Friday, 30 October 2015

Experimental work at AVA Group

Something quite different this week at Art Group. No subject to prepare, just arriving to find that we all had to select pieces of torn up newspaper and magazines to inspire us to paint something. It could be figurative or abstract, the only constraint being that at least one piece of the provided paper had to be stuck down and used as an integral part of the painting.

I think we all had to sit and think for a while after the initial scramble to get the bits of paper we thought would be helpful, but everyone set about the task with enthusiasm. As organisers of the group, Jan and I are always amazed that so many members attend this session, because we know that these sorts of subject is not easy for most of them. What is really lovely about this group of painters is that they are ready to try anything.

Lots of paper, glue and paint later, we put up our results for general inspection, and the results were so rewarding. Interesting, and most unusual, was the fact that non of us could ascribe an artist to a particular painting except for those that had been neighbours during the session. We had all painted something totally away from our usual style, and everyone had been delightfully inventive.
Mine was certainly a world away from my usual style.

I deliberately chose bits of paper with bold lettering, stuck them down onto my sheet of paper, not always the right side up,and used the letters to form parts of the labelling for various pots and bottles.
The only bit that I am really not too happy about is the lettering on the mustard pot.

It was great fun to do, everyone enjoyed the challenge and I am sure we will continue to include our experimental mornings in next years calendar.

ps.....Peter Ward, who is also a member of the group, was taking photos at the end of the session. Keep an eye on his blog where he might post our results, if you want to see what some of the other members produced.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

'AUTUMN' at Avon Valley Artists Group

What a lovely subject this week, Almost every member produced a vibrant and interesting result. It was lovely to look at them all.

I was inspired by a visit to one of our local stores, where I came across a selection of lovely Halloween wreaths made of twigs, leaves and berries. I am not sure how much of the wreaths were artificial but they were certainly beautiful and really sparkling in the sunshine.
I took a few photos on my camera and downloaded them onto my tablet to take with me.

I began by putting some wash onto a lightly sprayed piece of 300gm paper, extra white, being careful to leave dry patches down the centre. I was going to put some delicate greens into the background and I know that green does not readily mix with reds and oranges, so I wanted to keep areas to enable me to paint fresh oranges onto the white paper to keep them as clean as possible.

I allowed the background to dry thoroughly before starting to paint in random berry shapes. I had Transluscent Orange, Azio Orange, Cadmium Yellow and Pyroll Redon the plate, all of which I used to give differences in colour to the berries. I also used a litte Alizarin Crimson to give the plum coloured ones.
When I thought there were enough berries, I darkened very slightly parts of the background, painting negative shapes to produce the leaves and then using Quinachridone Gold, I added a few random twiggy bits .
At this stage I had a good look at the composition and added a few more berries to try to get the composition right, and it was finished. Its all about knowing when to stop with this sort of painting!



                                                                      12ins x 18 ins
                                            Fabriano Artistico Extra White 300gm Rough

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Playing with greens

I have had a bit of a thing about 'greens' and leaves.(Not the sort of greens that got stewed to death and served for Sunday lunch!)
It started with my visit to Kew Gardens when the Rhododendrons were out, and the quality of the leaves was incredible. I loved their sheen, and the variety of colours within each tree.
I painted the following picture as a direct result of the photos we took that day and I was really pleased with the result.

                                                        Rhododendron at Kew Gardens

Then three weeks ago at Avon Valley Artists Group, We had to select seed heads as the topic and I chose to have a go at some grass seed heads. It is called Ethiopian Fountain Grass and was not easy to paint, but I really liked the effect of using a limited palette to produce the image.. I similarly enjoyed painting the Euphorbia for a similar reason. I liked that one enough to hang it in the new studio, where I can look at it every day.

                                                           Ethiopian Fountain Grass


I have just done a painting of some Cerinthe, because the colours within the leaf-like bracts is so beautiful. Not quite greens only but still a limited palette. I am not sure if this one is finished yet. It may need some darks in the centre with a hint of background leaves, but I will look at it for a couple of days before I decide what to do.

                                                                  Cerinthe Major

In my box of paints I have Sap, Hookers, Apatite, Serpentine, and Pthalo Greens, and Pthalo, Anthracite,Cobalt, Ultramarine and Indigo Blues.
I also have quite a few earth browns which make a wide range of delicious greens when mixed with the Indigo or Anthracite blue. Well worth having a play to see what you can get from the paints in your box.!