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 other 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 dear to remove it and it will probably still leave scars. I need to be at least a little bit cautious when using these unforgiving technuques.
And what is the benifit? A mark or line that cannot be removed? 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 of the benifits and reasons for combining media. It is a loud and unbalanced piece. But it was my rabbit out of 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 bright 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 most 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.
After the significant frost that we had last weekend, which did for the runner bean, courgette and tomate plants, it is now a time of dripping trees. The leaves tight summer hold has been broken and they fall – a sporaradic rain When the wind picks up – they will briefly come to life again, but for now they lie on the ground where they land, a slow thickening cover of autumn colours.
The sky is a limp grey. The flowers that have held on are such pretty brave souls, some tinged, edges burnt brown and crinkled by the nippet cold.
Light the fires to warm the house and wrap round a scarf. I go Outdoor Painting.
I have been working in a new studio space today and have proved that a change of scene can stimulate cteativity. My work is hanging on the walls around me and looks at home in the space, comfortable but also fresh to my eye. Some of older works are invigorated by being in different place and the more recent, new works can be viewed as if they were made by someone else. It was quiet. As I expected, It has meant that I have had the time and mental space to resolve a couple of paintings that had become tired – stuck – hence my belief in the benifit of being in a different environment.
I have now prepared other work to take next week when I return to the venue.https://susiejhunthome.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/vid_20191003_135341-1.3gpWhatever else happens, I deem it a success. I really appreciate my own studio but have seen how, a different working space, (even a rather chilly one) can be invigorating. It goes some way to explain the growing success and popularity of artists residencies.
To set the ambition to have an exhibition of work, a date for hanging and then maybe an event, An Opening. Of course focuses the mind.
Painting is one thing. Curating my work.. Editing for best effect. Disguarding and grouping. A thread running through to help viewing. A title to suggest a narrative. These all add layers to the process.
Its exciting but the exposure needs confidence. That is the precarious element. Coming and going without due warning.
This exhibition is amongst friends, but still. The vagaries of nerves and trying to be efficient regarding publicity. And thinking that each thing matters a lot, but remembering it’s all vanity and self imposed.