An oil 40 years on

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Forty years ago I painted my partner and I still have the painting (and him).

It’s oil on canvas. The shine at the base was because there is a table lamp in front of it.

It must have been snowing as the background view shows white covered  hills outside.

I used to stretch my own canvases, then prime them with white emulsion paint. Oils also require turps or substitute turps and linseed oil to thin the paints down and create glazes.

I found that they were more workable because they stay wet for days. You can cover an oil painting up with cloth and it will still be workable a day or two later.

I wonder what my art would look like if I still used oils.

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I should be painting.

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Blank period again. I look at paintings I did years ago and wish I could still do the same work. I dont know where I am going, but I know I can paint.

This portrait was taken from my own photograph and done around 2009? Not sure exactly of the date. I loved doing it, the colours, the puppet, the scarves in the back ground. I’m not sure where it went, I’m sure someone bought it. I havent seen the photograph in a while but I might do something similar.

I do have a couple of commissions and I will do them. I have had a busy time and I get tired.

Old painting

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This was a painting I must have done in the summer of 1983 or 1984, soon after I finished college I think.

My friend had lots of cats so I did a portrait of her with them.

I wanted to do the painting but didn’t have any stretched canvases to hand so I got some linen canvas and stretched it over a horseshoe shaped chair back with an extra peice of wood nailed in place at the bottom.

The painting was in oils  This was before I started using acrylics. After it was finished I gave it to my friend.

A year or two ago it turned up. It had moved house with my friend and she had got it propped up in the kitchen when I visited one day. It was starting to deteriorate because it wasn’t proper canvas and had a couple of holes in it. Bearing in mind it had been painted about 34 years before I guess it has done well. I took photos of it and left.

Sadly the painting got damaged beyond repair when they moved again. But at least I have this photo and I did a small copy which another friend purchased.

It feels like I am letting children go when they go to new homes .You never know if they will survive. At least I know this one’s history.

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Work in progress, mermaid

I decided to paint a mermaid but didn’t want it to be Disneyish. So I’ve used a photo of a victorian painting to work from. Obviously that face was not blue and I have changed the image in other ways to make it more interesting. I don’t have much more to do to it but I have left it for the moment. I will probably finish it off in the next couple of days..

Late…..

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A few years ago I promised to do a painting of a friends dog.

I did not realise that I would only now be painting it. Why? I honestly dont know, I moved, she moved her work place. We lost touch with each other. The photo sat on a shelf for years. I still had a contact number for her, and saw her relatives at various gatherings, but I didn’t do the painting.

Now I’ve told her I’m getting the photo back to her… I didn’t say I would do the painting, but I will try and get him done in time.

I might post a finished photo here, but if not it will be on my Facebook  Art page. I hope she likes it.

Today’s drawings

Today I had the pleasure of going out with The Orme Art group for our annual trip to a landscape venue at an old house and its grounds in Staffordshire.

The weather was very windy,  so I decided to take a small sketch pad  and coloured pencils,  soft pastels, and fine tipped ink pens. I thought I had my portable chair in the back of the car but it wasn’t there when I opened the boot. Luckily there were chairs in the garden of the large house for us to use.

The other artists there were either painting with watercolours or acrylics, but we were in a reasonably sheltered spot, so they were not affected by the wind. There is something wonderful, sitting in a green space,  looking at the landscape, the shapes of the trees and leaves. Noticing where the shadows fall, which direction the light is coming from. Choosing the medium which is most appropriate for the drawing you are doing. I find using black pens are good for quick sketches, and outlining and shading shadowed areas. The pastels bought out the colours on an old tree, where only one section of bark was still attached and so only a few branches were still in leaf. I used the coloured pencils to try and give an impression of the solidity of the house with feathery leaves superimposed on the walls and windows. Finally I drew a quick sketch of one of the other artists as she painted the tree that I had drawn.

Having a small A5 sketch pad that is ring bound is really useful. You can draw across the whole page without it flipping shut on you. Yes the holes and wire can get in the way a bit, but being able to fold the whole book back allows for easier handling. You can use it in portrait or landscape positions, and it is easier to fold shut if you get caught in a sudden rainshower.

I spent about an hour on the drawing of the house, and 20 to 30 minutes on the landscape/tree. The quick sketch of my friend took about 15 minutes.

The one thing I should have worn is sturdy shoes! There were a lot of insects about and I’m lucky I didn’t get bitten!