During this weekend workshop at Aboyne i introduced a lot of water colour techniques – most participants should have come across them before in their years of watercolour painting. By combining and layering these techniques we can achieve richer colours and bold images. But that is where the confusion starts. Some people can work out the possibilities and realise an order to water-soluble versus permanent – but it catches some people out.
I take it for granted that if I draw with wax or oil pastel that that is irreversible – no wriggle room, or changing my mind. Like a tattoo, it is going to be painful and it will cost to remove it and probably still leave scars. I need to be at least a little bit astute.
And what is the benifit? A mark or line that cannot be moved? Exactly that. That I can paint loose and free knowing it will not bleed or shift.
Balancing control and chaos, wet and dry, permanent and impermanent.
I painted this during the last couple of hours of the workshop to try and convey some benifit and reason to combine and use mixed media. It is loud and unbalanced. But was my rabbit from a hat.
And it is now being worked on – To infinity joy or beyond to destruction…
Late October, on a painting course at West Highland Arts, led by the artist David Tress. His paintings vivid renditions of landscape and weather. The sun and rain, clouds and their shadows cast broad across mountains, fields and waters. His teaching thought provoking and generous, encouraging a bold start with a big idea.
The west coast landscape is variously hugely intimidating yet close and intimate. Lumps of hill and water, layered and going far away, with clusters of human habitation and tiny trees all dwarfed by the scale of the mountains. Even with the bright skies, the huge rocks shadows kept some parts frosty chill all day. The low sun never reaching over their brow.
We had no wind, rain only on the first day, frosty starts and clear sky days.
I learnt a lot from David Tress. A fine art tutor who shared his methods and knowledge – with the addition of some well chosen poetry. It will take time to digest his input so that I can pass it on appropriately to my own groups . It was an extraordinary week. With the best of company, particularly Sarah Franklyn, plenty of lovely food and wine – and the mosr perfect swim.
I spent a pleasant hour being reminded of different painting locations, while delving through a heavy tin full of painting photos. All From the time before digital images – they are clunky, weighty and mostly very poor quality. But serve well to trip the memory switches.
Zakynthos – 2000. The beach so clean and the trees offering gentle shade.
Port St Niclaus certainly grew and developed over the 15 years that we went there. But it did not loose its intrinsic charm.
I have been approached by a lady called Madeline, who owns a boutique hotel in Italy. Near Ancona. Called Hotel Leone.
Looking for images suitable to encourage and publicise a painting week, I am reminded of the warmth and colours of Italy where I have taken groups in the past. Architecture, art, agriculture, scenery, food, wine, its diverse and delightful.
This painting was worked in situe, in hillside near Florence.
And this view was part of the wine estate where we were staying. It is all so paintily – we also walked amongst a mass of fireflies one evening. Wee glows of light, romantic and magical.
Not wishing a year away. But I look quietly forward to June 2021.