30 December 2013

January painting challenge

You may remember my paintings from the September challenge. It was fun to do, although stressful at times making sure there was a new painting everyday.

In January, I will be taking part in another 30 paintings in 30 days challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta.

I have been thinking about a theme and several ideas have come to mind. One is to paint the same scene in different ways, another is to concentrate on abstracts and yet another is still lifes. I want to work smaller than my normal 18x24cm (7x10inch) and maybe give myself a time limit for each painting to encourage a free and loose style, concentrating on expressive brush or palette knife work.

Join me in January to see what I have decided.

Happy New Year to all, and I hope it is a good one. 

20 December 2013

Provence Poppies Galore, palette knife painting in oil

Provence Poppies Galore
Palette knife painting
Oils on box canvas
20x15cm (approx 8x6 inch)
Available in my Etsy Store

The red is bright in this - but not quite as bright as this shows. I altered it in Photoshop and got a pretty good approximation of the true colour, but it never seems to load up right - Oh well!

I did not use any true reds in the poppies, they are mainly a combination of Winsor and Newton scarlet (an orangey-red), yellow, permanent rose and alazarin crimson. In sunny areas I always use yellow underneath the red, as it always seems to make the reds 'pop'. Contrary to what logic tells you, I often find that red loses it's brightness if painting it on top of white.

Close-ups of the knife work

19 December 2013

Poppies in Provence No.1 mini knife painting

Poppies in Provence No.1
Oil on panel,
12x12cm (approx 4.5"x4.5")
Palette knife painting
Available for purchase 33€ (ca. US$45)

Last week my escape from winter was the sunflowers of Provence. This week it is the poppies. I have completed four paintings in the last couple of days - admittedly small ones but it meant I could squeeze in some painting time.
They are all of the sameish? (is that a word!) scene as my larger painting "Scarlet Poppies".

Close-ups of the knife work

I will post the other three paintings over the next few days.

12 December 2013

Provence Lavender palette knife oil painting

Provence Lavender
Palette knife painting
Oil on box canvas
23 x 30 cm (approx 9x12 inch)
Available in my Etsy Store

A different format and orientation for this small painting. I have lots of canvasses that have accumulated over the years waiting for inspiration to strike. I had already painted a ground on this in a mix of blue, pink and yellow horizontal blocks and then did not do anything with it. I noticed it again a few days ago and as the block in was horizontal, it suggested a portrait format, not the typical orientation for my landscapes. The light bulb went on and this is the result.
Here are some close-ups of the knife work

10 December 2013

The Smell of Lavender - Finished, palette knife painting in oils

The Smell of lavender
Palette knife painting
Oil on stretched linen canvas
46 x 55 cm (approx 18"x22")
For sale in my Etsy store

This painting is now finished. I changed the shape of the lavender fields from the first block in (see my previous post) a little, as compositionally they did not make sense. (Thank you Carol for pointing me in the right direction). I don't know what I was thinking, they joined smack bang in the centre of the canvas - I knew it was wrong but was persevering with it anyway. Carol made me stop and think - it's funny how sometimes it needs someone to say "Hold on a minute!".

Carol Hopper is another artist I connected with on the 30 days hath September challenge. See her blog here.

09 December 2013

Champs de Lavande et Tournesols Provence Landscape palette knife painting

Champs de Lavande et Tournesols -
Fields of Lavender and sunflowers
Provence landscape palette knife painting
Oil on box canvas
15 x 20 (6x8") x 1.5cm
Available in my Etsy store

Take time out to Play
At the beginning of the week I was running out of ideas of what to paint and I was questioning my use of oils. I wanted to do something less representational than my normal work and had a hankering to create abstracts. 

I spent two days playing around with mono-prints as well as ink and gouache resist. I had never done either and I didn't quite know the techniques, so I read up on them and off I went!
I didn't produce anything worthy, but I had a really good time. Since then I have been re-energised. I have finished several small paintings, have plenty of good ideas milling around and I have finished my larger painting I posted last week (keep tuned tomorrow to see it).

Play is good for you.

08 December 2013

07 December 2013

Sunny Sunflowers in Provence palette knife oil painting

Sunny Sunflowers in Provence
Palette knife oil painting
20x15cm (approx 6x8inch) on 1cm box canvas
This painting is now SOLD
Visit my Etsy store to see a selection of available paintings

This is a scene I return to when I want something nice and sunny to paint. It always makes me smile to imagine those sunflowers bobbing away. These sunflower fields are adjacent to the lavender fields and the contrast of the yellow to the lavender is truly a feast for the eyes

Here is a collage of my previous paintings of the same scene (available in my Etsy store)

05 December 2013

Looking through to the lavender

Looking through to the lavender
palette knife painting
Oil on stretched canvas
During the 30 days hath September challenge, I painted a study (see here) which I used for the concept of this painting. I searched through my lavender photos for suitable trees to use and cam up with these two groups. The dark green trees and the silvery green-grey trees are a feature of the landscape and I thought it would be good to combine the two to stop the foreground from looking too heavy.
As always, your comments are appreciated.