Pure Watercolour on crumpled paper


It seems wrong to take good watercolour paper and deliberately screw it up. But it works here. Mark Kelland’s water colour class this time, creating a woodland scene with very loose painting on crumpled paper. This gives an interesting surface texture. I ended up with the paper on the floor, slashing splats all over it a la Ralph Stedman. I produced four altogether. I thought this was the best.

New from old and getting down to some real work

I’ve  done a lot of work recently, which doesn’t mean god work necessarily. I have taken two old life drawings and produce acrylic paintings based on them. The first, a rear view I drew at least 20 years ago, was from a class a Cirencester College. Nearly every proportion is wrong, but it is still one of my favourite drawings. If I remember correctly, that evening the tutor didn’t turn up and the model ran the session herself. A bit lie conducting the orchestra from the piano. I’ve sat her on some rich fabrics I copied from a Jack Morrocco painting, with a Japanese vase from the Ashmolean alongside her, and Manet’s Berthe Morisot on the wall. Why not?

The other is a drawing I did in a class at the Kendrick Street Gallery in Stroud about 10 years ago. A standing nude and again, every thing is wrong with it, but I still love it. It is charcoal on really cheap newsprint and is starting to crumble away. I’ve done a straight acrylic version, using just one, wide fairly derelict brush, which gives it a nice soft quality. Curiously, I have had to correct the proportions in both paintings. What looks fine in a drawing, even if wrong, just looks wrong in a painting.


I am exploring diptychs. Basically hinging two paintings together.It gives an immediate structure to to the composition, and makes displaying the work dead easy. They just stand up on a table. This is the first that I have planned, rather than just sticking two existing paintings together. Basically the view from our garden, looking out over the Golden Valley towards Minchinhampton. I’m pleased with the clouds, not so sure about the tree.

And finally, I am back in a life class, run by my friend Mark Kelland at the New Brewery Arts in Cirencester (where I am now a trustee). First proper class I have been to for nearly two years. Starting out with some multiple image warming up exercises, and then two single poses on a rubbed pastel background. I’m very rusty.