Journey’s End – We made it!

Sometimes a series of paintings just won’t co-operate, or is it me not cooperating?  Luckily, things went pretty smoothly with this lot!  The photo above is a detail from “Plunge”.  Do you like the way the water has moved the paint around? I love how the splashes of colour in the corner make way for the black to take center stage.  It’s just a crop, but it may lead to ideas, who knows?!

(“Plunge” 20cm wide x 20cm high)

Things can change at any stage in a painting’s development.  It makes for a very exciting and adventurous process It can sometimes feel exhilarating and at other times, downright depressing.  I learnt that “it may not work” during a online course in 2020 and I’m starting to accept it more and more.  It means that results don’t matter as much as the process, the fun and the journey.

(“Rockhole” 20cm wide x 20cm high)

In this series one square wouldn’t resolve as easily as the others, so we had to wait for what it needed to come to mind, or to hand!

(“Aquifer” 20cm wide x 20cm high)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief look inside my thoughts and processes. (I started describing this process in the previous issue of Studio News.)

(“Run Off” 20cm wide x 20cm high)

You can click on each image to go directly to Bluethumb for more information.

(“Skyward” 20cm wide x 20cm high)

With each painting there are seeds of change that raise their heads, leading to new adventures!

The exciting and inspiring circle of art!

(“Around and About” 20cm wide x 20cm high)

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Teaming Up- Six little squares start their adventure

Starting a new series of paintings is always exciting. You’re never sure what the outcome will be. Although, at the beginning there is something, an idea, colour palette, sketch or subject, they always alter and develop. In my experience, if you stick rigidly to the initial idea the results are never as good and you don’t have as much fun or make new discoveries.

With this series, the idea was to begin with expressive lines inspired by the landscape. Not literal interpretations but more lively and adventurous ones. Lines I could feel as I recalled being “in” the landscape. Lines that flowed and changed direction with characteristics that altered as I worked.

Some areas were sprayed with water to add elements of chance and randomness. Water moves the paint around and makes different marks, none of which you can fully control. This is a wonderful stage as you watch what happens. See how in the first square the water has run down, over the acrylic paint pen line, lifting out paint as it ran across. A new discovery! Serendipity! Artists are lucky to be able to feel the joy of creating in this playful manner. Exploring, experimenting, discovering and generally having a damn good time. Hopefully, viewers of a painting can “feel” this too.

This technique of drawing and starting new paintings is very inspiring and I can barely wait for this layer to dry before I continue. It’s like a hot loaf of fresh homemade bread. You just can’t wait! Can you smell it? The next step uses more skill and judgement. I like the combination of chance and purposefulness!

Having decided on a palette of colours to use, I look for designs that may have been created within each section. From here on, it’s a process of look, pick an area or shape, then a colour, technique and tool to use. All the while being conscious of whether the designs look and feel right. It’s a case of feeling right because you can feel it almost before you can “see” it.

I like to let things “cook” a little between tasks. It’s like a “getting to know each other” bonding time. It may end with me knowing just what comes next or, perhaps, not having a blooming clue! Either way, something new is emerging from somewhere.

See if you can guess what I might do next? The image at the top is a dead give away!

Next time I’ll hopefully show you the finished, named paintings all ready for uploading to the website. Will all six pass muster?!

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Click here to find out about exhibitions Wendy currently has work in.


Drive-past Sketching – Our Journey Begins

Have you tried memorising or sketching views while travelling in a car? I’m sure you would find it good training for developing fast looking and sketching skills. However, you do need a chauffeur!

This sketching technique grew out of sketching in the car over a couple of years. Long trips watching the landscape pass by and being inspired by what I saw had me thinking. Even though the subject would waft past quickly I decided to give it a go. Here’s a very early one. (That bird had a takeaway coffee cup!?)

Initially, the sketches were not so loose, but they developed into a technique that worked really well with mixed media – collage, coloured pencil and gouache as in the beach boxes painting below.

Sketching on the move became addictive and I longed for lengthy trips in the car. My bag became fatter and heavier as sketching gear became a constant companion. The kit has since been refined – sketchbook, fountain pen and water brush, plus extras in a small bag if I want.

No time for being careful. I still remember what this countryside looked and felt like.

The waterbrush was put to work in this one. Now …. how to use all these sketches?

Abstract ambitions had surfaced somewhere along the road and the simplified sketches of that wafting scenery were perfect for interpreting in an abstract or semi-abstract manner. The mixed media painting below is one of an early series that these sketches have inspired.

From here on, things start to snowball, but more on that later!

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Click here to find out about exhibitions Wendy currently has work in.