Friday, 27 February 2015

Sort of up and running....

....after time spent in the UK, not least to attend the funeral of a good friend, who died after a long illness on 24th January.. February was not an easy month There are so many times when I wish I lived nearer to home, but c'est la vie!
On my drawing page, I talked a bit more about February. Now it's nearly March, I'm watching the last amaryllis growing on my window ledge (the bulbs only seem to be available here during the winter), my tulip bulbs are about to bloom, daffodils are literally ten a penny at the supermarket, and it isn't cold all the time, so spring is in the air.

I've been preoccupied with painting - still more of a solace than doodling! - and the half finished oeuvres are displayed below.

The camel comes with a story. Ten years ago I painted it 80x80cm just for fun. 

This is my favourite photo of a camel:
moulting camel - Dortmund 2010

He looks scruffy. Camels so not shed their fur prettily!

My son loved the camel painting, but I sold it. Ten years later, I'm recreating it for him. It's now 50x60cm on pure linen - the frames in that series are not made square and I didn't want to have to put one together, not least because the linen does not exactly grow on trees and I didn't want to have to buy a huge roll for a huge price just to make this one canvas, which is going to stay unpainted round the edges. The linen is more beige than it looks on the photo, so it will blend nicely with the browns and tans of the painting.

pastel underpainting
(too many long teeth!)
I started in pastel chalks, which were marvellous to work with on the clear gessoed canvas. I am going to continue in oils and have sealed the pastels lightly with a proper spray (from Winsor&Newton), an important step before carrying on. I hope the mixture of water-soluble oils and pastels will be successful. I haven't tried it before, and the effect will be of pastel, of course, water being a medium used sparingly. I will not aim for an impasto effect. The pastels are from Rembrandt, my favourite make. Cheap pastels won't do. They have too little pigment and too much binder. Rembrandt chalks go onto canvas with almost no dust (i.e. wastage). I hope to complete the painting soon, and will post it here.

original painting
acrylics 80x80cm

The second painting will go on the wall of the room where I usually sleep at my friends' house. The second friend is fortunately still very much alive and plans to go on living in the house she shared with the friend who died in January. The painting now on the wall is a nondescript print 50x70cm in it's frame, so the new painting (specially requested!) will be 50x70cm in all. The flowers are based on a photo of hellebores in her garden taken by her a couple of years ago.
hellebores stage 7 acrylic underpainting
I've started painting in a style chosen by my friend and enclose that painting below the underpainting stage of the new one. I wanted to paint with a lot of light (the photo does not show how light the painting is on the loeft side) so that the painting is still bright and cheerful at night, which is when one spends most time in a bedroom. I started in acrylics, but will now move into oils. When the painting is completed, I'll post a short movie of the stages. Kitch? So what!

80x80cm acrylics

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