"The artist...is also a born adventurer. His explorations, unlike those of a tourist, are rewarded by the discovery of beauty spots unmentioned in the guide books, and with tireless curiosity and an exceptional proneness to wonderment, he will come upon objects of remarkable interest overlooked or even shunned by more disciplined observers."

Augustus John, R.A.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Working Drawing

Gordale Scar. Watercolour. 270mm x 180mm.

Working drawing for the next Linocut. If this works out it will be my submission to this years Leeds Open Exhibition.

Things don't always go to plan

Cherry Blossom at Norwood Green. 9 colour reduction Linocut print. 150mm x 240mm.

I lost my way a bit on this print and it hasn't turned out quite as I planned it should. I think I used too many colours and over complicated things.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Almost there

Having completed the acrylic painting of Gordale, I've turned my attentions this week back to the linocut of the cherry blossom. At this stage I'm seven colours in with another 2 to go. Although I think I may have been a little over ambitious and should have limited the number of colours more. Anyway its too late to go back now so we will just have to see how it looks when its finished.

I will be exhibiting two paintings at this years Holmfirth Art Week, which runs from 5th to 11th July at the Civic Hall in Holmfirth. I will also have a number of unframed prints for sale which can be bought and taken away immediately. Further details can be found at www.holmfirthartweek.net

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Gordale Scar

The path to Gordale. Acrylic on gesso primed board. 247mm x 352mm.

Painted with a palette of cobalt blue, french ultramarine, cadmium yellow pale, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, burnt umber and titanium white. At this stage I think the painting is finished. With a watercolour I usually reach a point where I know that the picture is done and no further brushwork will improve it. However, when working with opaque medium such as acrylics or oils I find it much more difficult to finish a work. There is always the temptation to keep fiddling, adding an extra dab of colour here or there. I find the best way to get over this is to leave the picture alone and put it to one side for a week or so. Looking at it again after this time will usually show if something else needs doing to it.

A typical early spring day in the dales. Grey sky, grey rock and grey green grass! This is Gordale Scar near Malham in the Yorkshire Dales. On a weekend in summer it can be very busy with visitors, but if you pick your time early in the year you can have the place almost to yourself. From this viewpoint, just outside the gorge the vista is still quite open. As you walk up the path the gorge gradually narrows until, as you round the corner in the centre of the picture you enter the cathedral like atmosphere of the inner gorge.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Work in progress

Two projects on the go at once this week. The linocut above, of two cherry trees in blossom, is carved and ready for the first colour pass, which will be a very pale peach pink colour.

The painting below of Gordale Scar, an acrylic on gesso primed board is shown after around three hours work.

After drawing the design carefully, I painted the sky in at full strength as this sets the whole tone and atmosphere for the rest of the painting. The middle distance was then loosly washed in to delineate the areas of grass, vertical crag and scree slopes. I then painted in the middle distance greens. At this stage the cliffs and scree slopes are still only roughly indicated. The foreground is just quickly washed in, using thin paint as an indication of the colour strength and form.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Finished Linocut Print

Kilnsey Crag, Wharfedale. 150mm x 240mm 7 colour reduction linocut.
An edition of 5 hand pulled prints.

Although printed in 7 colours, the first colour. A very pale yellow grey around the cloud edges hasn't come out very well through the scanner, so only 6 colours have come out in the image above. This is the first in a planned series of prints depicting crags in the Yorkshire Dales.