Good morning

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Autumn Acers, painting from when I visited Jodrell bank a few years ago. I was just browsing my photos and thought how nice it would be to sit in their dappled shade this morning. Its already about 27 Celsius inside the house this morning, and hotter still outside . I’m up early to do some college work, but the heat is getting to me. The humidity is the worst thing. We had torrential rain along with another massive thunderstorm last night and more is forecast for today. Luckily I live on a hill, but i thought my car would get washed away last night because the water cascading down the hill started to look like a river. I would not be surprised if properties further down on the flat main road got flooded! So, yes, dappled shade in the garden is what I might be seeking a bit later on when I have a break. I’ll be back later.

Backgrounds

I’m working on a background to place my four images on fro my illustration course.

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I will be cutting this up into four. I think the cat and the man will be at the bottom and the tree and the house at the top. My idea is that it will be November fifth. Bonfire night. The man is looking for the cat, which is scared. The house and the tree are going to be at the top. I will then colour round the blobs in black so that it’s nighttime. I might use fine liner pens to make the background black but with texture…

Got to decide portrait or landscape? What do you think?

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Sea or Sky?

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I posted this and other photos to my Instagram page and a friend commented that they looked like views out of an airplane window of the sea with islands in it.

I had concentrated on trying to see animals in the image. I can see a snarling bears head at the top left of this one for instance. But it reminded me of a holiday in Dorset one year. Driving up over the hills of the county, just before we dropped down towards Weymouth  on the coast, the sky looked like mountainous islands with sea, bays and inlets running through them. I wish I’d been able to take a photo…

The sky had been a pale wash of pastel colours, the sun was setting, but because we were heading due south its glare was catching the sides of the clouds, they were lit up with gold on one side and greys on the other. The ‘sea’ was all pale pinks and blues. If we had not  spent all day driving I would have pulled over. The image faded as we headed towards the caravan site, but it was the precursor of a lovely week away. Maybe I can find some old snaps of the places we visited.

I often look at cloudscapes and see landscapes.

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Three years ago

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I was doing a couple of commissions of Etruria flint and bone mill. I had done one painting and a couple of people liked it and wanted copies. This is when I started using long thin canvases. It makes landscapes more interesting I think. Is it like letterbox TV? I don’t know. I’m hoping I can get back to doing things like this when we get back to something like normality.

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After Hokusai’s Great Wave

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my attempt at the great wave after Hokusai.

I’m writing an assignment about the artist Hokusai and his ink and wood block print, The Great wave, or The Great Wave off Kanagawa produced around 1830. He had previously painted two other great waves in 1803 and 1805. There is a collection of 36 views of Mount Fuji by him.

I found out that he had been influenced by an artist called Shiba Kokan, who in turn had been influenced by Western Art. The Portuguese first started trading with the Japanese as early as 1543 and later the Dutch came along and started to trade with them in 1609.

Hokusai’s first waves were not as stylised as the Great Wave, but over the intervening 30 years he honed his style. His wave painting has a low horizon which gives it a more western and also menacing feel. The wave towers over three fishing boats, threatening to swamp them, Fingers of water claw the air in a very fractal pattern, and a tiny Mount Fuji sits in the background, apparently encircled by a threatening sea and lowering clouds.

Did you know the wave emoji is based on Hokusai’s work, and this in turn is linked to the waving hand emoji. There is a site called emojipedia that gives lots of interesting facts about emoji icons.

I wont go into great detail about the assignment, but I had to link in semiotics and other ways of critically appraising art works. I was up till 4am trying to pull it all together!

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Painting with Bob Ross

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I’ve been watching a painting programme late at night with an artist called Bob Ross I think. He does half hour programmes (think they were done in the 1980’s?). He cheerfully shows you how to do landscapes. He does a painting in half an hour. Showing how to paint layers to build up depth and distance. Each layer adds to the image. I’m not keen on his art, its very formulaic, but it’s interesting. I decided to paint along with him last night. It’s a very small canvas but I couldn’t keep up! At least I got a vague result.

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Remembering

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Bovisand Bay, painted from life several years ago. Acrylic on canvas. This is what I remember…

The beach at Bovisand.

Warm sand beneath my feet.

Gritty rock, specks sparkle in the sun.

Water laps my feet.

Feet sink into soft sand…

Cove enclosed by cliffs.

Blue sky and tiny clouds.

Close growing plants are sheltered.

Back of the bay, a valley nestles in the hills.

A golden grass snake basks in the heat.

I remember.

I remember the thunder storm.

Lightening strikes in dark night.

Watching flashes over the sea.

Awesome beauty.

Remembered.

 

Maiden Castle

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I just took this photo of a painting I did of Maiden Castle in the 1990’s. It’s a hill Fort in the countryside near Dorchester in Dorset, England. Sorry for the shine on it, my camera flash reflected off it.

What is Maiden Castle? A series of ramparts of soil, rising and falling until it reaches a plateau in the middlewhere the Fort is situated. It can be reached by a pathway through the maze of hills.

My painting includes a dancing and decaying figure. She is meant to represent the spirit of the place and its history. I was studying radiography at the time, and had found a rabbit skull on one of my walks. I also liked watching the archaeology TV programme, ‘ Time Team’ and this was my attempt to embody the feeling I got as I stood up on that hill.

Sadly I haven’t been back there since. But I just read a post by Sue Vincent and her visit to the place and it reminded me of the place. The Maiden Castle scene was taken from a photo and the dancing woman was imagined.

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Morning glory plants

 

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A few years ago painted this morning glory as it flowered. I’d nurtured the plant on a windowledge, carefully watered it. Put it outside when the summer was warm enough so it would stay alive.

It was in a hanging basket outside in the garden when I decided to paint it in situ. As I painted the flower opened and then at the end of the day closed and wilted (the same thing happened with the following days flowers). Hard to  capture but beautiful. I might do a copy or similar painting.

Acrylic on canvas. Small flowers are lobelia, and the cream ones are surfinias.

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Shattered

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I’m only showing you a bit of sky and some rocks I painted today as the scenery for the panto is secret. Basically I painted a desert. I had help with the sky (the black is a short curtain above the scenery). I’m too short to reach the top of the scenery. I am absolutely shattered now. 2.30pm to 6pm!i know I paint fast but that’s ridiculous….. About ten foot tall by 30 to 40 foot wide. I will publish the full image when the pantomime is over. Its thin acrylic paint on flat boards.