Memory of devon

I once swam with a wild dolphin, we’d been driving round Devon and came back to the seaside to find a crowd of people on the beach and a group in wetsuits about fifty yards out. They were all excited and we saw a pod of dolphins swimming away. But one stayed in the bay. I decided I would swim out a bit and got in the sea fully clothed minus my shoes and glasses. My hubby stayed on the beach. The dolphin swam backwards and forwards between the two groups of people. Because I was in the middle he ket swimming close to me. It was fascinating. He kept coming past me and I noticed large wounds on his sides. It was after half an hour of being near him that I saw he was male! I can only say that it was quite alarming and not at all spiritual!. The next day there was a sign up about him at the camp site. He was called Georges and he was an adolescent male. His scars were because he would get too close to boat propelers. It also said not to breathe near them as they can transmit airborne diseases from their blowholes.

When I got home I did an imagined portrait of him but unfortunately the painting is at my sisters otherwise I would share a photo of him leaping through the waves. X

Don’t look at me like that?

Taking a photo and playing with it. I discovered one side of my face looks older and more dour than the other one. My face frowns and my mouth turns down, there’s more lines. I might have to get a haircut too, but it doesn’t really matter. I think observing yourself is part of being an artist, self portraits tell a story. Distorting them can ask a question.

Some images can be more distorted than others! Making the image black and white helps me concentrate on the features.

Quentin Blake

I just watched a lovely programme about the artist and illustrator Quentin Blake. He’s famous for having illustrated Roald Dahl’s books like ‘the BFG’. Also Michael Rosen’s ‘Sad Book’. His style is so free and impressionistic, his drawing lines are full of energy and expressiveness. If you haven’t seen his work Google him. My sketch was a quick portrait which tried to get an idea of not only him but one of his characters too. Ten minute sketch. X

Painting from college

This is a painting I did when I was about twenty. I was at college doing my fine art degree and I had recently met my then boyfriend (now hubby). This was in my small studio at college. The painting has been on the wall for several years. I painted him sitting on a chair with his feet up. He hasn’t changed too much.

Outside there was snow lying on the hills above the city. You could just see the roofs of the college across the road. The rooms we worked in were reasonably light. I remember the studios upstairs had parquet flooring. It was a different world from what I came from. I’m glad I went.

Super realism?

This is NOT meant to be super realistic.

I do try and be accurate with my paintings, hopefully getting good realism. I was once criticised in a newspaper review about an exhibition I was part of, they said if I wanted to be a super realist I should have tried harder. The thing was, I wasn’t trying for super realism! If the journalist had actually spoken to me I would have told him that. I do work from photos sometimes, particularly if it’s a commissioned portrait or painting of a landscape. If I do a painting of a steam train it’s got to look right, you can make it up. I love painting, which to me is the accurate manipulation of liquids on a surface. I do try. X

WIP, is he finished?

On the easel today. I think this is almost done, one of the legs and the side of the body feels clunky. It’s basically that the leg on the right side might need bringing inwards a bit, so it doesn’t line up with the bodies edge. I’m also not sure about the grass. But I’ve broken my fast of painting. I have been blocked for ages. Basically because I’ve been scared about how well I would do after having developed a shake on my left side. I think concentrating helps reguce the tremor. I will get this finished. X

Mr X

Oil painting on board of a friend I painted while I was at college. The Mr X refers to his name when he was in a band. I glued the poster to the painting and added an image of one of his pictures in the background behind him. I think I did the painting from life but I don’t really remember, it was painted about 40 years ago x

Twenty minute sketch

Tried drawing Karen Gibson, the conductor, in felt pens after watching her having their portrait painted in #skyportraitartistoftheyear tonight. The hair is wrong, her left eye is too far back, but I don’t think it’s too bad. I drew with felt pens because one of the contestants had done. This took me about twenty minutes. I should have possibly taken longer.