Spent the afternoon in my studio, one to get away from the oppressive heat and two to calm my chaotic mind. Last time I painted here it was a landscape, very tranquil with the sun just coming through the clouds after the rain. Today, pouring out the chaos onto the canvas, at first it was fast and furious, then it slowed and as I kept standing back to look I could see lots of small compartments, all the different hats I wear I guess, and why there is often chaos going on. Some cool and tranquil compartments, some hot, hot, fiery and overflowing but, and this surprised me, there is balance, that felt good.
Guess we all paint for different reasons and are drawn to different styles. I don’t think I have yet found what really feeds my soul in terms of “style” and “content” of the painting, but just feeling and seeing the lucscuious colours oozing from the tubes, the buttery smoothness as the paint glides over the canvas, listening to loud, loud music, the movement of they body as the brush sweeps in wide arcs, this is why I paint, its so freeing, and exciting.
My sketch book is filling too and I know this is stirring something deep inside, its definitely a journey, and a daliy practice of creativity whatever it maybe certainly has its own momentum.
a great day in many ways, lunch by sea and a wonderful drive meandering along the country lanes to home. Shame I couldn’t see the lunar eclipse, but in my own way I honoured this special full moon this evening with a prayer for the land. I wrote it on small squares of paper and concealed them within layers of paint in a beautiful landscape.
This painting of Moel Hirradug has had several lives, three different attempts, one all green, one multicoloured and this one I think I like the best. Still feel the need to try again though, next time might be acrylics and pastel. This one is oil and it shows the iron age fort that sits atop. I have it on my friend’s authority that the view from the top is amazing, sadly I didnt even attempt it. Far too hot. The painting also depicts the parched earth, no rain now for 54 days.
Or should I say a vegetable day? my desire to keep painting seems strong at the moment. Am I enjoying it, Yes, absolutely. Am I pleased with the results, absolutely not !! this is the perfectionist in me, its such a hard task master to have this running all the time. Never ever feels good enough. For years, nearly 30 years I have been an interior designer and its only been in last 2-3 years that I can say I am interior designer and not feel a fraud. My creativity has taken many forms over the years, from drawing and watercolour sketches, to making things with my hands, cutting paper, clay work, collage, oil pastels, dry pastels, oil paint sticks but when it comes to painting, there is a lot of doubt that comes up. Not Good Enough, is the foremost one and most times it hampers the start, so recently with the urge to pick up my paintbrushes, oil paint and so on and keep painting is rather new to me. Its normally paint one or two, dont like them and put paints away for a few months.
Painting is a great teacher, it brings up so much for me that I can now sit and watch and see exactly what is happening as it unfolds. self doubt, conversations on size, whether to make it abstract or representational. Then there is the conversation about the cost of oil paint these days, absolutely ridiculous prices and like everything else now we have these small artisan workshops making specialist paints that are even more costly. One thing that has changed my painting though is Rosemary’s handmade brushes. I had never heard of an Egbert brush before, but these together with large long flats are helping me obtain the brushstrokes that I desire. To know they are handmade in Yorkshire make using them feel even better !
Not working at the day job today so had time to relax, breakfast on the Pantiles then back for painting and trying out a new medium, new to me anyway. Gamblin’s cold wax, its a mix of pure refined Beeswax and Gamsol, odourless mineral spirits. Wonderful stuff and it makes the oil paint a thick butter consistency. Thought I would try painting the South American woman’s face I tried a couple of week or so back and this time I am much happier. It has colour, the paints rich texture makes wonderful marks, using long flats and egbert brushes I managed to make really nice painterly strokes, even painting alla prima I could still, with a light touch flick a different colour over the first layer and create wonderful colour mixes and movement to the strokes. Blending the colour to create a blurred outline is something I am always trying, this medium it just happened without really trying. I used Rosemary Ivory brushes, long flats in sizes 6,10 and 12
Friday a really sunny day and took myself of to Hastings and my usual ritual of brunch at the Jerwood Gallery. Sitting outside on the terrace looking out to sea, the sun streaming down felt relaxed and far away from work related issues. Great food, great view and of course the paintings which I always come away from feeling energised with all kinds of inspired thoughts and feelings
This time I came back with a fish, a fresh caught sole for my dinner, amazing price of £2, together with some asparagus, home made hollandaise, plenty of lemon, delicious !!
Here are some colours I especially like, one of the them by Duncan Grant, all have some association with the local area and all the colour combination will have been absorbed like a sponge and then squeezed out into my next project.