Good morning everyone. Abstraction in acrylic landscape painting – I’ve finally achieved it! Actually, I was so pleased when I came away from a workshop on Saturday with this semi-abstract landscape. To be honest, this is the furthest I’ve ever gone down the abstraction road when painting a countryside scene. In fact, our tutor encouraged us to experiment with mark making, including using a palette knife. And I think that was what helped me to stop paying too much attention to detail and accuracy.
The theme was clouds, weather and atmosphere. And, there certainly looks to be plenty of weather in those clouds! Anyway, another new method for me was to paint on a thin layer of gesso first before painting. So that way there was an opportunity to add some texture as well as a lovely surface to paint on. Of course, now I’m very keen to practise this. However, I’m busy for the next few days getting stuff ready for Artwalk Wakefield – this year I’m taking part myself! So, I’ll have to be patient, and wait a little while before I experiment with more abstraction in acrylic landscape painting.
Good morning everyone. This is what’s on my easel at the moment and I must stress, it’s not finished! But, I spent a very pleasant hour getting it to this stage and it started me thinking about the different kinds of abstract I like to paint. For example, this type I would call instinctive or intuitive because I had no plan . However, I do think that some deep feelings do surface as I am painting in this way. Of course, no one may notice apart from myself. Hopefully, it will also be a fairly pleasing arrangement of shapes and colours, whether it has a deeper meaning or not .
This is a close up of different ways of applying paint, such as palette knife, dripping and scratching out. I think it just adds interest ( I love doing it too!)
And in this one, I used thin wash, stippling and spattering.
Now this was done in a totally different way – in this class we were shown how to study a real 3d ceramic object. Then take inspiration from its shape, texture and so on and I actually did find this a fascinating way to work. So, there we have at least two different kinds of abstract, but I am sure there must be more. If you paint abstracts, which method do you like to use in your creative practice?
Good morning everyone. I went to a collaborative painting workshop at The Urban Commune Gallery here on Thursday. And we created this colourful abstract together. Actually, it was on the walk route of Artwalk Wakefield so we had plenty of visitors. Perhaps you can’t tell from the photo, but this is not the finished version. Because I had to leave before the end, I haven’t seen it yet.However, I think you’ll get the idea. Firstly, our tutor Gavin had painted a neutral background on this large piece of paper, to kill the white. Then we scribbled out marks and shapes to warm up. After that we started adding stuff, each using one colour at a time, to give some cohesion. Also, we continually switched places around the paper to prevent anyone from getting too cosy!
Then we had to step back and consider the painting as a whole. Unfortunately, that’s just when I had to leave so I didn’t see the colourful abstract completed! But it was a great workshop, thanks to Gavin. And, if you’re ever in the area, it’s a brilliant gallery and artists cooperative to visit.
Maybe you have seen this photo before, if you read my blog. And it is one of my displays in the gallery, see this post here. Anyway, this is an example of my semi-abstract and abstract style. But, it’s only one of the styles I paint in. Because, as you may know, I like to change things up a bit, as I did in this abstract here.
Good morning everyone. This is just a quick catchup post of my art therapy paintings this week. Well. that’s what my art sometimes feels like, when my life is busy and demanding. But, I’m really glad that I can turn to creating art to calm my nerves. Honestly, I wouldn’t be without it! Anyway, this painting is probably a portrait of all the different thoughts taking up space in my head. And, this time, instead of editing out some of the busyness and explosions of colour, I left everything in. Normally, I keep an eye on the design and overall shape of the composition. And prune back quite a lot to streamline it. So, here is the un- edited version and it means more to me now, but I might feel differently tomorrow.
And, just for a bit of fun, here is my Halloween painting, a bit late, I know. However, this is it, I tried hard to make it look scary. But me and my art buddies have decided to call it ‘Halloween Date Night’. (Not really one of my art therapy paintings, but, a great pleasure to paint)
Good morning everyone. I’d like to show you these two new paintings, finished at last! Firstly, this beautiful Mediterranean scene, based on a photo from Landscape Reference Photos for Artists, here , by Penny Wohler – Stone. And this was such a pleasure to paint! In addition, gouache paint seems made for a scene which cries out for delicious textures and vibrant colours. Of course, this painting also fits in with my theme of hot, dry landscape and Australian scenes. (See here ) In fact, it’s turning into a collection now! To be honest, I couldn’t really see the point of doing a series before. But this one seems to have grown itself! Now I’ll have to think about displaying it together somewhere. Anyway, I’ll just paint a few more first.
Secondly, a completely different intuitive abstract in watercolour, pencil and marker pens. Actually, I found this little painting when I was tidying up some sketchbooks. And, I remember trying out a tip about keeping watercolours moist – I think I proved here that it does work. Because, as you can see, the paint didn’t need much encouragement to wander across the paper nicely. So, I was pleased with it, and when it was dry, I stashed it away.
Anyway, I looked at it from all angles and embellished it with patterns and markings. Then I noticed something in it that suggested a face to face composition – I wonder if you can see it too?
So, there you have it – two new paintings, finished at last.
Good morning everyone. This is my latest addition to our Northern Fringe Gallery Industry exhibition which opened this week. As you may recall, we are at the Ridings shopping centre in Wakefield, UK. (See this post here ). To be honest, it was a low key opening at our own gallery. Because we are displaying the pictures as they are finished, on a sort of rolling programme. When we have received a decent amount of entries, we will look for a suitable gallery to exhibit.
The Winding Wheel – now in the Industry exhibition
This is my interpretation of an image of the machinery that powered the winding wheel at a local colliery, now closed. To be honest, I don’t know much about this. Except that the men went down the shaft to work in a lift operated by this machinery. And, I remember my dad telling me that they called the lift the cage! However, I felt inspired by the image itself. I perceived it as a powerful abstract image. And I painted the various bits of it as shapes, not really knowing what they were!
Finally, I will show you the last of my four paintings for our Industry exhibition – Spinning Jenny. Actually, I painted this for an art competition in an industrial town in the North of England a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, the gallery didn’t accept it, but it’s perfect for our theme. Just to explain, I have interpreted an invention called Spinning Jenny in a rather fanciful way. And the real Spinning Jenny was a frame operated by one person to run four wool spinning wheels at once. In effect, the beginning of the mechanisation of the spinning industry. But, I reimagined the machine as a strong, capable working woman, still spinning over the North Pennines where it was invented.
As you might have noticed if you read my blog, I do love painting a story picture! Please look me up again to see what else I might come up with on this interesting theme.
Good morning everyone. Just as it says in the title, a very quick catchup post. In fact, I’ve not really had much time to paint lately. So these two pieces are quite literally small works done in snatches of time. To be honest, I started this gouache in five minutes before starting on breakfast! Well, you get the picture. Anyway, quite unusually for me, this was straight out of my imagination. And, I don’t really feel like it’s finished, but to add any extra elements now would look too artificial. So I’ll consider it as a study, a practice in using gouache paint.
Now, as you can see, this one in my quick catchup post is completely different. Of course, it’s a doodle, but also a picture of my state of mind at the time. What do you reckon, anger, anxiety, bewilderment ? All of the above. We are living in such strange and difficult times and I usually try to keep my worries under control. However, sometimes they break out and I suppose there’s less harm done if it’s contained within a painting. Actually, oil pastel is really good for this kind of art therapy. Because you can pound it into the paper and get rid of all those uncomfortable feelings. Honestly, I’ve no idea what it is or if it means anything. But,I definitely felt better after I’d done it! And there’s another post here with more art therapy exercises that you may not have seen before.
Hi everyone. This is a very short post indeed, all about a small abstract. To be honest, I’m so busy at the moment, gardening and arty business. Not to mention just running my life! Anyway, I just couldn’t stand missing my art fix another day. So I found my small drawing pad, watercolour kit and a few pencils, oil pastels etc. And then let a few colours run into each other. Next I added some small, precise marks and accents. And all this without a single conscious thought, a small abstract. Afterwards, I found out which way up I preferred it. Only then did I notice a head in profile and I had a strong idea come into my head! Namely, we need someone with a brain this big to get us out of the mess we are all in. Well, on that cheerful note, I’ll sign off and hope to write a longer, more optimistic post soon. (There is a more cheery abstract here !)
Good morning everyone. This is just a quick post today – as the title says, it’s been a busy week delivering paintings. Because not only am I catching up furiously in the veg garden. But also I delivered my paintings to two galleries, well, one gallery and a church! Actually, we went to Fronteer Gallery yesterday with the seascape for their exhibition ‘The Sea’. I can’t wait to see that one, Fronteer exhibitions are always interesting, I love a theme for a show.
We also went to St. John’s church at Hoylandswaine delivering paintings because the art group in the village invited me. In fact, I have belonged to this group a number of years. Admittedly, I couldn’t go to the meetings during the worst of the pandemic. But, fingers crossed, I am gradually going out more now and things are looking more normal, socially speaking.
To be honest, I am taking part in five exhibitions at the moment (I know!) So a lot of my work is already out on the road, so to speak. However, this abstract is a favourite of mine. And I’d like to see it in a lovely exhibition again, so the village festival show seems like a good thing to be involved in. Got to run, but if you want to see more of my abstract painting see here.
Good morning everyone. I’m showing you a catch up post about my series of quick little abstracts. Well, if I call them a series it makes it sound more serious! But it’s really because I’m so busy at the moment, and only seem to have time for small works. In retrospect, in this one I must have been greatly influenced by dark thoughts about the war in Ukraine. Perhaps it’s a cliche, but the red looks like blood to me, with something scary raining down on the city from above. Actually, I mentioned in my last post in this series that I only notice these things after the sketch is finished.
In fact, you may have seen this watercolour sketch before, as I included it in my post about our holiday in Scarbrough here. And I painted it after having paddled in the cold North Sea. Honestly, I found it fascinating to spot the different patterns created by the receding tide on the shore. So I had a lot of scope for decorative patterns in ink over the top of the background.
Finally I painted this one after a day’s work at the allotment garden, Where I immersed myself in greenery, vegetation etc. Obviously, I don’t have to tell all you gardeners out there about the rapid growth. And how all plants grow so quickly in the UK at this time of year. Admittedly, we have to work very hard weeding and cutting back, but it’s quite glorious really. If you want to see more of the greenery in my plot of land, look here. Just another one of my quick little abstracts for the series.
Good morning everyone. At last, I’m really pleased that I managed to do some catching up and finish this gouache painting. In fact, I started it off about four weeks ago at our art society meeting. And the subject was “food” so I chose to paint these pumpkin seedlings we were growing. Well, I called it future food, so it fitted in! Anyway, the way it almost looked like an abstract composition seen from above inspired me. Because of the circles, I suppose. But I didn’t let it take over, and I made sure I painted in quite a realistic style. Another goal I had in mind was to apply the paint more thickly and I did succeed to some extent. However, I will need more practice on this. If you want to check up on the progress of the plants, they are all now in the ground, flourishing and underneath some netting. It’s a rabbit problem, don’t ask! If you want to see a drawing of last year’s harvest, have a look at this post here .
Finally, more catching up,here’s one of my new style abstracts, using passages of colour to provide interest in the background. So, the first stage was done ages ago and was sitting on my dining room table, reproaching me. For, I couldn’t think of a suitable motif to be the top layer. Nonetheless, inspiration eventually came, and I quickly drew in a lifeless tree. See more live trees here .
Good morning everyone. When I have ten minutes or so spare, I will always do a quick sketch.( In between finishing off online tuition projects!). On this occasion I quickly sketched a doodle in watercolour, limiting myself to three colours. When it was dry, I doodled some more, adding some black calligraphic marks on top. Later on, I strengthened these marks with one of my new soft oil pastels. Of course, you may have realised that this was influenced by the Painting with Yvette course that I am following. Otherwise I never would have tried putting this kind of a motif on top of a background.
Now this idea is something else that I picked up from online tuition. But unfortunately I can’t remember the details, I look at so much lovely stuff online. Anyway, I did in fact take the idea and do my own version. And the method is to take images of motifs you have chosen to use as inspiration for an abstract composition. Then incorporate them into a design, without doing a realistic painting of them. For example, for this piece I sourced good photos of butterflies and flowers. Then I isolated the shapes and colours that pleased me and tried to make a harmonious pattern. Actually, it does fry your brain a bit in the process! But, I’m still keen to do more. See more intuitive abstracts in this post here
Good morning everyone. As you may know if you read my blog, I am at present working my way through an excellent online course by Yvette. And I am learning how to create pale abstracts, which are completely different in style to my usual paintings. In fact, in this module we are taking the approach of first creating a background of patterns in dark paint, then applying layer after layer of colours and shapes. Have a look at this image below first to see the process half way through. Then see how it ends up in the next image.
In fact, this was my first attempt and I relied quite heavily on the tutor’s version. But this next one I really consider to be my own. And I think it looks well presented in this virtual room. However, my paintings are small and the blown up images really demonstrate how effective large scale abstract paintings can be. See what you think.
Well, I’ve been very busy with these new pale abstracts – they do take some time to do for smallish paintings. Actually, I’m half way through the third one just now, but you’ll have to wait a bit longer to see that one! Meanwhile, here’s a link to a post showing some of my ‘old style’ abstract compositions.
Good morning everyone. I thought I would show you the progress I have been making in my abstracts. Actually, these examples are from a lesson I was following last week . And, Yvette’s course is excellent, so I am plodding my way steadily through all the modules.
To be honest, this is a copy of the tutor’s work. Because that was the only way I could really understand the techniques used. Consequently, I don’t consider the painting as one of my own. However, it was a good learning experience – I experimented with using a palette knife properly. In addition, this was the first time I applied gold paint with some confidence. But I then needed to produce my own compositions, using the style and colours suggested. As a result, first I painted the one in the virtual room you see above. And this is more close up so that you can hopefully see the textures.
After that, I just had to try out the method in another painting, this time introducing some soft green. And downplaying the gold. What do you think?
By the way, it’s quite tricky to photo the gold paint and make it shine. Often it appears to be brown. Maybe I’m using the wrong acrylic paint! Anyway, that’s my little catch up on my abstracts and there will be more to follow. If you missed this post here, an earlier report of my new learning, you may wish to have a look.
Good morning everyone. Today I’d like to show you the way my abstract painting is changing. The image above is one of my new abstracts, experiments I am creating as I follow a great online course. It’s calledPainting with Yvette. And, I’m really enjoying it. Because the colours and compositions are quite different from my own intuitive abstracts.
The picture above is one of the sections in my current solo exhibition at Rotherham Roar. Actually, I am pleased with the way they came together. And each one has a particular meaning to me which evolved as I painted it. In contrast to that way of creating, my new abstracts are of course suggested by the tutor. Nonetheless, the brush marks are full of significance to me the artist. Perhaps in a more subtle way than in my earlier paintings. For example, the painting at the top of this post, The Path of Life, developed out of the suggestions by Yvette on colours to choose and techniques to use. I’m very often out of my comfort zone but I do feel that I am moving on.
Another of my New Abstracts
Anyway, I’m learning new approaches and techniques on this course so that I can apply them in my own work. So, it’s all part of a learning curve and I love it!
What do you think, is this old or new? Find out more in this post here.
Good morning everyone. My new solo exhibition is now open, until the end of March at the Buzz Gallery, Rotherham Roar. What a pleasure it was to put it together and then to see it actually on the wall. Actually, I haven’t displayed works on paper unframed before. And I was surprised at the immediacy of the paintings without glass or frames. In my opinion they made much more of an impact. And I could see this in the strong emotional reactions of the visitors. Admittedly, we did it this way because the walls weren’t suitable for hanging. However, it was a bright, lively display which demanded attention. Exactly what I wanted!
The Three Sections of my New Solo Exhibition
As I was choosing acrylic paintings on paper , I realised that they fell roughly into three categories: British landscapes, Australian scenes and abstracts. So, that was how I displayed them. For example, in the general landscape section I placed this painting, a scene inspired by enjoyable holidays in the Lake District, UK.
Next, here I can show you the Australian group of paintings. And these are some of the results of an online course tutored by Rod Moore from Queensland. When two of my artbuddies said how much it reminded them of trips to Australia, I was delighted!
Finally, my favourite section – the abstracted and semi abstracted landscape. In fact, I kept changing my mind what to include here. But, I had to make room for this one, which certainly commanded a lot of attention!
Well, there certainly was a great deal of work in mounting my new solo exhibition, but I had a blast! And, to top it off, the minute the show was live, a very delighted customer took my ‘Bluebell Wood ‘ painting to a new home! If you want to have a look at the last solo exhibition I did before the pandemic, see this post here.
Good morning everyone. Today this is a short post because I’m insanely busy this week! Incidentally, have you ever noticed how everything happens at once?. Not only is my show opening this week, but I’m helping to put up our group exhibition at the weekend. And, I did squeeze in an oil pastel workshop at the weekend, which was brilliant. What a difference good quality materials make. In fact, it was quite a revelation to use artists quality pastels and paper on Saturday. Not to mention learning from our excellent tutor how to blend colours and create textures. So, I promptly ordered some pastel and oil pencils online and can’t wait until they arrive. Actually, the work we produced at the class will be on display for a short while, so more of that later. And there’s a cute little bird in oil pastel here , from a while ago.
Anyway, this is an enthusiastic little oil pastel sketch I did when I got home, to practise some of the techniques. Finally, here’s a taster of the work in my new exhibition, more of that in my next post.
Good morning everyone. Just a short post today, I’m very busy sorting out my new solo exhibition due to open next week. Actually, there always seems to be a lot more work to do than you plan for! Anyway I did manage to finish this muted abstract, the fourth in my series in the online course I’m following. To tell the truth, I did struggle with getting it right. But, at the same time I did seem to know a bit better where I was going!
Well, this is one of the earlier stages of the painting. Perhaps it’s not as easy for you to see these details on the screen, but I studied it long and hard. Then I toned down the little dots and dashes and brightened the white areas. Finally, I was satisfied and called it finished. Now I must learn how to use the wax medium I bought, in order to give it a protective coat. Because it’s painted in gouache and I learned the hard way that this is really necessary (don’t ask!). If you want to see the other paintings in the muted abstract series, look here and here.
Here’s a sneaky peek at my exhibition poster – more of this later!
Good morning everyone. As I promised, here is the next one of my abstract experiments in gouache. And, you wouldn’t believe how many different versions I painted until I arrived at this final one!
To begin at the beginning, our tutor asked us to sketch potential compositions using shapes. I chose rectangles and a spiral and I painted in some of the soft colours suggested. And this is how it went.
Well, this was ok but it didn’t look all that different from my usual type of abstract. Also, I thought it looked too busy. And so I decided to make more of the painting a restful creamy white.
Now, I thought this looked better, but it still wasn’t right. So I added some gold – this is the part I love!
Actually, I was quite pleased with this result of my abstract experiments. However, meanwhile, I had read the next lesson in the course. And I had begun to think about areas of colour forming the composition, as well as shapes. Honestly, I put down so many layers of gouache paint that I thought it might crack. Nonetheless, I struggled on and gradually eliminated the spiral, bit by bit. Until I arrived at the final version.
The Final Version of my Abstract Experiments
Now I’m happy! Perhaps you’ve noticed that I also rotated it to find the best view. Immediately after that, I started painting two more! Of course I will show you these later. But I must point out that the moral of this story is: don’t change direction midway into a painting! Because it costs an awful lot of paint and also, it makes your brain hurt! Ah, let’s go back to the carefree days of quick, intuitive abstract painting like this here ! Only joking, I love it really.
Good morning everyone. Well, as I promised, I’d like to show you the first abstract composition I painted from Painting with Yvette. And it’s a new style abstract painting, for me, that is! Actually I found out about this course by chance, just at the very time I was feeling that I needed a change of direction. To be honest, as you might have noticed, the shapes and composition are not all that different from the ones I often use in my paintings. But, first of all, the colours are very different, or, in different combinations – see this post here. Secondly, there is a lot more empty space between the elements. As you might say, a bit more breathing space. Lastly, there are more definite calligraphic marks. In fact, our tutor Yvette St Amant is very generous with her advice and guidance. So I try not to reproduce her work, but to use the ideas and develop them into my own style.
However, I find it quite difficult to achieve and, I spend a few hours on each painting, but I do feel that I am learning. Indeed, I think this is the only way to achieve progress, to spend time practising.
Another New Style Abstract
Actually, have a look at the image this way round, I’ve just this minute noticedthat in this view, a totally different idea springs to mind. To me it suggests new things on the horizon.
I think I like it better this way! And, putting gold paint on a painting and having it make sense in an abstract way is a first for me! So, I’m working on a couple more of these new direction abstract compositions at the moment. But quite slowly. And I will show you when they are ready. (By the way, these are gouache not acrylic)