I spent a wonderful week in June on the above mentioned course, with about 20 other artists. We were based in Dunbar in East Lothian and spent each day drawing and painting out in the open at St Abbs Head, Dunbar Castle, Seacliffe and best of all out on the Bass Rock. Sitting surrounded by thousands of gannets was a once in a lifetime experience. My drawings were OK but some of the art produced by the others was astonishing, especially when you realise it was all painted out in the open, sometimes in the pouring rain, and on the Bass, pouring bird poo. I’ll try and show some of the other artists’ work in the next entry. We spent one morning visiting John Busby’s studio, which was another high point. I bought one of his small paintings.
This has been months in the making and I don’t know if it has been worth it. Last summer I caught a glimpse of a landscape as I drove through Wiltshire. A single bent tree on a horizon of ploughed fields, with sun lit masses of cloud either side. I must have seen it for less than two seconds, but I have been trying to recreate it ever since. Final layer of colour on it today, but I am unconvinced. I may tackle it again one day.
This was just an exercise in the class yesterday, building up a classic English landscape using multiple layers. I wasn’t too pleased with it when I finished, but it had rather grown on me. A complex, technical watercolour, with a wax resist layer which looks like it was just thrown together.
This is another little landscape which has taken up a lot of time. I’m not sure even now if it is finished. The Agglestone rock is a crumbling sandstone outcrop above Studland heath in Dorset. I hiked out to it on a hot morning in August. I took a photo of what is a beautiful scene. There is something irresistible about isolated ancient rocks.
I sketched the view with the intention of painting it, so there are some colour notes scattered about.
The first painting was on the wrong shaped board and I was never that happy with it.
I stated all over again on a long, narrow canvas. This has been repainted at least four times. I’m still not sure about the skyline to the right of the rock. The heather colour is very difficult to achieve but this looks the most convincing so far. I wanted a feeling of a deep landscape, and I think that works. I shall leave it for now, and possibly for good.
I have been struggling over two small acrylic landscapes based on sketches I did last summer. I think this one is just about done. I have completely repainted it about four times. I’m very pleased with the distant hills, quite pleased with the forefront grassy dunes and the sunny lady. Not certain about the sea, but this is so much better than it was that I think I will stick with this. The other landscape still needs a bit more tinkering.
After six months of work, I think I’ll call it “The Red Hat”
A quick small landscape sketch of a view towards the Severn from the farm just above us. Snapped on my phone and drawn this evening. A view I plan to explore this coming year.
This pastel drawing came out of nowhere. I had the sheet of paper stuck to a board for weeks, waiting for inspiration. Then I wanted to test a new brand of pastel, a Carandache soft pastel stick, so I just drew it on its side across the bottom. That established the foreground up to the purple hills. It was red so I decided it was a hot day in the “bush” somewhere. The rest just came from my head, with a photo of a desert tree off the Web. i like the colours, but decided I don’t really like the pastel, it is to hard. I did try a single Rembrant white pastel, and I liked that a lot. It gives the lines I want consistently. I’ll have to go and throw some more money away.