Posts tagged seascape

Postaday2011: A short blog on oil painting.

I have managed to start the oil painting that I promised to do and it has been so long since I used oils that I had forgotten how messy it can be. Especially if you are me. My space is limited, light -dreadful and the picture I am working from doesn’t have enough detail to get it accurate but that doesn’t matter. As long as I have a basic idea I can work with it and make it look the way I want it to.

I chose a beach scene which I believed was taken on Ferring Beach in West Sussex, UK. If not I will find out and correct that statement. Here is the picture.

There is little detail showing so I shall have to practice a bit of artistic licence. This gives me an idea and it can be used to verify depth and distance as I go along. The very first thing I do is to prime my canvas if it isn’t already primed. For this I use a cheap white, matt emulsion. This helps the oil paint to bond to the canvas, often the primer on ready canvasses seem to have some repellant properties so it really does help.

I have to say at this point that I am not an expert artist, I am completely self taught using books and naked eye. There is probably a decent vocabulary to go along with what I am trying to describe but plain English will have to do.

This isn’t easy to see but the very first thing I do once the canvas is ready, is to sketch out lightly the picture I want to paint just to give me an idea of where I want to put the paint. Some people paint straight away but I prefer to have something to follow. No it isn’t paint by numbers.. hahaha.

Once the sketch is on I can start to paint. Once again, I do this the way I learned and no doubt if you went to art college they would tell you something completely different. I then paint the entire picture with a base coat. The colours aren’t important at this stage it just gives a rough guide to the shape of things to come.

As you can see once again, I have a good idea of where I want to go with this picture. I shall inevitably put in a lot more detail than the photograph contains but already it is possible to see a picture.

Oils take a long time to dry, I can’t remember how long exactly, so I shan’t do any more to this until I can paint on top of it without moving or blending the colours underneath about, this could be a couple of days or so. Therefore I shall continue my paint encounter once it is dried and give any would be artist out there a brush by brush account so that you can follow and have a go at painting yourself.

Acrylic is easier in one way because it dries in minutes but that is not always an advantage when, like me, perfection as near as possible is desired. If this is successful I will follow through an acrylic picture as well, mind you I might get tired of waiting for the oils to dry so could well start an acrylic one at the same time. Water colour, once again is totally different. Like I said, I am no expert, I just love to  draw and paint. I keep hoping I shall make some money from them one day… You never know…

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postaday2011: 2 of 3 achieved – YES!!!

Hehehe, ok, what’s she on about now? You have to admit that I am, if nothing else, queen of the random blogs. No theme, no style, just a rambler on of words.

So what have I achieved? A little while ago, someone on FB posted a challenge that involved a crafty idea. Once I had posted that I was involved I would have to send something I have made to so many people who responded. Well I have managed two so far. The third one is a bit tricky and I am not sure what to make so I have to think a little longer.I know she won’t appreciate anything useless or tacky, and so far I don’t think either have been, so I shall have to make some sneaky enquiries or seriously have a good think about it.

The annoying thing is that I can’t put a picture up until the people I made these things for have seen them, maybe I shouldn’t post this yet, but I shall forget if I don’t. I only sent one at the weekend and this one will be tomorrow now so as soon as I have had acknowledgements I shall post them on my blog.

I just love being busy, I might be great at procrastinating but I am always doing something. I have a huge range of hobbies and can put my hand to almost any craft you can think of, if I watch TV, I knit or sew, I love to cook but I can’t stand for too long so have to adapt that one and don’t cook as much as I would like to. I love to read and write but my writing has taken a back seat for my painting which is really developing well and I am so delighted.

I am about to start playing with my oil paints. I have chosen my picture and plan to start it tomorrow. I know some people are interested in a step by step account, I think that will be a great challenge for me because it will make me think about what I am doing.This is the picture I have picked because it is so quiet and serene, and of course it is the sea again. It will be different because I am working in oils and it takes a day or two to dry before I can continue building the picture… so here goes.

A short blog tonight, but I will post pictures of the craft items I have made as part of the challenge as soon as I can.

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Postaday2011: escape to the sea…

Bit of a fib there, not really so much an escape to the sea as escape into my painting. I am about halfway through my panoramic seascape and already I am as amazed as I always am when I paint a picture. I get to some bits and struggle, get fed up and leave it to have a cuppa, when I go back to it I am completely thrilled with the way it looks and wonder who snuck in and made it good for me. I will never stop appreciating the wonderful gift I have. OK it will never make me rich but I love the thought that after I am gone from this earth I will have left something lovely behind that some, somewhere enjoys owning.

Rather than a long blog today I am posting the painting so far… this is just half of it and it still needs a bit of work, and two of the original photographs I am trying to copy.

The following picture is of the first two photographs in a set of four. If anyone has any constructive criticism, I shall be really glad to hear it. There is always room for improvement.

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Postaday2011:A beep and a pink sky

And it was far from intentional. The early start I mean. I wouldn’t normally leave the warmth of my bed until 7.30 – 8am. Sounds lazy but Harry gets up at 4.30 to go to work and I am awake for at least an hour then. Why is it if I get up to go to the loo which requires motion, thought, actions etc, I can go back to bed and fall straight to sleep again. Yet when the alarms go off                 ( typical Harry, has to have two of everything – he’s a nightmare shopping!) I have to do nothing but give him a hug, wish him a lovely day and other lovey things and I don’t even have to move from my pillow but even if I close my eyes straight away within minutes I am wide awake. My brain kicks into gear and won’t stop thinking and before I know it and not long after I have finally dropped off, it is time to get up. Strange.

This morning I had actually managed to go back to sleep but at 5.45, as I was happily walking through one of those warm mixed up kind of happy dreams a bleep crept in. It fitted into my dream nicely and somewhere I questioned it but carried on dreaming. The second time it bleeped I woke up, my conscious brain telling me it isn’t a dream and that somewhere in the house a phone is telling me it’s hungry. I lay there for ages seeing if I can ascertain if it has come from upstairs or downstairs, not an easy feat because I have a hearing problem and the sound could be coming from anywhere depending on which ear is closest to it. Upstairs! I padded along to my studio where my mobile phone was sitting on my desk. Refusing to go downstairs for the charger I switched it off and went back to bed.. Could I sleep? no chance whatsoever so I had to get up.

I looked out of the window to see a beautiful mother of pearl pink sky and thought to myself, I would have missed it had I slept on so I silently thanked my phone for the early call. I wondered what would have happened to my day had I got angry that I had been wakened and cursed things instead, bet my day would have been awful. So my positive thinking made the difference today. I tidied and cleaned my studio and Harry’s study which was great because I found the notes I had been looking for to do a piece of writing. It took me ages because I am still suffering for the spring cleaning on Tuesday but it made me feel so good to sit and work in my tidy room. Tomorrow I have some ironing to do and then I am going to do some more to the painting I should have finished by now. I posted the beginning of it a couple of weeks ago so I will post the next stage now in the hope it will motivate me to get it finished. After all what better way to rest my poor bones, an afternoon at the easel sitting comfortably.

The picture has a way to go but the base is on and I am starting to put some detail in the sea and rocks having almost finished the sky. I am using acrylics though I want to try to paint the sea in oils at some point.

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Dreaming Life’s Sea

I am so pleased with myself today. I set targets, wrote the down and still achieved everything after a short period of procrastination… well facebook actually. My list read: 4 hours ‘working’ ; Ironing; creating a healthy vegetarian dinner and I did it. I also cleaned the lounge carpet and the washed the kitchen floor along with all the other little things I have to do. I say cleaned the lounge carpet loosely. I sprayed it with one of these marvelous spray cans and out of ease brushed it in with a -, hard brush, but it wasn’t on my list so that’s a bonus. My 4 hours were spent today on the painting with lots of short breaks I might add.

Painting for me is really therapeutic and as I paint my mind wanders in places I have never been, places I used to belong in and that special place to me that connects the real with the surreal… today, I did another coat on the panoramic picture and concentrated on the sky. second coatNot a good clear image but I have added the general shape and colour of the ocean and some ‘white horses’ to give me something to develop. Mainly I concentrated on getting the sky right and I think I have got it the way I want it to be, for the moment.  Again not a clear image but you get the idea. Today the light was not really good enough so I might have to repaint it tomorrow depending on how the day is.

It was while I was doing the sky that my mind wandered. I am happy with the way it is at the moment but once I do the sea everything changes. It reminded me of the way life is and just how I connect to nature. If the sky is clear and blue the sea is a wonderful combination of deep blue and turquoise and seems so clear… ok maybe not Hastings beach where I come from originally, but other less muddy beaches. If the sky is dull and cloudy the sea becomes grey and dreary too. A stormy day sees a choppy sea that froths and bubbles angrily to the shore, even the harbour at Portsmouth gives me the impression of a million invisible cats lapping at the water as its tiny waves are tousled by the wind. Then I think about life. Are we not exactly the same? do our reactions not reflect what the sky dictates?

This morning the sky was a beautiful blue that had been streaked with mother of pearl clouds. A perfect morning and I was inspired to achieve my list. I should have painted then instead of cleaning because by the time I had finished and turned to my brushes, the sky was grey and cloudy and a fine drizzle had dampened my energy. I painted anyway and the sky on my canvas lifted my spirits despite the dreadful light but I am not happy with the result. I also know that once I get the sea with its magnificent swell painted and the foam splashed rocks I might have to change the sky. A picture is never just a picture. It is a series of captured emotions that are dictated by the mood of the world I am trying to create and each coat is inspired by the next. It changes as much as the weather does until finally the image is satisfied and blends perfectly. Distance, shore, sea and sky all become the whole in their own time. I never know when a picture is finished until the picture itself lets me know.

How much we also connect to the world around us. The ebb and flow of life creates as many colours and atmospheres that surround us and alter our mood accordingly. It may not be as dramatic as the sea and the sky but often is just as emotional. In a group of friends we laugh and relax, any troubles are forgotten for that moment in time and our conversation is carried on the common shared feeling. In heavy traffic and sitting alone in the car unless there is a distraction, some good music that carries our thoughts away, for instance, we become stressed and up-tight. There is no one to take that stress for us and we have to carry it, grey and dismal until the traffic speeds up. By then the mood has infiltrated our life. Maybe a sunny day will improve things? We feel such a swell of emotion when we see our children smile or hear them laugh. The time we spend playing with them in the park, at the beach or at the pool makes us happy, we feel light and sunny. That can change in the blink of an eye from a gentle tide that splashes to the shore to a raging storm-tossed ocean that leaves us unsure. Sitting in an armchair with a pet on your lap or by your side is calming and leaves a gentle feeling of peace inside us. There are so many scenarios of how our external world affects our internal feelings and when I am painting those are the thoughts that drift through my head.

Each of us is like a tiny wave in a huge ocean, each turn of the tide, wind blowing, ray of sunlight or cloudy sky changes the way we behave in our world. And then I stop and think how much I appreciate that, unlike the sea, we have choices. And as rough or as kind as the world cares to treat us we have options. We can make decisions that can change our world and colour it any way we want. We don’t have to go with the flow if we choose not to.

Today I went with the flow but although I achieved a lot I was floating with the tide. The day was grey and I was grey with it. I look forward to painting the sea and the rocks  tomorrow; the sea has emotion, passion and life and the power to change its world. Maybe the tide will be bouncier, the sky will need to be bluer, the sun shining. Either way my life will be richer because I have this amazing gift of dreaming as I paint.

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Some days just run themselves.

When I got up this morning I had plans, I was going to meet a friend for coffee then come back and get the writing done I needed to do for a workshop on Thursday, then do some work for the Writers Group. If I had time I was going to do some painting. Well, plans changed for meeting the friend, which was ok because I made new ones for Friday, then I decided I would just do a quick tidy up. Bearing in mind I really need to do a major clean which is a good day’s work  for me being so slow and all, but also knowing I really needed to get some art work finished and the stuff I had to get done for other people was a must for today or at least tomorrow. The decision to just do a quick tidy up was a silly one. It started up clearing the kitchen from breakfast, then well the bathroom needed a clean, oh and while I am at it I might as well just empty the bins ready for dustbin day tomorrow and … you get the picture? By the time I got round to sitting down to write it was nearly lunchtime. But then on reflection it must be about the time I would have got back from my meeting with my friend had I gone so maybe it wasn’t so bad. After all I had done all the clearing up ready for cleaning tomorrow or Friday. My mind drifts off, as long as I get it done, it says, by Sunday when we have visitors for dinner what does it matter? My writing is done as far as I can do it and I might get to do some painting, well as long as the ironing doesn’t weigh too heavy on my conscience. Is that procrastination? I think it is. Am I an expert or what… Hmmm that reminds me of Harry’s definition of an expert, ex being something that has passed and spurt a short jet of water, so does that mean I don’t exist? Nothing but a puddle on the floor? Ah well….

So at the end of the day I have achieved quite a lot really which leaves me a lot more time tomorrow to do a clean and some painting. Oh I have a long list of things to do, bake some bread, make some cakes, start making the gifts I am planning for Christmas but well, there is still time for those and if I don’t make the cakes I am not the cause of making them eat unhealthy food… easy for me to say when I am not really a cake lover… give me crackers and cheese any day. I think I know the answer… lists! I will make little lists and cross them off as I go… Does that make me old if I have got to the stage of making lists? My wonderful children tell me I can’t be old, I’m their Mummy. Isn’t that so sweet, they forget they have children that are already telling them that they are old. Where does the time go?

Tomorrow my main aim will be to finish a painting I have been working on for a couple of years. Unfortunately, even though I am amazed at the pictures that drip from the end of my brush I cannot paint a straight line so I have no idea what possessed me to paint a scene through a window which is a lot of straight lines. I have friends telling me it looks good, others telling me I am too much a perfectionist and they are right, paintings are the artists interpretation… no wonder I am no good at abstract. Anyway I am determined to get it finished so I can work on the third in the set for a friend. Today has run itself and I have acheived much more than I thought I would and left tomorrow comparatively free… hey! the housework will always be there, if I do it tomorrow it will still need doing again the next day… maybe it is time to take some for me..

The picture below is the second in the set of three and although I am not entirely happy with it I stopped painting and added my signature. end of!  Time for the next one.

Splash point!

Splash point!

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