We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
"Little Gidding"
T S Eliot

Thursday, 30 June 2016

A whiter shade of pale ...

The next letter in the Craft Barn challenge is W. I must have over-dosed on paint with all my watercolour classes, because this is another entry where no paint is involved!

My chosen word is white. I've long been fascinated with colour - and the absence of it; how white comes in many shades, and how you can play with shadows to create shapes.

Hence this abstract piece! The definition of white was so long it would have taken up half the page, so I've just extracted one aspect.

Women think of all colours except the absence of colour. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.
Coco Chanel

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Hug a tree!

I've now completed the short painting trees watercolour course, and found it the most difficult one so far!

I've learned a lot, but so much more practice is needed - anyway, here are my efforts.

I used a photo I found, which had far distance, middle distance, and near trees. I've made quite a few errors here, but I now know where I went wrong, so perhaps I'll have another go sometime, with the same picture.

Every time I go out now, I can't help but look at all the trees - shapes, colours, effects of distance ...

"Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?
Supposing it didn't, said Pooh after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this."
A A Milne

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Look - no paint!

The next letter in the Craft Barn dictionary challenge is K. This had me flummoxed for a bit, and isn't it strange how suddenly something pops into your head! Anyway, I was taken back to my childhood when I remembered my kaleidoscope, and how entranced I was with all the colours.

I then thought about a particular origami flower that I've used in the past on cards, which reminded me of my kaleidoscope, so ...

No paint was used in the making of this entry - which will probably be the one and only time, but, you never know!

Yesterday I went to the Victoria & Albert Museum to see the Botticelli Reimagined exhibition, which explores the variety of ways artists and designers have responded to the Botticelli's legacy.

The most popular painting to inspire others is this one - The Birth of Venus (painted in the mid 1480s).

And here are a couple of others -

This one by Yin Xin - Venus after Botticelli (2008)

And one of a series by Andy Warhol - Details of Renaissance Paintings (1984)

In all about 150 works from the Pre-Raphaelites to the present day, such as Rossetti, Ruskin, William Morris, and Dolce & Gabbana; as well as over 50 original works by Botticelli.

Fabulous exhibition, which is on until 3 July 2016.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

You are my sunshine ...

Another experiment using acrylic paint and watercolour. I found a photo of a single sunflower, and painted it with heavy body acrylics onto watercolour board.

I had found a few very old watercolour boards when having a bit of a clear out; they aren't particular robust, but suitable for having a play!

When dry, I then did a background watercolour wash, and dropped in some granulation medium to create a bit of texture.  also used a wax crayon to add some more resist.

Where the watercolour lay on top of the acrylic areas, I just wiped it off, so acrylic is a great resist with no effect on the colour intensity. I then went back to the acrylics and did some more shading on the sunflower and leaves.

Quite like the combination.

My painting inspired me to write another haiku -

Dark skies, pure sunshine
Petals curl in fond greeting
Sunflower my sweet friend

Friday, 3 June 2016

Riding on a puff of wind ...

I started an experimental watercolour at the weekend, and then I saw the next letter in the Craft Barn Alpha Dictionary challenge was T.

So - never to ignore a touch of serendipity - taraxacum (or dandelion) is my word.

I wanted to try dropping isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) into a wet watercolour wash. My first attempt was a bit of a disaster as I used too much alcohol into too wet a wash, and it wiped out most of the wash. I tried to recover it, but it did eventually end up in the bin.

So, I let the wash dry a bit, but then the alcohol didn't spread, so I helped it a bit by removing some of the wash with a round wet sponge and then dropped the alcohol in.

Nowhere near perfect, but I learned what not to do!

So ... make a wish!