real time ( or afterwards) and go on a virtual trip to various locations in Greenland , pause the sequence and sketch . This is quick watercolour sketch of Sisimut harbour. I enjoyed sketching it ( 30 minutes ) and, for a moment or two I felt like I was really there ! If you check this out , there are lots of interesting places around the world to choose from .
Urban Sketching in a Brewery
You might remember that this was the last Urban Sketchers trip I went on , to a brewery in Saltaire. I was really into my stride with this one back in February. I feel quite out of practice now. You might like to have a look at this post from February all about the Saltaire trip and my pen and wash sketch . http://margarethallfineart.com/urban-sketching-watercolour-abstract/
I did this pen drawing through the art gallery window, looking down at the lovely church and churchyard right in the middle of town . I drew this straight in with a marker pen which gives it a fresh and lively look but doesn’t leave much room for error .
Sketching in Pen on a Collage Background
And , to finish off with , a pen and ink sketch done last year while drinking a cup of coffee in a shopping centre cafe . Urban sketching at its best . were the days ! Something for us all to look forward to in these days of Social Distancing . Meanwhile , take care .
p.s – here is one I did this morning as part of a lovely walk around the park. 20 minutes. I think I might use it as a basis for an acrylic painting, concentrating on the different layers of greens , yellows and browns. There’s no time to be bored when you’re an artist !