Curiosities Exhibition in the Market
Good morning everyone. I thought I would update you about our Curiosities exhibition – we’ve moved it to our space in Rotherham market. Maybe you remember I’m a member of a brilliant group of artists called Rotherham Roar. And we had our opening event on Saturday, a chance to talk to fellow artists and shoppers!
This is me and my art buddy, he really liked my painting of a human body cell. (You can just see that one on the left. In fact, that was the one that was chosen for the article in n the Arts supplement of the Rotherham Advertiser. I was so surprised and pleased! You can see it in the top image.
This is my ‘Ocean Girl’ and she was a late addition to the show. If you look closely, you can see all the sea creatures that like to to be with her. And her hair and clothing is made of sea weed.
Finally, here we have a dragon, a hawk moth and Medusa, with snakes for hair. To be honest, it’s been a real pleasure to be a part of this quirky exhibition with my buddies from Rotherham Roar.
Gouache Painting of a Barn
Good morning everyone. I’m really pleased with this gouache painting of a barn – it was half finished for a couple of weeks. And, I was a bit nervous to add details to the first version, not wanting to spoil it! Actually, I don’t like to keep paintings hanging on because it’s easy to lose the thread. In particular, with this one, I liked the loose way I had sketched out the field. And I didn’t want to loose the fresh, rhythmic movement of the grasses and so on. So, added minimal detail to those areas. However, I deliberately put the barn into sharp focus as it’s the main idea in the picture. And I want the viewer’s eye to be drawn to it. Hopefully I have succeeded in this to some extent. By the way, gouache paint seems to be the perfect medium for detail.
Anyway, when I think about it, I have done another painting of a barn recently. And I do think it’s a nice subject which allows me to concentrate on a small area of landscape. Normally, left to my own devices, I try to paint a wide panoramic view. So this makes a very pleasant change.
Look at my Flower Paintings
Good morning everyone. My apologies for not being around very much, but I have been very busy with arty stuff. There’s a lot more going on now and I don’t want to miss an opportunity! Anyway, Penistone Arts Weeks is over now and I’m pleased to report that I made a few sales with my flower paintings. For example, these two here, the Sea Thistle and the Sunflower went to new homes almost straight away. Then I sold my poppies painting ( in the image below). Despite the fact that it was on display in quite a shady spot, as you can tell in this photo!
However, it was a great experience to be in a lovely, busy cafe in the middle of town. Happily. being involved in this art festival with other creatives has lead to other exciting events. For example, our group have been invited to show work in a gorgeous florists and gift shop in town! So, I chose another of my flower paintings to go on display.
Actually, I think that this will look good in the beautiful surroundings of Hacketts, which is right next to St. John the Baptist’s church, in the old town centre. Of course, I will report back on that soon. Meanwhile, I haven’t stopped painting! And, I couldn’t resist following along a free online tutorial on watercolour painting. And this dreamy portrait of a rose was the result! Since then I have painted a vase of carnations, but I’ll save that for another post! You could have a look at more flower paintings in this post here.
New Show for Arts Week
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!
Figure Drawing at Art Society
Good morning everyone. This week at our art society we did a session of figure drawing with our lovely model Suzi. And I was very rusty, but I gradually warmed up. The pen and wash sketch above was 25 minutes. First of all we worked on some quick sketches, 5 and 10 minute ones like these below.
At the moment, we have an interesting exhibition in our local gallery of the drawings of the sculptor Henry Moore. And I love the way his drawings emphasize the three dimensional quality of the figure.
To help me out with the technical side, I did a drawing exercise on figure drawing before I went to the class. Every little helps!
And here is just a reminder of work that I was doing with my friend Suzi before the pandemic. Because I went to Life Drawing every week, I was much more comfortable and creative. Anyway, this was something based on a Jack Vettriano painting. Happy Days!
New Small Scale Art Works
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!
January Sale in Wakefield Gallery
Good morning everyone. Things are still a bit dodgy here, so I’ll hurry up and write this post while I can! Actually, I don’t think that I showed you this acrylic painting before. In fact, I almost forgot that I had painted it. And I found it while going through my stash. Because I was looking for work to put in our January sale at The Urban Commune.
This one was a study in watercolour for a series on flowers, seen close up. Perhaps you remember four small canvases in acrylic – sunflower, oriental poppy, cone flower and pansy in this post here ?
While I was looking for unframed stuff for the January sale, I pulled out my pink pig! And I do remember the fun I had painting this, with the help of Simon, our tutor. Happy Days!
My New Show at Commune
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!
This Week’s Mindful Scribbly Doodles
Good morning everyone. Well, just to keep you up to date, some of my website problems have been solved, thank goodness! But, things are not fully restored , so, I apologise if I can’t really follow, like and comment properly yet. Anyway, as you may be able to tell, I was feeling slightly fed up when I did one of my little scribbly doodles. Actually, it was done in about three snatched five minute sections. And, I did feel a bit better afterwards. First I scribbled away with ink, then I added watercolour and oil pastel. And then I couldn’t resist some final calligraphic marks on top.
Finally, this one was completed even quicker as I was experimenting with charcoal, graphite and wash pencils. In fact, I found them as I was tidying up my studio, don’t ask! Well, I don’t think this one needs much explanation. However, you could read it as either coming out of a dark place or going onto one! Let’s see what happens next! Thank goodness I can do these scribbly doodles and feel the benefit. There are more mindful paintings on this post here.
A Walk in the Quarry Garden
Good morning everyone. A couple of days ago we went for a walk in Brodsworth Hall gardens. They have evolved over the years, being brought gradually back to their Victorian splendour. And I particularly love this section, the quarry garden. The day was quite cold and the gardeners had been busy planting winter bedding which looked very healthy. I have painted just here a few times en plein air. But quick watercolour sketches don’t seem to be enough, so, on this occasion I took a few photos. Then I invented a scene and painted it in gouache at home, a small work only 8 by 11 inches.
Some More Christmassy Paintings
Good morning everyone. As you might have noticed, I’m still fairly locked out of Jetpack and the reader, so I can’t see much of your posts. Anyway, this is just a quick catchup post of the Christmassy paintings I’ve been busy with.
Firstly, this is my interpretation of a stained glass panel. In fact, this was the theme of our last meeting before Christmas at our art Society. And, everyone created something quite unique. For example, I took inspiration from some stained glass panels done by Henri Matisse, one of my favourite artists. Actually, it was great fun to do, largely intuitive in my case, starting off with collage. And then improvising with gouache paint.
Secondly, I created this interpretation of an angel for the online gouache group I belong to. To be honest, I introduced the topic myself, being keen to see how other artists would portray the subject. As well as being eager to research the theme and try something new for Christmassy paintings. Well, there was some fabulous inspiration on line. And I chose this modern style and put my own twist on it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the names of the original artists, so I can’t give them a mention. Sorry about that!
Well, that’s a round up of my seasonal painting this year. Hopefully, I can be in better contact with you all in the new year.
Happy Christmas to you All
Good morning everyone. This is the ‘Happy Christmas’ acrylic painting I chose for my card this year. Actually, I didn’t think it printed out so well, but friends and family seemed to like it! Perhaps as artists we are sometimes too critical of our own work. Obviously a little bit of objectivity about our own work is helpful. But I do know a few amateur artists who have no confidence at all and that can be toxic. Anyway, I enjoyed painting the cool colours of the ice and snow, contrasted with the warm brown and gold of the cottage.
I don’t think I’ve posted this before, something from a few years ago. In fact, at that time I had a great tutor. And I learnt such a lot in the years I went to Simon’s class. As you can tell by this painting, which I would have struggled to do on my own then.
Finally, this is an on the spot watercolour sketch of the snow of last year’s winter. And, I couldn’t call it ‘plein air’ because we were sitting in the car! Happy Christmas everyone and keep on painting!
Christmas Fair at the Urban Commune
Good morning everyone. I’ll just make this a short post because I’m not sure whether it will succeed. In fact, I’m having loads of trouble with my blog and I apologise if I don’t see and like your posts. Actually, I’m very limited with what I can do, with no hope of any progress until the beginning of January. Anyway, we went to the Christmas fair at Urban Commune and, for the first time ever, I had a stall! And this is a gouache painting that I finished while I was minding the stall.
As you can see, I had a great time – met some lovely people and connected with new artists. I even got a chocolate sweet from Caribbean Santa!
Also, there was some fab live music (even some dancing!). So, what a great start to Christmas.
Sketching at the Tutankhamun Exhibition
Good morning everyone. On Saturday I went with Urban Sketchers Yorkshire to the Tutankhamun exhibition in Experience Barnsley Museum. And I sketched this bust of Nefertiti, who was his father’s chief wife. Actually, this is not the original – it’s a very good replica. But there were lots of original artefacts, arranged in sections telling the life of the pharaoh. For example, the food he ate, members of his family, education and so on. Although the Tutankamun exhibition was small, it was quite fascinating.
After some time sketching, we then went down to the bustling town centre. In fact there was so much to observe and sketch – market stalls, a brass band playing. And then we ended up at the food court in the covered market for refreshments. Happily, from our table there was a delightful bird’s eye view of the main street below.
This was a very quick sketch in pen and watercolour. And I did it on the table, between pie and peas and cups of hot coffee! And the Tutankamun exhibition was a lovely bonus. Another lovely day with my sketching buddies. By the way, I have missed out all the difficult bits, like all the people! If you want to see what else we sketch, see this post here .
Charcoal Portraits All Finished Now
Good morning everyone. As promised, here are my charcoal portraits from the drawing class last weekend. Actually, I was longing to finish them and finally found some time yesterday. But I spent a couple of days looking at them before that. And it seems to be an important part of the creating, I think. Perhaps you may enjoy hearing about the process of this one, a technique I’ve not tried before. Firstly we had to cover the paper with a thick layer of charcoal. Then we proceeded to carve out the outlines of a face, using an eraser, all the while staring into a little mirror. Maybe that’s why the facial expression is so serious! Well, it was the end of the class then, so I did the rest at home, including more subtle ‘removals’ and the addition of details in fine charcoal. Plus just a touch of white pastel.
Here is the finished version of the drawing I showed you in this post here. And this was a new technique for me too. Because the first preparatory sketch was quickly done and then partially erased! After that, we were encouraged to use a scribbly style of strokes with the sticks of charcoal. In addition, we were working in half light to accentuate the shadows on the face. Then I tidied it up and smoothed it down a bit at home. And, I am quite pleased with these charcoal portraits.
Finally, for those of you who want to see the finished collaborative abstract I took part in, here it is! As you may notice, it underwent a few changes before being hung on the wall in the projects room at The Urban Commune. So we can all admire it.
Painting a Colourful Abstract Together
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.
Workshop at Left Bank Leeds
Good morning everyone. I had a great day sketching on Saturday at Left Bank Leeds. And we worked with a super artist, Paul Digby, who first showed us some inspiring drawings by Piranese and Seurat. Also, Hopper, Jenny Saville and Barbara Walker. Actually, he used these examples to illustrate some of the things to keep in mind when drawing. For instance, perspective, tone, atmosphere and simplicity of line. Next Paul demonstrated different ways of deepening tone with graphite. Then he taught us some simple rules of perspective. All in all, a very interesting and useful session. Then we were encouraged to find a corner of this impressive Edwardian former church and draw. In fact, it is now a very welcoming arts and community hub, the Left Bank Leeds. (Sorry about the quality of this photo, no natural light, just a desk lamp!)
This is the finished version (just completed) and I deepened the darker tones, as Paul advised. And I think it looks more three dimensional now. As you may know, I don’t usually spend this much time on a drawing. Because my work with urban Sketchers is of necessity short, usually 20 minute sketches,completed on the spot. So, this was something new for me and very good practice. If you want to see an example of creating tones in black and white paint, see this post here.
Beautiful Sunset in the snow
Good morning everyone. This is my latest little gouache landscape, and, I feel cold just looking at it! Actually, I’m quite pleased with this one because the original free reference photo showed an overcast day. But I wanted to paint a beautiful sunset, and this is the result. In fact, that’s the first time I have changed the weather and time of day so completely. Anyway, I improvised ok for the sky, but I overdid the bright reflections on the water at first. However, gouache paint will help you to correct mistakes, but you only get one attempt! After that, it’s all downhill! At any rate, that’s how it seems to me!
Well, as I painted I thought about this beautiful sunset as a possible for next year’s Christmas card, what do you think? I find it less stressful to design a card and enjoy painting something seasonal. And then, use one I did the previous year for cards – it’s nice stress free method.
On a very different note, last night I went sketching with my Rotherham Roar artists group. And we went to an old pub, a listed building with tiles and stained glass panels. Also ornate glass lampshades and an open fire. So, we sat together quite contentedly and sketched each other sketching. Plus, any unsuspecting customers who kept still enough! To be honest, I am a bit out of practice in figure drawing, but it was all good fun.
Incidentally, did you spot the name on the window? If you want to see more quick, figure sketches, see here.
Painting with Pen and Wash
Good morning everyone. I painted this scene in a pen and wash workshop last week. And we invited Gary, one of our favourite tutors, to art society to work with us. Also to show us some pen and watercolour techniques. Actually, it was a very enjoyable evening and everyone was pleased with their own version of this snow scene. After a quick pencil sketch of the main shapes, we tried to ink the lines in, using sketchy, gestural marks. Then, for me, the difficult part, using two colours only and being very restrained with the paint brush! Honestly, I was dying to pile on more and more texture and detail. But, I’m really glad I followed Gary’s instructions.
And, I took away from this workshop the idea that sometimes less is definitely more! However, as our tutor explained, this is really a basic scene – you can add more style to your liking. Preferably after learning the method. By the way, we also added more pen marks at this point if we felt we needed them. Plus a few dabs of white gouache for snow on the trees.
Perhaps you might be interested to see this pen and wash painting I did a few years ago. In fact, I did this after another of Gary’s workshops on pen and wash, I felt so inspired that I painted a few more. Incidentally, in this picture, the pencil sketch and watercolour come first. Then detail is added later in pen, again trying not to overdo things. And, here is a post showing how I use this technique when I’m painting in plein air.