Tuesday 17 May 2016

Oil Miniatures

Self portrait - work in progress
   The thing is, with this painting lark, there are a multitude of avenues to pursue. For many years I painted purely in watercolour. It was lovely to push this translucent paint around the paper and watch the colours granulate, drop in other colour while still wet, see happy accidents appear when the paint decided to do it's own thing, etc.

Then I moved to acrylics with its garish colours and quick drying time, and bliss of bliss, opaque paint that you can paint light over dark .
Manic Bluetit - so named, as this little guy started
attacking his reflection in our dining room window!

I've made other excursions into soft pastels, oil pastels, charcoal, gouache and even lino cuts. Each has it's own merits, drawbacks and excitements.

Recently though, I've ventured into oils, a medium that I've steered clear of in the past because having dabbled in it many years ago, it always seemed a messy, smelly medium to use. The main joy with oils however, is the ability to blend colours and also the colour you put down when wet remains the same when dry, unlike watercolour that drys lighter and acrylics that dry darker or even gouache where light colours dry darker and dark colours dry lighter! With oils, the colour remains the same wet or dry. The only drawback (for me) is the long drying time. This is where alkyd oils come to the rescue though. I use mostly alkyd oils because on a warm day, they can be touch dry in a few hours and just about completely dry overnight.

Shady Canopy. One day when out walking, I looked up
and saw this. Here I've used a minimalist approach.
Having started with canvas paper, then moving on to small stretched canvases, inevitably I moved on to larger canvases, doing larger that life portraits and pets. This has gone on for a while, but now something different is happening. I have changed to doing a series of miniature works on six inch square MDF board. Where canvases seem to mop up the brushstrokes, I've noticed that the smoothness of MDF shows up brushstrokes beautifully and can be used to great effect adding texture and form to the work.

I don't know how long these miniatures will go on for - not much longer I should imagine, as my stocks are almost depleted and when I get some more, it most likely will be larger sizes for more experiments!

Right: Venus (Aphrodite). This was painted from a sculpture in the British Museum in London. I've used a split complimentary here with just three colours plus white.

Tuesday 10 May 2016

A Fabulous Evening!

Generous with their knowledge, inspiration, advice, and stories MHAC members made appraisal night very enjoyable. Just a few topics included: Ken's painting experience with Terry Harris, David's mark making abstracts which have been accepted into the Alfred East Gallery, Cornelia's watercolour of the Naseby monument with history and painting strategy, Alan's awesome New Zealand water colour, Lynda's extended pictures into the frames, Francis limited colour acrylic painting, and Frank's 'impact portraits'. Everyone was amazed and marvelled at the quantity and quality of his portraits. He recommended that we all take a look at Julia Kay's portrait party on Flickr.

The star of the evening and the 'one to watch,' is our latest and youngest member Eden Coe. At sixteen her work has featured in the Leicester Open 27 exhibition. She shared her thoughts and creative process with the group. The 'pears/pairs' work intrigued us all.

Thank you to all participating members and guests for making it such an informative and enjoyable evening. No more dreary paintings for me; ideas, response and translate!