Colour studies in the undergrowth



I'm doing a series of colour studies using an exercise used in Louise Fletcher's 'Find Your Joy' taster course. I really like this intuitive way of working 'blind' in the first instance (you are never sure what will remain in those taped-off spaces) - and then adding further elements once the tape is off.


Something I need to ponder, is whether to gesso the paper to prevent the tape from ripping the paper surface. I'm using low-tack masking tape but it still rips it - I quite like the effect; it adds to the random quality. Anyhow, these are some of the 'finished' pieces that I'd like to use as a starting point for bigger works. They are all about light.


This one I really like - initially it was just a broad stripe of water and banks - the defined tree form came later - but the fluttering light and shade are so nicely captured.


Again with the fluttering light and shade; shafts of light coming through the tree canopy. All I added really, were the black strokes. Really like this one too.

The rest of the series are maybe a bit more abstract - they're on my Instagram - still with the fluttering light. I'm continuing with this exercise, using a different light and palette. I really like this method of playing with paint and drawing into it. 

Daler Rowney System 3 acrylics on A2 300gsm watercolour paper with the addition of Stabilo Woody crayons.


Seed heads



When your clematis finishes blooming and you feel a bit sad - and then you notice the EPIC alien-like seed heads.
These amazing whorls and globes surrounding the seed heads almost make up for losing the gorgeous flowers. Of course I thew the plastic plant tag/identifier away so I have no idea what variety it is lol. It is growing like mad; it has this lovely purple-bronze foliage.

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Here's something I'd like to work up larger.

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Artist Discussion & TERM - Egon Schiele


Was he well-dodgy? Was he the poster boy of degenerative art as defined by the Nazi regime? Did he commit incest with his own sister?

"It is not just that there is not a single Schiele in any British public gallery. It is that his raw, expressive nude portrayals of young girls, children and of himself just out of adolescence are today more, not less, disturbing than when he created them in Vienna between 1910 and 1918."
Article here

Artist Discussion & TERM - Egon Schiele - the activities around the lecture concentrated on blind contour drawing, collage and self-portraiture.

The collage (below) - uses a torn up magazine page, hair dye and paper. I like the messy finger marks. The blind contour drawing below that - I added blocks of colour to frame/bookend it. I love the energy of blind contour and am always amazed at the outcome.

The lecture was really thought-provoking and disturbing; the imagery sometimes hard to view. It somehow feels very wrong to admire the techniques that Schiele used in his work - when often - the subject matter is so disquieting.





Artist Discussion & TERM - Claude Monet


“When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you, a tree, a house, a field or whatever. Merely think here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact color and shape.”
Claude Monet

Artist Discussion & TERM - Claude Monet I absolutely love the work of Monet - like Turner - his fascination with and depiction of light is masterful. This lecture was all about observation and fluidity. One of the best things I've ever found on You Tube is this documentary by Waldemar Januszczak - scroll forward to 45:03 - it is absolutely wonderful.

The activities for this lecture were about looseness and observation. I didn't do much during the lecture - but the quote above is so lovely and playful and joyous. Here's a bit of what I did do.

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Artist Discussion & TERM - David Hockney


A fellowship bringing artists together - Artist Discussion Peer Support with @e_lchapman and TERM Art Classes with @AnnaFCSmith @KlaireDoyleArt & guests.

The session tonight was a Practical Art History module (there have been a series of artists covered in the Practical Art History series). Each session involves some hands-on activities inspired by the artist featured - David Hockney in this case. The modules are short, evening sessions - so whizz along at a fair old rate!

The first activity was inspired by a collage self-portrait by Hockney - and we were invited to create our own self-portrait from bits of magazine and print. Here's mine - I can only aspire to wearing so many pom-poms in one outfit. My reading glasses were never intended to be a homage lol


The second activity involved evoking a swimming pool (a Hockney classic) from memory or actuality. I learned to swim at Southport Bathing Lake which had originally been a Lido - nothing nicer than an outdoor pool. Happy memories!

Very at home with bouncing light and water - the numbers relate to a depth guide - the floor of the pool set at a slope, to enable it to go from shallow to deep. There were always red plastic chairs, poolside at my school trip swimming pool (we went into town to use it) and yellow lane markers.


The final activity was to emulate a Hockney journey through the countryside. Feel a bit uncomfortable with this one - but I do like the marker-made 'stripes' and dabs. I cropped it in and stayed away from using a rubine or orange marker lol.



 A brilliant way to spend an evening!

Mangle maintenance and sunlight


Today, I have mostly been cleaning my faithful mangle. Not having the room for any kind of press (nor the budget) I found this glorious little yellow mangle in a charity shop. It is just FAB for monoprinting my way - but I am a neglectful mangle owner - and rarely bother to clean it.

The rubber rollers were a bit crazed and cracked when I got it - and I think there's some age to it* in any case - so it has cleaned up beautifully, all things considered :) I've actually spotted a very similar model on eBay for £150 which seems excessive - but then, you never know I suppose!

* (It's a 1950s Limpet Portair Table Top Mangle apparently and closer to £35 - so good luck with the £150 ask lol).

We used to have a single-tub washing machine with a mangle - it was left in our first house when we bought it. It cracked every button on any garment that went through it lol.

In my workbook this week, I have been trying to record sunlight coming through a canopy of leaves.





Paint, marker, ink and Woody pencils.




An annual obsession!

They smell like heaven, and even though it often doesn't feel like Spring is here and Summer is on the way - such a treat. I love how the blooms gradually fade to a gentle uniformity - but at the moment they are a jumble of vibrant shades of purple and pink, threaded through with the orange, papery remnants of the flower bud calyx. 


I've enjoyed playing with various bits and bobs to produce these pieces on paper - I need to get back to a regular art practice again. Everything has seemed a bit 'uphill' of late - I have a lot on my plate at the moment - and my studio practice has suffered for that. However, I've revisited my branding (I know, that sounds a bit arsey) and now everything I do - online at least - has a coherence to it.


Might get the mangle out for a bit of monoprinting I think ...