Friday, 30 December 2011

Plein air painting

We packed up the kids, bathers and towels and headed down to the coast.  The day was overcast and not as hot as we imagined it would be but we all enjoyed the space and the beauty.

This is my first real go at plein air painting - where you take your paints outside and paint what is actually there.

I did okay with my Notan paintings.  These are quick paintings that identify the balance of warm and cool in your painting and are very small.

Choosing the first Notan, I did a tonal painting of it.
I found managing the paint more difficult as I was working with acrylics and they dried quickly, even with loads of retarder medium mixed in!   The colour piece was a challenge as the colours dried on the pallet and had to be remixed if I wanted to go back and dab at anything.  This really stops you from fussing way too much!  
I allowed different boats to come and go in the various pieces so that I can decide in the studio later what I want and where I want it to go.  It'll be interesting to see how I go with the oil final today.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Help! I need your ideas

I have run dry on ideas of what to paint so I've started asking the people around me for their ideas.

So far I have:

  • A jetty/water/boats
  • Fruit done with the pallet knife 

While I build these ideas into pictures I like to have new ideas floating around in my mind forming the next pictures...but there are none!  

We are not in this world alone, and each of us has the amazing capacity to help each other be more than we currently are.  

Will you "comment" your ideas here to help me build momentum?  

Saturday, 24 December 2011

An unexpected Christmas gift

Tonight at our local Carol's By Candlelight service I bumped into one of my year 12 English students from this year.  I congratulated him on his final result, which reflected his teachability, openness to new ideas and commitment to the task.  It was a nice moment that I had hoped to have at some point with this particular student.

Then he said something that was like a Christmas gift.

"English was my best result."

I find myself honoured and amazed to have played a role in this student's life.  At the beginning of the year I was worried about how he would manage the subject.  It just seemed beyond his reach.

And then he engaged.  He followed class discussions closely. He took new ideas on board. He responded to feedback.

I am so proud of this young man.   He has taught me that when students decide to open their minds they really can change their outcomes.  He has also reminded me that it is all worth it.

All it takes is one.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Playing with oil

Blown away - Mixed medium A4, canvas paper

My first practice piece for the summer holidays!  I haven't touched oils for some time so this was really a time of reintroducing myself to the possibilities. The mixed medium comes from the acrylic light yellow that I used to base coat the paper with.  Now to go an sign it - I forgot! 

Sunday, 11 December 2011

A gift

Some friends do amazing things that inspire you.  

It is a privilege to be able to acknowledge it and say thanks.  
Blessings to you Nick and Elise as you marry on Friday.  
May the adventures continue beyond anything you can imagine.

Nick 18"x24" (approx), watercolour on coldpress paper

A gift to wish them well.
If you want to see it framed and hanging, you best ask for an invite around to their house!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

A story I am working on: page 1 & 2

When God puts it on your heart to do something, 
you should just do it.

I wrote this story a couple of months ago and began illustrating it but then got discouraged.

Funny how much of an impact people's words can have on you.  When my friend suggested that my work was too illustrative and not painterly enough I really took it to heart.  So I redid the first four pages in a more painterly manner but they were all a disaster.  I did them again.  More disasters.

This morning it came to me:  This story needs an illustrative style.  It helps keep a lightness to the text, which does get a bit serious and sad.

Of course, I am out of the flow and need to find my rhythm again.  This is what is great about this site.  I have a place to commit myself to posting, and getting the book finished.  So I will post it in bits.  All of the illustrations are pen and wash, A4.


Page 1

Page 2

To be continued...