The New Year is a knocking

and although I have been working on my painting for the last week, I did not finish as I planned. I have been working on this painting off and on since October and it has been through many changes. The latest occurred today. The day I thought I would be finished but the Buddha was just not working. So I scrapped away the paint,  I start again, scrap again and again. Problem was I was just repeating my previous mistakes, so this last time I decided on a radical change and I think it might just work. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

this is how it looked at the end of the day on Saturday

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this is how it looked at the end of today.

By the end of tomorrow who know where it will stand. I will not say it will be finished tomorrow but I think it’s closer than it ever has been.

This year has been much more successful than normal for me. I decided right at the beginning of the year, I would focus on painting and drawing, no bead embroidery.

I attended several life drawing classes which in the end I decided was not the direction I wanted to go. Having spend my formative years at Camberwell, I have this need for the model to be placed properly after breaks, not the haphazard way they seem to do here.  Also the room was too dark (no natural light whatsoever) and relied too much on artificial light (usually one or 2 spotlights).  That is something else I realised I need, natural light or at least good light. My work is progressing away from the purely observational stance I was trying as I realise I am not a ‘tidy’ artist, smudges abound in my drawing and paintings and to be honest, I am just not that talented in that way, much as I wish I was. However, the one thing I still need is good light as the colours just go haywire otherwise. Next year, I need to investigate into getting better light for my studio, as sometimes I do think about working up in the studio in the evening, then I go up to be confronted with the dullness and orangeness of the lighting which just saps any energy or enthusiasm I have.

I have also worked in oils, water-soluble oils and acrylics.  My favourite medium is acrylics but oils weren’t as difficult as I remembered. I am not so sure about the water-soluble oils but that might be more to with the brand I am using which seems to have a very limited colour range and very tacky to handle. I have also worked a little on my understanding on how to mix colours. That might seem like an obvious issue and how in decades of mixing colours, have I not worked that one out. Simple, I guessed and hoped for the best!

So next year, I hope to continue with the progress I have been making this year and not give into the depression I get about my work. I have no excuses but myself.

Yellow figure with floral background

This is the painting I have been working on for quite a while. Most of the time was spent on drawing the floral fabric in the background. I began by thinking I could do my normal procedure of painting and drawing at the same time until I realised I would go cross-eyed and lost doing this.  As I started drawing the flowers I considered the fabric I had placed the figurine on, a green fabric, it just didn’t seem right. Searching through my fabric stash I came across this old favourite. It was a remnant from a duvet cover I had made for one of the kids years ago.

At the moment, I am considering this finished as I found I was fiddling with it and I know once I get to that stage, I will not improve what I have. I might go back to it later, once I have had time to absorb it. Now it time to go onto the next project.

 

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I think I am beginning to identify which direction I am going.  I am going to continue to do ‘still life’ but it is not going to be fruit in a bowl or flowers. I might include those subjects eventually as fruit in particular is part of my life but not something I particularly relate to. Fabric and pattern will have a strong influence and I seem to prefer single objects to groups of objects although I have a couple of knick knack type things I like to group together.  I am not ready to move away from the arranged subject yet but I don’t discount the possibility that I will in the future.

This painting is done on a prepared 16×18 canvas, using oil paints. This is also a big change as I have used acrylics since my time at BAA so it was a bit daunting to say the least,  but as I was using fairly thin layers of paint, it should be OK.  If I continue to use oils, I will need to read up and talk to other artists on how they use them.

On the whole I was happy with this still life.  Like exercise,(another area of my life that I am trying to improve), the more you do it, the more comfortable you feel with your progress.

Per the image, the red is not quite as red as it appears, apart from that it seems from this screen to be fairly accurate.