Good morning everyone. This is a new style of portrait for me! Actually, I don’t think I have ever produced such a decent attempt and all because I’m following a course on online. You see, I never went to art school or had any formal training in the basics. So, I’m lapping it up! Anyway, this is my first try at putting the principles I’ve learned into action. And there’s another one on the easel half finished, so wish me luck!
By the way, I’m busy at the moment setting up a little shop. So, watch this space!
Good morning everyone. Well, we are right in the middle of our exhibition/artfair at Choppards Mission. The beautiful stone building we are in is now a church. And it’s our venue for a fringe event for Holmfirth Artweek. So, we are open until Saturday, there’s still time to go and have a look.
If I say so myself, our display of work is very pleasing! And, if you look at the poster closely, you will see my gouache painting of an old barn.
Sorry about the reflections on this one, the sun was streaming through the window! Anyway, I am really pleased with the display space I have got. Perhaps you can see the white plastic ‘bargain box ‘ ? I sold two drawings from this box, this is one here.
In fact, I had very pleasant chat with the lady who bought this. And she and her husband knew this beautiful spot in the Yorkshire Dales very well! It’s a plein air watercolour sketch of the hills near Kilnsey Crag.
And this Canalside View is an old favourite of mine, but I was glad to see it go to a new home.
I also sold a few cards and two more paintings and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself being a part of our event at Choppards Mission.
Good morning everyone. We went away for a short break last week, but not very far away from home. Actually, we have been very busy lately and we really needed a holiday. So, it seemed easier to stay in Yorkshire and go and look at a few places fairly close by. Perhaps you know the feeling, places you never got quite round to seeing, but always wanted to visit. Anyway, we packed three such places into our break and they didn’t disappoint! So we stayed in Bingley and spent a day at Shibden Hall. It was the home of Anne Lister, also known as Gentleman Jack of the TV series.
In fact, this is the hall/dining room where Anne Lister used to conduct all her business in this beautiful house. The TV programme was filmed for the most part in the house, with the story beginning in 1832. As you can see, Shibden Hall retains a lot of its original features.
After a good look around this small, stately home, we wandered around the grounds.
Of course, I couldn’t resist painting and I finished this in about 40 minutes.
To be honest, we had a lovely three days rest and also saw Cartwright Art Gallery, Bradford. And the famous 5 rise locks at Bingley. But, that’s another story! Meanwhile, when I got home, I created another sort of scene at our Art Society meeting using collage and gouache paint. There’s never a dull moment here!
Hi everyone. I know it’s been a longish time since I posted. But I’ve got two good excuses – I’ve been very busy with arty stuff. And there are still problems with my website. Anyway, this image shows some of my paintings in the new show that we have installed at the lovely Generations Cafe Bar. And it’s for the arts week. Happily, I was invited to take part in the Arts Week in Penistone, a little town near where I live. And we have created a High Street Gallery, so you can see our art in shops, windows and cafes etc.
As you can see, there’s lots going on. And I was so pleased to be allocated a busy, welcoming cafe right in the middle of the art walk for my new show.
Actually, this one is all about the wool industry here in Yorkshire, UK. And I was so pleased to have the opportunity to show this painting again for the arts week.
Finally, you might remember this one from recently, when I had it displayed in the fab Urban Commune Gallery in Wakefield. That’s all for now and I’ll show you even more soon!
Good morning everyone. I’ve been very busy with arty stuff this week, so I turned to small scale art works. Just to stop me from going completely potty and suffering too much art deprivation! However , I took a great deal of pleasure in completing this in three very short stages. Actually, I think it succeeds because of the days in between the bursts of painting which I spend looking and assessing. And I created it using biro, watercolour, oil pastel, ink and oil pastel on this small sketchbook page.
Here are two of the small scale art works I did at our art society meeting this week. When we concentrated on simple, quick drawings of objects and the surroundings of the church hall. In fact, I thought it was useful to spend some time drawing without looking at a photo or a screen. To be honest, lots of artists don’t draw on the spot. So this was good practice on conveying the illusion of 3D objects on flat paper. And a good time was had by all, creating small scale art works!
Good morning everyone. Well, I’m back for now! This is my new show. But I’m still struggling with my website. Incidentally, if you’re wondering who madpainter is, it’s me!
Anyway, I’ve been very busy in the meantime and this image shows my new show at The Urban Commune. I love the place, and I was thrilled for the opportunity to show my paintings on canvas in this gallery.
In fact, it didn’t take us too long to install this, we’re getting better at it now!
To be honest, I’ve been very busy recently with my arty stuff. But when opportunities come up, I can’t say no! For example, this morning we went to suss out a lovely cafe to display my work in. I can’t wait to set it up! More of that later.
Finally, if I were to chose a favourite painting in my new show, it would be this one . The Silk Princess. To be honest, I really would like to refer you to another post which tells the backstory of this acrylic painting. However, I can’t do that at the moment. Here’s hoping that things will only get better!
Good morning everyone. Well, the title says it all – a week of arty stuff! For example, today I went to two galleries in Wakefield where some of my work is on display. And I was particularly pleased to see this one – Mary River, Queensland, on show with two other Australian landscapes. Actually, we took them down from a pop-up exhibition at another gallery. And now they are on show in our Northern Fringe Gallery artists display space in the Ridings Shopping Centre.
Then we went to the lovely volunteer led Urban Commune Gallery in another part of town, to help out a bit and show support. Actually, I have two mini displays on show at the moment , see this post here. And it’s a real pleasure to be part of a group of artists, dedicated to the promotion of art in the community.
Finally, I’ll just say that tomorrow I’ll be going to the launch of the Rotherham Roar exhibition in the indoor market. And I’m really looking forward to meeting my fellow artists and chatting to interested members of the public. More arty stuff. After all, that’s what it is all about!
Good morning everyone. I’ve finished another of my small countryside scenes at last! Actually, I left this one lying around quite a while, it didn’t seem quite right. Thanks to Regina Shrively for the lovely reference photo, on this site here . In fact, I accentuated the red colour of the barn and put more sunshine into the weather. Just because I wanted to (artistic licence!). And I think it makes a very pleasing and colourful composition. Anyway, the most difficult bit was the sky, I still find this tricky with gouache. But, it’s fun to practise.
Next I’ll show you the latest of my countryside scenes, one from my Australian photo gallery, thanks to Rod Moore. To be honest, I really enjoy doing these dry landscape scenes. Although, this one looks pretty green and luscious. Actually, I’ve never been to Australia, so I feel a little unselfconfident. However, one or two visitors to my shows have said my paintings remind them of visits to that country. So, I can’t be too far off the mark. Anyway, I enjoyed painting the variations of colour of the bark on the tree. Also, the patches of sunlight on the path, but they are more realistic in real life than in this image.
Please have a look in my gallery if you like this. All my work is for sale at reasonable prices. For example, I’m letting The Red Barn go for £30 plus shipping , it’s 11 by 7 1/2 inches, on paper, unframed and without a mount.
Good morning everyone. This is my new silver birch painting in gouache. Well, I thought it was about time I created my version of the silver birch woodland scene. Of course, I wanted to make mine a little bit different from the many excellent dark, atmospheric paintings I have seen. So I went for a feeling of slender tree trunks, shimmering in the hazy light. And, the colour of the grass is sharp and bright, just like it is after a shower. As for the sky, I exaggerated the mauve tones, to please myself actually! But, it really makes me want to step into the picture and see what is round the bend in the path!
By the way, I am starting to feel a little bit more confident with gouache paint now, at long last! In fact, I do like painting with it very much. And, I am getting used to the way it moves around on the page and how the colours settle after a while. But, it can still surprise me when one colour can ‘merge’ into another over night! And that’s what happened to these silver birches with the white highlighting. As regards the shift in colour as they dry, I suppose it is becoming a little more instinctive. And, I must have gone through this when learning how to handle acrylic paint. However, I probably forgot about the learning stage as soon as I was through it. But, I must say I am now trying a different type of paper, a more smooth finish. And I’ll show you the first painting when I’ve finished it.
Finally, you must have noticed how much I love painting trees, see this post here . So here are one or two examples. Firstly in watercolour and pen and then in oil pastel and watercolour.
Good morning everyone. How do you like my brand new bright watercolours? Actually, that’s my little joke, because they aren’t brand new at all! Well, I was getting so fed up with the pale colours on my plein air quick sketches, see here.
So I looked a few things up on the internet, and found out that my paints should be ok. Because they are reasonable UK brands. Also, the paper is decent quality, but I’m working on finding something a bit better. Then I tried to remember not to muddy the colours too much. Eventually, I even started using gouache colours for their brightness, but I really prefer watercolours for on the spot sketching. Anyway, I decided to try something I read in a few posts and articles. And that is really wetting the pans of colour with lots of drops of water ( from a water brush). Then I waited ten minutes and painted two examples, this one being an imaginary landscape.
New Improved Bright Watercolours
By the way, my Australian tutor Rod Moore encourages us to paint from imagination to help develop composition skills. But I’ll talk about that in another post. Next, I just had to do a little abstract doodle to test the colours again!
As you can see, these are very bright watercolours. But, just a word of caution, let the paints absorb all the water before taking the box out on a sketch trip. If not, it will leak all over your bag! Perhaps you knew all this already, however it’s new to me. And, I’m very glad I read this advice on line.
Finally, I gave this new system a proper road test this weekend when I went to the allotment. After working hard all day watering, picking and tidying, I just had to do a quick 30 minute sketch. Can you see the pumpkins and the scarlet flowers on the runner bean plants? Happy painting!
Good morning everyone. Yesterday I went to see my acrylic painting at Fronteer Gallery, Sheffield and I was very pleased with it. Such a good exhibition of a variety of excellent painters, showing how to paint the sea.
In fact, there were oil, acrylic and watercolour paintings, resin, textiles, ceramics and photos. And what a thrill to be exhibited with them. And a nice opportunity to paint the sea.
Finally, here’s another of my seascapes, I’m taking it to be framed this afternoon. Then it’s all ready for my solo show next month. But more of that later! Meanwhile, here is another seascape to look at.
Hello everyone. At last I can write a new post! After a few tension filled days when I couldn’t get into my website! But my host provider did a great job and banished all the glitches promptly. Thank goodness. And here is my new Australian landscape in gouache. In fact, there is a story behind this painting. Perhaps you remember that I follow a great course online by Rod Moore here . And we have just been on a virtual trip into the Outback with him. Well, virtual for us and very real for Rod. Along the way we watched the travel videos and sketched and painted the spectacular views. Actually it was very enjoyable and quite inspiring. Of course, I don’t know much about this type of landscape, as I’ve never been to Australia. However, I feel I know it a bit better now. And I really enjoyed the challenge of portraying the dry soil and the faded vegetation in my new Australian landscape. Because of course it’s winter there at the moment. Well, that’s all for now and I’ll show you my next gouache of Australia as soon as it is finished.
Meanwhile, here is my favourite of all the landscapes of Australia that I’ve painted on this course.
Good morning everyone. As you may know, I love painting castles and old ruins. So, when I saw an article in a painting magazine about how to paint a castle in poster style, I had to have a go!
Actually, the instructions in this article by Andy Walker in the Leisure Painter magazine were very clear and helpful. First, we had to restrict ourselves to a very limited palette of colours – blue, yellow ochre, deep red and white. Of course, these suited the subject very well. In particular the dull greens of late summer vegetation and the weathered stone of the castle. Next we had to simplify the composition and the shadow areas. And, finally, restrict added detail to a minimum, the most difficult part for me! But, I must admit, I’m really pleased with the painting. It’s a strong, appealing image and people really seem to like it. And, there’s a lesson in there somewhere for me – don’t complicate or over elaborate! Therefore, I had to paint another castle. However, as you might have noticed, this next one is in my own painterly style.
The Next Step in my How to Paint a Castle Mini Course
In fact, for this gouache painting, I remembered the tuition about restricted palette and simplifying the composition. But when it came to painterly details, I followed my instinct and added as many as I wanted! For me that’s really a lot of the pleasure of painting.
Well, the next step in my project on how to paint a castle is an attempt to put these new principles into my painting. But also to retain some of my own approach and style. So I’ll show you this unfinished gouache, and I’ve not yet decided how to complete this. What do you think, how much more should I add?
And, while you are thinking that over, have a look at this happy, sunshiny watercolour painting of a castle here.
Good morning everyone. We have just arrived home from a holiday in the Dales. That’s the Yorkshire Dales, UK, a peaceful, fairly unspoilt rural area about an hour and a half from my home. Anyway, we drove up to Kilnsey Crag, and sat on a bench overlooking the trout fishing ponds. And I attempted to capture a bit of the ridge rising up to the skyline. Actually, the most impressive part, the sheer drop of the crag is a bit more difficult to get to. So, that’s for another time!
Actually, this watercolour sketch is not quite finished, but I’ll show it anyhow. Well, we spent the afternoon in Grassington, a town which is always very full of tourists. However, we found a peaceful spot to sit for a while. And I painted away, lost in my thoughts, until the rain made us move away.
Finally, we spent a lovely day in Clitheroe on this holiday in the dales. And I couldn’t resist painting the imposing ruin of the castle keep. Amazingly, I wasn’t alone – there was a local art group there to keep me company! Perhaps you think that I make a habit of going on holiday in order to paint castles! And, you may be right – see this post here. By the way, these are plein air watercolour sketches, completed on site in roughly 40 minutes.
Good morning everyone. I really enjoyed painting this landscape in gouache, Another Fine Day. And it was one more step in my journey in mastering this medium. Perhaps if I painted solid for a few weeks I could get more confidence in using gouache. But, because I adore using all sorts of media and paint all kinds of subjects, my progress will be slow. Actually, what do you think – is this a disadvantage or instead, is this a gift? Anyway, I posted this on our MeWe group and then started another one!
Good morning everyone. This is a cheeky little bird I painted from a good tutorial by Shari Blaukopf in the Karen Abend ‘Sketchbook Revival ‘ series. And it was great fun, so that makes two birds in one week! (More of that later). Anyway, the reference photo and the tuition were excellent, and I learnt how to make the feathers look more realistic. Hopefully the bird then doesn’t seem too ‘solid’, a pitfall I have fallen into sometimes. In the case of this watercolour sketch, things were a bit more tricky because of the windy weather. Perhaps you can see that the wing and breast feathers are ruffled up into a fluffy ball by the breeze. In fact, the bit I am most proud of is the effect of the reflections of the legs. Unfortunately, I know nothing about the bird itself, how about you?
Two Birds in One Week
Well, I did say two birds, so this is the other one! Actually, there were plenty of birds to spot on our quiet walk around the Dearne Valley Country Park . But this one very obligingly stood still for me to do a quick pencil sketch, as we sat in front of the small lake. By the way, we did go to see the bluebell display in the ancient woodland. And, Nature didn’t disappoint – I really love this time of year. ( You could see more of my bird sketches in this post here . )
Good morning, everyone. As I promised, here is my report on our exhibition at Castleford. Actually, we put this show on at Mirfield Creative Arts Hub last November and December, see this post here. But, several of the group, me included, added new work. So, it’s not quite the same show. Here is my new acrylic canvas that I just completed in time to hang up!
This is a view through the ruined church of the abbey, a fabulous English Heritage site in Whitby on the Yorkshire coast. And the literary link is Caedmon, a monk who lived there in the 7th century. When he experienced a vision of heaven there in a dream, he composed a hymn praising God as the creator of heaven and earth. Because this appears to be the first poem in Old English, Caedmon is remembered in history. Actually, the bit I like best in this short poem is the reference to heaven being the roof for Mankind.
As I mentioned in my first post, my other paintings were based on works by Ted Hughes and Emily Bronte, Joann Fletcher, Simon Armitage and Ebenezer Elliott. After all, the exhibition was called ‘Yorkshire Makers Inspired by Yorkshire Writers!
Exhibition at Castleford, in the Queen’s Mill
Anyway, the highlights of this show were: firstly the fact that it was opened by Yvette Cooper, local member of parliament and shadow home secretary.
And, secondly the fabulous location in the restored 19th century flour mill on the edge of the River Aire. Incidentally, there was a mill on this site over nine hundred years ago. And, possibly back to Roman times!
Well, we spent quite a few hours in the gallery on the second floor. And the view over the river was spectacular. As the river was very high after some heavy rains.
Good morning everyone. I really enjoyed painting this gouache portrait of old kitchen scales at art group last week. One of our members brought in loads of fascinating old objects to inspire us to do a still life. And I decided to paint quickly, like I do when I’m out urban sketching. First I did a very quick pencil sketch to set the general shape. Then I drew with the brush, something I love to do. Also, I tried to show the grime and wear and tear on this well used weight scale. Which wasn’t all that easy , actually! And it felt good to paint from life – photos obviously have their place in my art practice. But, I feel that observing and recording an object sharpens up my drawing skills.
If I remember correctly, I painted this in the Victorian kitchen of our local stately home . Back in the day when sketching groups were encouraged to linger and draw ( about two years ago!) Anyway, I used pen and watercolour and chose this little group of utensils on the old shelf near the big, black range. By the way, one of the best days to visit is when they fire up the range and demonstrate baking for the big house.
Still life in my Kitchen
Finally, here’s a painting of a fish, caught at sea by a friend of a friend and being prepared for cooking. Acrylic on box canvas, I put it on my kitchen wall! And here’s another food still life you might like to see, this time fruit.
In fact, making this post reminded me that it’s high time I updated my Still Life and Flowers section in my gallery. Oh well, that will have to be something for another day- I’m far too busy painting today!
Good morning everyone. As promised, here is a review of our new exhibition at the market in Rotherham. By ‘our’ I mean ROAR – Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance, an artist’s group that I am a member of. And, we have displayed our art on a glass wall in the covered market building in the town centre.
As you can see, this space was a bit of a challenge to use, but I think we have done well. The windows were actually different dimensions and all landscape orientation. So I could not show two nice life drawings, because they were portrait. And, obviously, framed paintings were not possible. However I think the display is excellent, including prints and some originals. Here are the other three of my paintings on show.
Actually, our work is quite varied, comprising acrylic paintings, contemporary watercolour portraits, prints and mixed media collage.
Because of the pandemic, we have not been able to meet up so much. So it felt really good to be involved in a project together. And, also to show off our new exhibition at the market. Have a look at this post here when we went out sketching at the Steel Henge.
Good morning everyone. Well, there are only two more days to see my lockdown painting at the Open Art Exhibition by Fronteer Gallery in Sheffield, UK. But it looks really good up on the wall at Exchange Place Gallery – see this poster for details.
Honestly, I was thrilled to bits to be accepted for the Open, this is the first time I got in! And, I decided to enter a lockdown painting in acrylic that I did last summer. Actually, I just sat down to do an intuitive abstract and gradually this figure emerged. So I ran with it and developed a cafe setting around it, with the light emerging through the tall windows, revealing the stripped pine floor. She sits alone at a table for one, covered by a gorgeous pink and yellow embroidered cloth. And you can almost smell the dark brown coffee and taste the dainty chocolate cup cake. In fact, the yearning for cafe society that I suffered from last year probably inspired me to paint this picture!
However, this is what I see, and you can obviously see into it anything you like! Anyway, I’m so glad that the gallery gave my picture its few minutes in the limelight! Have a look at this post here for another intuitive abstract in a similar colour palette.