Saturday, 30 April 2011

The Virtual Paintout - April 2011 Challenge

I think I'm all "challenged-out" - whatever that means. Lately, well in fact for almost two years now, most of my paintings have been for challenge blogs, fun - yes, but things are changing in my artistic life. I am feeling the need to investigate what has importance for me and this covers many things. Sending work into challenges is fun and I take it seriously in that I try to send in something worthy of the challenge, but I am not pursuing anything personal, conceptual or even technically challenging, and most of the work I am doing is done as quickly as possible to meet deadlines. I love both "The Virtual Paintout" and Sherry Massey's "History of Art Challenge" blogs but I have so little spare time now that I intend to send in work only when I have a free spot in the calendar and after I have done my own personal work. I loved doing this 'Japan' challenge and had two other works to send in as well but just couldn't complete them partly due to time limitations but also my mind was elsewhere painting different pictures and that situation doesn't work for me. I'm not sure what all of this means nor do I have fixed goals right now, but I'm going to take some time out from challenges for a while to see what that extra time gives me to work on other projects. Weird how things morph through time. It's time for me to relax somewhat and see what comes towards me for investigation instead of responding to others' visions, even though I am so grateful for them. Someone as independent as this writer needs to set her own challenges. I'll talk more of this later, I had better post this and send off my challenge for Japan to The Virtual Paintout.

"Wires above Shinjuku, Tokyo" - Gouache on Paper - 9.5" x 9.5"

Click HERE for street scene used.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Morning Walk I

Last week I went on an early morning walk in my local area and took some fabulous pictures hoping to find some scenic gems which could translate into paintings. I did find them a-plenty, but painting a gem is another story. I have said before I would love to paint a superb landscape but I know it's going to take a lot of groundwork, especially painting colours I am not attuned to. This is one of the better shots compositionally where I could at least show some depth and perspective and even though most of the greens were very close to one another in tone and value, I tried to show depth by texture and some minor adjustments to the warmth of the greens.

"Morning Walk" - Oil on Canvas - 8" x 8"

Friday, 22 April 2011

Local Trees

A few days ago I started, and thought I had completed, a small 'landscape' of a local park area next to a bus terminus, but when I got back to it this morning to make a couple of tweaks, I saw that it was far from being anything I could put up on this blog. I had used huge sweeping brushtrokes that couldn't describe the scene at all, so I went in and practically painted the whole thing again and it's much better but far from what I want.

I want to learn how to paint landscapes and local scenes, but find this genre very difficult. The composition of the photograph was undistinguished in itself and ended up being difficult to paint as there were no key landmarks or winding paths to make the picture easier to read. In addition, there was a huge wall of long grass and flowers in the foreground cutting the format in half. Why I started this work I don't know. I thought the red buses would add to it but my painting of them was so bad they looked pathetic so I wiped them out. I'm now going to try and finish a completely different work which has been defying me. Maybe I might post it later on today if I can overcome the obstacles.

"Trees on the Common" Oil on Gessoed Board - 6" x 6"

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Greens, and more Greens.

I am not sure about these two works. I enjoyed doing them, but I struggle so profoundly with greens. The photographic references I used come from a challenge blog, Daily Paintworks, and I am not sure whether or not to send them in. The photographs to work from were deceptively simple, and I knew that as soon as I saw them, but I responded to taking out the oils again after a long time and hoped for something better than I have produced here. I have been painting in gouache for a few months now and I notice that I have lost my "touch" with oils. Another annoying part of this process is that I just could not get the colour of the blue sky photographed accurately - it's much deeper. I think I'll just live with these for another day or so, and then probably make some adjustments here and there before taking the plunge and sending them in.

"German Landscape I"
Oil on Canvas - 8" x 8"

"German Landscape II"
Oil on Canvas - 8" x 8"