I started this little piece using some sturdy packaging left from Christmas! The miniature artworks are made the same way a collagraph plate using a variety of materials sealed onto a mountboard backing with the addition of gold liquid leaf.
Now available from my shop just click the link for more details.
Taking on a new technique can be good move for exploration, experimentation and rejuvenating creative energy! I really did need a change at the end of 2019 as I had ground to pretty much a halt. Collagraph printmaking is a completely different approach to painting and so now I have two very distinctive styles; painting up until 2019 and printmaking for 2020 and ongoing. Today my work is more textural, incorporating different techniques including monoprinting using dried leaves with nature continuing to be my inspiration.
The Kite below was printed using a mountboard collagraph plate, the leaves are monoprints added after the paper has dried and the bird has a little burnt sienna and yellow watercolour also reflected in small detail on the leaves.
So many ideas and so little time! I mean lots of people have ideas and don’t necessarily go with any of them at all, but one of the difficulties of knowing that you are going to create something is ruling out all those amazing ideas other than the one you choose to run with.
I am not suggesting that any idea will turn out well, but the more you that try the higher your success rate, and a lot of attempts end up in the bin along the way!
Also theoretically it is a good idea to go with a theme. Choose an idea and beat it to death, until you run out of steam. All those mistakes and all those gains made with something intentional in mind.
Since this is all theory let me show you some practice! OOPs I have to reveal that I haven’t followed my own advice at all!
I am inclined to representative work, I love making images of animals and birds. But then I can get a momentarily distracted by other ideas I am interested in too and head off in a different direction. I really would like to do a series based on images produced by NASA earth observatory. They have this amazing website of beautiful images from space being continually updated. I am as fascinated by these as I am fascinated by drone imagery of our coastline here in the UK; seeing the landscape from above and then understanding it from the ground is really interesting to me.
The work below is the Arkansas River from space. This sort of work moves me toward the abstract and helps me exercise less restraint on my colour combinations.
I have just managed to get totally distracted by this new editor, trying out all the new blocks for text, images, galleries, calendars and lots more. I was supposed to be checking out some photos on my PC of a trip to Dartmoor a few years ago as I want to integrate a Dartmoor scene with a rook profile.
Now I am back on track I have popped some photos in the new editor’s gallery below. Just click to enlarge and get a close up of these Rooky characters. As we drove over the moors the cheeky rooks were waiting in the pull-ins up on the hills and making begging noises for bits of sandwich! It was a great photo opportunity for me. They are such characterful birds.
Years have passed since I painted a natural landscape and now having watched a demo by watercolour artist John Bailey at my local art club I was inspired to emulate what he had done by using the same sample photo that John used to create his painting but using my usual medium acrylic paints. It’s a good way to firmly apply the demo to memory!
….thanks to Boondockers Farm in Oregon for permission to use their photo. These pigs were imported to the US during the 1900’s for breeding. “British folklore claims the large black spots are bruises caused by the apples falling onto them as they foraged the orchard floors for food.”
I wonder often how to anchor my art ideas down. There is so much to choose from when it comes to making a picture .But at the start of this year my paint sketches have the anchor that is my own experience in a given day.
I set up a lovely looking bird feeding stand in the summer, only to solemnly and regularly dump the rejected rotting food in the bin for a fresh supply in the hope that at some point the local bird community might regard my garden as an OK place to feast on sunflower heart seeds, niger seeds, suet balls, and peanuts, it has all been there with no takers.
Finally as the weather cooled to winter some birds have found the bird food acceptable. Although it all still seems a bit sporadic.
The Great Tit has been to the feeder in the tree, so here is a quick painting sketch of a Great Tit to complement my success.
Whilst on Dartmoor there were great views all around. When parked up at various viewpoints other tourists were taking photos of the panorama, whereas I was catching images of rooks who make a curious baby rook noises begging for food at those eating their snacks and chasing one another for the prize.