These little studies !i do for February are really testing me. Sometimes I finish a canvas, stand back, look at it and it horrifies me! I then put it way back in the darkand when I come back to it a day or so later, I find it not so bad after all.The painting fairy passed by and touched it with her magic wand.
oil on linen, 20X20cm
..two spring onions..
oil on linen, 33X24cm
I am a little under the weather since last Friday and feel tired, mentally and physically. The gooseberries were a bigger challenge than usual and if the Painting fairy hadn’t stopped by and woven her wand over it, you might not have seen it.
oil on linen, 41X26cm
My art project for February is oil paintings. I find February the most difficult month of the year. It is usually very cold, rainy and grey, and the worst of all, windy. So it turns put to be the month I spend inside most of my time, painting wise. I usually turn to watercolor work, or drawing, both of which I enjoy. But this year I am taking out the oils in February.
..pomegranate in blues..
oil on linen, 27x29cm
I have bought a lot of small canvases on which I intend to do small and quick stillifes, not a formal, still life set up, bit more single pieces of fruit and vegetables, objects from the kitchen and refrigerator and veggie basket. I am awful at doing still lifes, I have done only a very few oil still lifes and I can’t say I enjoyed it very much. I find still life too static for me. I have no adrenalin pumping when doing a still life…there is no changing elements like wind or changing light or heat or movement which prompt me to work loose and fast and prevent me from fiddling. Standing in front of a stillife gives me too much time to fiddle, to much time to stand back and contemplate what to do or change, too much opportunities to return to the work and “fix’ what I don’t like.
..pomegranate in greens
oil on linen, 20X20cm
These little paintings are exercises in different strokes, using different sizes of brushes and techniques and rendition in everything BUT realism.. All of them are done in one go, painting wet-in-wet, impasto, sur le motif, in my atelier. After the third one, I actually started enjoying it. The first painting was horrific..I was so not in the mood for this project, but I didn’t want to fail, so I put 3 pomegranates up on the table, 3 canvases on the easel at the same time and painted all three at the same time. That turned out to be not too bad and I started enjoying it.
..pomegranates in yellows..
oil on board, 33X22cm
I still have 2 days left to capture some bulbs. Not that it means we are in spring. On the contrary, with snow forecasts for this weekend en cold to the bone weather and the fire burning high in the fireplace, it is everything but spring. Inside my barn though, I have forced bulbs everywhere and tulips in vases. Nothing can stop me from bringing some spring inside.
I used lots of different mediums and styles, just simply playing around, messing around. I enjoy working with gouache, I don’t do that enough, so it was great to do some sketches with gouache today. the last image is one of the gouache sketches..but I ruined it of course with that enormous name I signed…tried to be too artistic…
..contour lines with black Lamy safari pen on Fabraino watercolor block HP, 18×25.5cm
..watercolor and J. Herbin ink, café des iles in Stillman & Birn sketchbook, Epsilon series, 14×21.6cm
..watercolor and in Stillman & Birn sketchbook, Alpha series, 22.9x15cm
..gouache and black Lamy safari pen on Fabriano watercolor block, HP, 18X25cm
The potted bulbs all have some flowers and today the little Iris reticulata had its turn. Some quick line work in inks and blotches of watercolor was all that I was in the mood for.
..Iris reticulata 1..
..watercolor and J. Herbin ink(bleu myosotis and lie de the) on Fabriano HPwatercolor block..
The top sketch was done on Fabriano hot press watercolor paper, my favorite and the inks just work beautifully with the nibs and inks. The bottom sketch on cold press was a different story. The nibs get stuck on the paper with its rough texture and I just don’t like any other paper than hot pressed. you can just look at my signed name to see how I struggled to get a fluid line down.
..Iris reticulata 2..
..watercolor and Sennelier ink(sanguine 270) on Fabriano CP watercolor block..
I’ve mentioned how slow I am in January. I fiddle everywhere without getting anything done. With aw eek of January left, I decided to give myself a project for this week. I always work better towards a deadline with objectives and projects. I have some forced bulbs and for these few days I will render them in more ways than one. My technique is busy changing, which is of course a good thing, but in the process of that change it is without definition and all over the place. Experimenting with brush and line may just open up a new door for a February project.
So the first bulbs are the hyacinths. Lovely to look at, but they really cornered me. I did several of which I show only these two.
hyacinth bulb 1
done in watercolor an prera pilot pen on Fabriano HP extra white watercolor block, 23×30.5cm
done in watercolor and Lamy safari pen on Fabriano HP extra white watercolor block, 23×30.5cm
It’s been a while since I’ve done sketches of my cats. high time to do it again.
Tokala was chosen as the model, because she has a lot of finicky tricks when grooming herself. A good thing she isn’t a human, she would be unbearable! I caught some quick movements which are actually more gestures than anything else and one or two poses that she was willing to keep for longer. Good exercise to focus and concentrate. the colour was added later after all the sketches were done.
..Tokala the cat..
All sketches in watercolor and Prera pilot pen in Stillman & Birn sketchbook, alpha series.
The old year and all its festive eating are behind us and the new year awaits us with our resolutions and new plans and dreams As happens every year, I am slow off the mark and January is a month in which I am somewhat lost. I idle and can’t move into a chosen direction. Maybe it is the aftermath of a great time spent with my family and this year was extra special with us all being in the Haute Savoie in the Alps. My soul is still dwelling there in the snow and vagabonding the beautiful peaks.
I did however succeed in picking up some watercolor this afternoon, capturing the shrimps that will be our dinner. and why not a few shitakes mushrooms along with it.
watercolor and Prera pilot pen in Alpha series sketchbook, 22.9×15.2cm
watercolor and Prera pilot pen in Alpha series sketchbook, 22.9×15.2c