31 January 2017

30 in 30 Collage

30 paintings in 30 days, January 2017 Collage

The challenge is over and I managed to paint every day.

My personal challenge was to experiment with abstracts and experment I did. I tried several different techniques from collage and assemblage through to intuitive works and onto drawing. I liked all of my works, although some were more successful than others. Now the hard work begins of assimmilating what I learnt and putting the final touches on my most successful paintings.

Thank you once again to Lesle Saeta for hosting the challenge, the rewards in participating outweigh the self-induced stress.

To peruse the other participants paintings vist Leslie's blog and have a peek.

Thank you all for following my progress.

30 January 2017

CLOSING IN Day 30 of the 30 day Challenge


Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas

Day 30 of Jan 2017 30 paintings challenge
Click Here to see Day 29's painting
The final painting for the 30 day challenge. It's been an interesting one for me and thanks for sharing my personal explorations into abstract art.
Yesterday was a miserable day and the light disappeared around about 4pm so I had to leave 'Towards the Light' to be finished another day. I had a lot of white paint left and I never like to waste anything. I grabbed a canvas I had repurposed with some gesso and started covering the canvas in broad strokes with the white dipped at random into the small piles of paint left on the palette..

This was the result:

The pastel colours appealed to me, so this morning I went with it.

Next steps enhancing the colours

The colours are getting a bit strong so I washed over them with white, diluted with lots of medium, to mute the colours slightly. I kept going like this (thought I had another photo I must have been so involved 'in the moment' I forgot to take one.

I went back and forth and the final stage was to add some thin lines and swirls. I wondered if I could achieve this with oil pastel. Oil pastel doesn't dry so I coated the painting with Liquin, left it a few moments and drew into that. The liquin will dry the oil pastel. 

Well that didn't work, so quick as a flash I rubbed all that off. I then used the oil pastel to add a few marks.

I think it needs to sit and meld for a while for me to see what, if anything, it needs.

29 January 2017

TOWARDS THE LIGHT WIP, Day 29 of the 30 day challenge

Work in Progress
2x50x60cm (overall 100x60cm - 40x24in)
Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas

Day 29 of Jan 2017 30 paintings challenge
Click Here to see Day 28's painting
The underpainting:

I had an idea for this. I wanted lots of colour and raised swirls on this one. So  at this stage I went to the nearest town to see what I could find in the way of relief paint. The local art store was closed - it closes between 12:30 and 3pm for lunch - only in France! There is another store, part of a supermarket chain, that sells art materials, books and mixed media. Their art supplies are gradually dwindling but I did find some white relief paint. Triumphant I got ready to try my artistic swirls. The relief paint was TRANSPARENT not white. Ugh!

Undaunted I added more colour and, no surprises, I think it is turning into an abstract floral.

Will it become a floral? Or can I resist the urge and do something different?

By the way, does anyone know what to do with transparent relief paint?

28 January 2017


Work in Progress
2x50x60cm (overall 100x60cm - 40x24in)
Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas

Day 27 of Jan 2017 30 paintings challenge
Click Here to see Day 26's painting

Well... I failed in yesterday's task of completing my painting. What did I do instead? Created another one of course!

Living in France the expense of shipping outside of France is high and it makes it difficult to ship large pieces, as Colissimo parcel post do not take very large parcels and DHL fees would be a large percent of the cost of the painting. I would like to paint larger. Some of the ideas this month, in my humble opinion, would look great larger.  To stick my toe in the water, I am trying the diptych and maybe triptych idea, if that works maybe then I'll be ordering those larger canvasses - I told you I was addicted to art supplies.

27 January 2017

AFTER THE STORM acrylic abstract, Day 27 of the 30 day challenge

AFTER THE STORM Work in Progress
acrylic abstract painting
50x60cm (20x24in) on gallery wrapped canvas

Day 27 of Jan 2017 30 paintings challenge
Click Here to see Day 21's painting

I needed to use paint today - I was getting withdrawal symptons.

I liked the effect of day 10's painting, During the Storm, and wanted to see if I could scale it up.

I gessoed the canvas with heavy body gesso to get some texture and to ecourage the paint to pool in the texture. This is how it look after the initial wash - Sorry a very glary photo:

Next I mixed black with heavy gel medium and added that in what I hoped was and interesting shape. Then I started working on the colour. This was my initial pass, but I felt it was much too bright.

I continued working on toning it down and trying to 'meld' the colours together and also adding a few darks. Day 10's painting was on mountboard and came out much more moody, probably because the colours ran together more. On the canvas the paint did not flow as easily

Todays task is to bring it to a finished state.

26 January 2017

IMMUTABLE Pen and Wash Drawing - Day 26 of the 30 day challenge

Pean and Wash
30x40cm (12x16in) on watercolour paper
Day 26 of Jan 2017 30 paintings challenge
Click Here to see Day 21's painting

Continuing yesterday's theme with pen and wash in a larger format. Instead of using Chinese ink (which is so so black) I used black watercolour for a much softer black. I paid good attention to composition rules, no shape the same size, interesting lines avoiding straight and parallel lines, variety of marks. Even so I still ended up with some similar repeated shapes.

Once again this was created in the evening sitting on the sofa and half-watching tv. I just managed to finish it as I stopped for an hour to actually watch SKY Portrait Artist of the Year. All nine contestants, a mix of professional and amateur, produced some stunning celebrity portraits. It's a genre I've always shied away from - Maybe that could be my next subject for September's challenge!

I decided I went a bit overboard with the wash, so I will tone down areas of the background wash.

I also washed over one of yesterday's paintings with yellow ochre to see what the effect would be:

Another interesting effect. Sepia ink instead of black, would also work well.

25 January 2017

INK STUDIES day 25 of 30 paintings challenge

My lack of motivation continued today. I played around with an idea I had but didn't take it far enough to post a painting. Last night I gave myself a strong talking to. I was looking through an exhibition catalogue of a Michel Gaudet (a French abstract painter) exhibition and that must have sparked something off.

While watching tv, I got out my watercolour pad, a Uniball micro pen and some water and started seeing what effects I could get.

This was the first

This was the second. Getting more complex

I loved the effect I could get just using the one pen. The ink dried very quickly and was waterproof once dry, but while it was wet it gave a lovely water colour effect.

On some of the lines I wet it and went back in with the pen to achieve some softer edge and spread the dissolve ink to give me the wash. The blots were created with cling film (food wrap) scrunched up and dipped in diluted chinese ink. The chinese ink is so strong, and very black and I would have liked the black areas to be less intense. A final splattering of ink finished it off.

Definitely an idea I can take forward.

Creativity is a funny thing - it is definitely enhanced by 'doing'.

24 January 2017

Colour Field Studies 2 - Blue, day 24 of the 30 day challeng

I ran out of steam a bit today. As they say life took over and my enthusiam dipped to a real low! I use a lot of blues in my paintings and wanted to explore different elements around that. This is all I achieved today. I have decided to move on and leave my colour studies until I have time to plan them properly. It is a fascinating subject in its own right and needs time and thought as well as the thinking time to absorb the effects.

With only a limited number of acrylics and mainly transparent ones, when I return to studying them, I will use oils which I can handle much better. Mind you, it would be a good excuse to do more art shopping for better acrylics. I think I need a range from open acrylics to heavy body.

One way to do these colour studies is to paint severL one colour sheets of paper and use those cut up and placeS on one another to see the effect before diving into the paint. Or, perhaps they could then be collaged together as references going forward.

I played around a bit with yesterdays two paintings:

Amazing what using a black or white border can do to youR perception of size as well as colour. The two right hand halves also show how lost edges can be created by colour with a similar tone. Just shows how when you DO IT, there is always something to learn.

23 January 2017

Colour Fields Studies, Day 23 of 30 day challenge

The beauty of doing something that is so far out of your comfort zone is it leaves you open to all sorts of new ideas and ways of looking at things. I never really understood colour field paintings but I have been looking at them just lately and I am starting to see more in them than I initially did. So for the next three days or so, I am going to see if I can make some sense of them for myself and I always want to learn more about colour.

I will be using NOT watercolour paper and acrylic. Today I started with analogous colours (groups of three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel) of yellow, orange and red. It may be the grey rainy day that influenced my choice!

This is the start of two of the studies. The background on the first is orange mixed with white. That resulted in this lovely coral colour, the second has a background of alazarin crimson which, in hindsight, is the wrong colour choice and will be changed.

Stay with me to see how this goes.

22 January 2017

Times Past Abstract Painting, Day 22 30 day painting challenge

Acrylic abstract
50x60cm on panel
Day 22 of Jan 2017 30 paintings challenge
Click Here to see Day 21's painting
The title was suggested by my husband. I didn't think he would see anything in this painting, but it's amazing how much he can see in some paintings despite his colour blindness. In fact he very often sees things I don't notice, perhaps because of his colour blindness, he sees the patterns more clearly.

I wanted a combination of texture and blending on this one. Having given up on the texture gel, I used heavy gesso in two areas and scored it with lines and circles. I had the idea of rocky shores maybe with blue above and blue below - sky? sea? I was quite pleased with the texture.

I used white, yellow ochre and alazarin crimson as in Day 20 and rollered that after spritzing the support with water. The alazarin crimson settled nicely into some of the grooves. After adding more white diagonally across, I added blue followed by quin. gold to enhance the grooves.

I then started to scumble various colour combinations over the whole area. Back and forwards for a longgggg time. I added orange into the mix to give more of a golden colour. I felt darks were needed so added some alazarin crimson mix with a tiny bit of black. Oh that was so dark and I lightened it a little. Not sure if that was the right decision. Scumbling takes a lot of time but there is something satisfying about watching the subtle changing of the colours but it's really hard to know when to stop!

I am quite pleased but some more scumbling is needed to meld the colours more and maybe I will lighten the blue. 

This is a concept I can take further for several paintings, but using plaster to create a thicker texture

21 January 2017

Day 21 WIP acrylic abstract, 30 paintings challenge

Untiltled WIP
Acrylic abstract painting
50x60cm on panel

Day 21 of Jan 2017 30 paintings challenge
Click Here to see Day 20's painting

I started this similar to yesterday's painting but coated the support with the flow medium first (I'm determined to find a good use for it). I used ceruleun blue, alazarin crimson and white. Due to the flow medium the paint was very 'squidgy' as I rolled and the imprint of the rollers was apparent. I decided to go with this and leave the pattern to take me forward. This was how it looked:

I added more paint keeping with the general shapes formed

So far not too bad - but then it went hay wire and resulted in the painting you see at the top. Not good at all, I somehow lost the way on this one. I shall see if I can save it as there are some elements in it that I like. I shall wait a awhile before I look at it again. Or maybe I will cut it up into smaller paintings and go from there.

You win some, you lose some... 

20 January 2017

'SAMURAI' Acrylic Abstract, Day 20 of 30 day Challenge

50X60cm (20x24in) acrylic on panel
Day 20 of Jan 2017 30 paintings challenge
Click Here to see Day 19's painting

Going larger and being bolder in my approach.

Today I wanted to practice blending. The Golden Fluid acrylics dry so quickly that blending with them is out of the question unless lots of water is used which results in a thin film of paint. I managed to get hold of some Liquitex acrylics in our small town which I know have a longer 'wet' time (is that even a term?). Another new technique for me was using a roller.

I squirted some white, yellow ochre and alazarin crimson onto the board and rollered them to death for my base.

The start - as you can see I repurposed an old painting again

I wanted a dark area somewhere in the middle but did not want to use black, so I used cerulean blue and alazarin crimson. Unfortunately this resulted in a bit of a mess not my perfect bluey purple vision.

How did I hide this? by adding more colour of course! This was another painting that evolved as I went along - what a lot of fun but a nightmare at the same time.

A close -up

My husband - a confirmed "I don't like abstracts" person - paid me the ultimate complement on this one by asking me not to sell it as it 'spoke' to him.

19 January 2017

RIFT Abstract Painting, Day 19 of 30 day challenge

Acrylic abstract painting
30x40cm on MDF canvas panel

Day 19 of Jan 2017 30 paintings challenge
Click Here to see Day 18's painting
This painting started out similarly to yesterday's painting but using the cut offs from piece of water colour paper I used. I pasted these on the edges of a panel. I mixed some gel medium into so modelling paste in the hope it might make it more firm. I wanted the make round indentations into the paste, it worked to a certain extent - you can see some of the indentations in the following photo.
I painted the textured area a deep blue and dropped pure orange, yellow and red into the indentations. After creating some streaks on the paper and adjusting the blues in the central area I called it done.

This could go anywhichway. Which orientation doe you think looks best?

18 January 2017

Quick Getaway Abstract, Day 18 of 30 paintings challenge

Acrylic abstract painting
Day 18 of Jan 2017 30 paintings challenge
Click Here to see Day 17's painting
I started off this painting with the idea of a smooth middle section and highly textured top and bottom section. I ripped some NOT watercolour paper to give bevelled edges and used that as the middle strip.
I created a vertical texture in the top third and a slanted texture with a palette knife at the bottom. This gave a large area at the bottom but it all had a similar texture, so, again with the palette knife, I made one part rougher than the rest. Again, to break up the remaining larger bottom left hand section I put in circles of white paint in a diagonal direction. This is where it was at the end of the day.

The textured area was not as textured as I wanted but decided to see what I could do with it. I added more colours at the top, spritzing it a little in the hope that it would pool at the top of the ripped paper. I did the same with the lower rough areas using stronger paint. The colours I used were  Quinacridone nickel azo gold and teal and I was mindful that I wanted a muted effect. Staying with these two colours, I added circles to link the upper and lower sections using a bottle top. I needed some smaller circles but could not find anything to use. My husband came to the rescue with a ring spanner, et voilĂ  the painting was finished (I think!).

After looking at it for a while I saw a ski slope with skiers queing up to ski down. What do you see?

Close-ups of the texture


17 January 2017

Possibilities Oil Painting Abstract Day 17 of Jan 2017 30 paintings challenge

Possibilities Abstract Painting
Oil on 6x8in box canvas

Day 17 of Jan 2017 30 paintings challenge
Click Here to see Day 15's painting
Today I am cheating a little. This is an abstract I painted a few months ago from paint left on my palette. You can see my favourite colours in this teal, purples and pinks.
I started two abstracts today but could carry neither of them further. I researched modelling paste and how to use it on the internet and then went out to purchase some with a firm idea of what I wanted to try. Well... the paste was way more fluid than I expected it to be, I expected a thick, grittier paste but what I had purchased did not have as much body as my gel medium. I couldn't really sculpt it at all and it took a day to dry, knocking my plans awry. Does anyone have experience with modelling paste? The only modelling paste I could find in our local town was Pebeo in a tube.

This is where I ended yesterday's painting I wanted to try a toned down colour scheme to take me out of my comfort zone:

16 January 2017

Turmoil, Miniature Abstracts set of 4 Day 16 of 30 day challenge

 Turmoil 1
 Turmoil 2
 Turmoil 3
Turmoil 4

Day 16 of Jan 2017 30 paintings challenge
Click Here to see Day 15's painting

Four 4x4in paintings for the price of 1 today.
I enhanced yesterday's paintings and and created two more.

Complete disasters all four of them. Not sure if I can salvage any of them.

15 January 2017

Turmoil, miniature abstracts acrylic paintings, Day 15 of 30 day challenge

Turmoil Miniature Abstract Paintings
4x4in on panel
These will be available in my Etsy shop in February

Day 15 of Jan 2017 30 paintings challenge
Click Here to see Day 14's painting
I didn't have much time today so I started on some miniature abstracts. Still need some work and I have to be careful not to make them too busy. I plan to do several and post them in my Etsy shop in February.

Ladling the paint...

14 January 2017

Work in Progress Day 14, 30 day challenge

Work in Progress
40x50cm (12"x16") acrylic on mountboard

Day 14 of Jan 2017 30 paintings challenge
Click Here to see Day 13's painting
A complete change of pace today. I found this forgotten abstract at the bottom of a drawer and I liked the way the shapes danced across the page. I had the idea I could change it to an autumn scene and call if falling leaves.

I coated the mount board with pale cream and added my shapes.
I watched another Nicholas Wilton video about Differences and Spontaneity and one of the techniqes he used was transferring paint using a transfer technique by painting on a piece of greaseproof paper and laying that on the painting. I loved the broken effect and it contrasted nicely with the larger flat painted shapes.

Oh! way too busy and too much blue. One thing I didn't consider was a quiet area versus the busy areas...

A little better.

Where it's at now. Getting busy again and the larger shapes are more or less the same size. Maybe I need to make one of them eg the red one, super large. I also have the urge to coat the whole thing with transparent white and put in some verticals. Maybe like this-

Something to think about...