March 28, 2013
This is fairly large format. The aim was to not correct too much, to keep the painting fresh, and to not be rigidly tied to depicting reality.
Every week I go to a Tai Chi lesson in the attic studio of our Tai Chi teacher Lian Ong. Often, while performing the slow, hypnotic movements of the form, my eye strays to the little lounge where sunlight streams in and lights up the yellow and orange soft furniture. I’ve started bringing my camera because of the visual richness in this little space- there is a small wooden glass-fronted cupboard with a hodge-podge of beautiful little ceramic cups, for one. I placed one of them on the floor for this picture.
This tranquil space has found its way into several works of mine already, and there will be more to come.
Here is the original photo.
March 8, 2013
An artist friend whose blog I follow was interested in other’s methods of reconstituting dried up watercolours. (Do check out Richard’s blog, he paints wonderful watercolours and writes intelligently and inspiringly.)
Years ago I went through my watercolour supply and separated out perhaps a hundred dollars worth of tubes of dried paint. I then cut apart each tube and with a knife or wooden stick, scooped the sometimes sticky pigment out into the stackable plastic pots pictured, I added a bit of water, then I labelled each one. It was very messy and took a long time but it was a worthwhile and profitable job.
I use them just like I use my travelling watercolour box with the little squares of colour, just moisten the brush apply it to the dried watercolour and brush the paint on to the paper normally.
I had a good time with the labels. I wanted the pots to look like they were found in some old drugstore or antique shop. I took some paper I’d treated with coffee to age it, then drew the red lines and lettered the names of the colours with a very small (Mitchell 5 Italic) calligraphy pen.
March 4, 2013
I wasn’t happy with the dark tulip at the left bottom of the painting. I kept trying to ‘correct’ it and it wouldn’t gel.
My biggest objection, besides the fact that it took up so much space (due to lens distortion of the original photo), was that the painting style lacked the spontaneity of the other tulips.
So I took deep breath and wiped it out, down to the purple acrylic underpainting. Yikes.
I left it overnight so I could approach it freshly in the morning. I wanted to spend about 10-15 minutes at the most.
I’m happier with this result, it is more playful, less tied to being ‘correct’, and the brush strokes are fresh.
March 3, 2013
The first tulips are in the flower markets here in Holland, it is finally starting to feel like spring.
With this piece I wanted to paint more directly and get less distracted by detail. Above is the first stage, showing the purple acrylic underpainting.
This is the finished piece, I worked into is as little as possible, it was done in 3 sittings over 2 days. If you are viewing this on a laptop, there is a good chance the colours won’t come across as vividly. In real life, this painting has a good ‘glow factor’.
I don’t think this painting would have been quite as loose if I hadn’t done the oil pastel below a few days before.
And the one underneath paved the way for ‘Tulip and lily fantasy’. A good example of just keeping working and following the work where it leads.