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.

Layers of a collage.

From two years ago. Turning a drawing into a collage using Christmas wrapping paper, tissue paper and a shiny, metallic party bag.

I layered up the paper using dark urple tissue paper over a pale background to try and give the idea of silhouetted trees. Having stuck the purple colour down I then cut out the metallic paper to simulate the wire mesh fence. When I cut out the tree shape I wanted to give a feeling of the texture of tree bark. Finally I added paper on either side to act as curtains.

This was at an interesting collage workshop with the Orme art group about two years ago. I enjoyed learning a new skill.

Sunset (exposure)

Have you tried moving your camera when you take a photo of the sky? When the sun is rising or setting people generally take photos of the landscape in the direction of the setting sun. Much more dramatic than the other direction. But include too much sky and the light entering the camera can be too much causing over exposure. Include more land and less sky and the sunset colours emerge more clearly.

By including more land the cameras automatic exposure changes. The area in silhouette may even reveal more detail than if you aim more at the sky. Also remember, if you have a crop tool on your camera you can remove part of the landscape while leaving the sky.

The only difference in these two photos is that I moved between the first and the second and I included more land in the second one.