Friday, 25 November 2011

Alloway Auld Kirk

Spent an Autumn afternoon hunkered down beside the gravestones at Alloway Auld Kirk to sketch this card in Acrylic for Liz in Australia - Liz and Borromini  So glad it arrived safely as a previous card disappeared into the pit of the lost post.

From Postcard from my Walk

"Today I received this amazing postcard from Bridget.

It is of the church in the village of Alloway – the setting for Robert Burn's poem Tam O’Shanter. Although I am in love with Scotland and been there 9 times in the past 12 years, I have only had limited exposure to Burns and did not know this poem at all. Of course I have looked it up now

She prophesied that late or soon,Thou wad be found, deep drown'd in Doon,Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk,By Alloway's auld, haunted kirk.
Just wish I had someone with a lovely thick Scottish accent to read me the whole poem!"
  Liz and Borromini

Sunday, 20 November 2011

A lesson learned - hopefully.

Its been all change - rearranged, repainted, trying to get back to why I wanted to paint this. What was the initial inspiration? It was the cloth - the lovely red scattered with the pattern of flowers. 
So that's what I've tried to recapture, taking away the green pattern and lessening the number of colours and simplifyig the objects so hopefully the red will be the main impact.

I've learned one big lesson - try to discipline myself to plan out arrangements, to make a good composition before I even think about lifting a paintbrush.
And also not to blog until I've actually got a painting that's finished and works!!!!

But thankyou for all the helpful comments along the way which have spurred me on rather than to abandon it as a hopeless case.

Friday, 18 November 2011

The rise and fall of a still life!

Lots of changes - replaced the jug for a white one, defined the shadows, raised the horizon and added a knife -felt it needed something different from all those circular elements. And added a half lemon. But  I think its lost the initial rush of excitement, its getting overworked and lost are those first brushstrokes defining the folds in the cloth. I want to go back into it and scruff it up a bit and try to get that feeling back visually of the first bold strokes when all things felt possible. 

David Donalson  "Rosie" 1985

One of the most inspiring exhibitions I've seen recently was "Celebration of a Painter" showing the works of David Donaldson RSA RA RGI LLD  1916 - 1996. This was one of my favourite paintings there. I love how he used reds.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Anne Redpath using red

The Red Cloth in progress

Decisions, descisions. Put paint on, scrape paint off. Gone are the white begonias and in are a few poppies which are miraculously blooming in the garden again - in November! I've kept the plums, now in a white dish, added a grapefruit and some lemons and a couple of favourite things belonging to my grandmother - the tiny coffee cup, because its white, and a toby jug, because it has the same plum colour. The poppies too are descendents of my grandmother's plant. So a bit of a hotchpot still. And its a bit daunting now I've started to blog this but its also keeping me thinking instead of rashly having fun with paint!

But I'm looking at how others used red and found again these two paintings by Scottish painter Anne Redpath 1895 - 1965.

Anne Redpath Spanish Candlestick  1953

Anne Redpath  The Portuguese Cockerel  1962

And maybe I'll be less concerned about what to include after reading Anne's words in Patrick Bourne's book "Redpath"

"They are a mixture, but have all been chosen by me, and therefore they live together, I think, quite happily and, well, they all have memories, too, you see."

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Red material in a still life.

Red material circa 1967

Found a piece of red material bought in the 60s when, as a student, I'd made lots of clothes on an old treadle machine! My thoughts now were that it would be wonderful to paint rather than wear, and the only way to do that was to use it in a still life. But arranging a still life is one of those things that drives me to distraction - I'm never happy- and spend ages changing and rearranging, searching through art books hoping the magic of Cezanne and Matisse will somehow transfer to me. Anyway above was my first try. I liked the purple plums against the red, and the white begonias which were similar to the pattern on the cloth.

Oil paints ready.

Cadmium Red, Permanent Rose, Chrome Yellow,Yellow Ochre,Ultramarine Blue, Ceruleum, White.

Making a start

At this initial lay in I'm working very fast and trying out lots of ideas. I'm loving painting the cloth but everything else is a hotchpotch of objects. I mean, just where did the green teapot come from and will it stay?

But tomorrow is another day and for now the paint is too wet to do any more..

Monday, 7 November 2011

November sketch.

November Trees
Bridget Hunter 2011

The sun is shining, the first light frosts are here and the Autumn colours are glorious. So packed my sketching kit, met Dorothy ( and went to Rozelle pond. This is an attempt to capture a small part of the scene in watercolour.

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