Two years ago over the August Bank Holiday we were in Brighton and walking along the seafront. We’d already been shopping on North Laine and had seen a few Mods and their incredible scooters, but they were just a taster for the spectacle on Madeira Drive.
The long weekend sees live music events, a market selling vintage clothes, memorabilia and art and the highlight has to be the ride-out where 100′s of scooters drive 5 miles from Madeira Drive along the coastal road to Smugglers Rest, Peacehaven.
I was taking photos as we walked along and just happened to turn and see a scooter at the traffic lights. The rider turned and gave me the thumbs up as I took his photo.
When we got home and I went through the photos on my camera I knew then that one day it would be really cool to turn this into a painting. So, a short while ago I did just that.
I toyed with the idea of replacing the ugly background of the photograph with a seascape, or arches, railings, a roundel etc., but kept coming back to my original plan of a posterized effect with black background. I’m glad I went with the dark background because I think it makes all the colours and small details stand out. At 24 x 18″ it was quite a large canvas to work on.
The fine details of the rider’s coat badges, fog lights and pipework were major challenges!
As I was nearing completion I thought it would be a nice idea to try and find the Mod to show him how his ‘thumbs up’ inspired me and I’m so glad I did. I put a post on a few Facebook groups and eventually he got in touch. He’s chuffed to bits that I painted him and loves what I’ve done and even wants to treat himself to the original for his birthday in December.
When I walk through the woods with Elsa in the winter it’s always slightly warmer among the trees, during the summer it’s always cooler and the leafy canopy above means we get rained on less. I take photos of birds in the trees, bees, butterflies and insects on the leaves and if I look closely, I usually find a face in the bark.
They remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, provide a habitat for animals, birds and insects, provide shade and shelter, timber for house building and furniture, fuel for heating, fruit and nuts to eat and sticks for dens. TREES ARE BRILLIANT
Inspired by my recent floral painting course I decided to try another class and signed up for ‘Trees in Four Seasons’. Trees are structurally beautiful and provide unlimited inspiration for painting, even during the winter months. This is what I produced from the first session: “WINTER”It’s not always easy to photograph artwork indoors given the poor light and often overcast British weather, so I took the canvases out to the woods and made my own little art installation.This is my favourite, probably because the canvas is an unusual size and the blue background worked better in my opinion; a proper winter scene.
(Acrylic on canvas 100 x 30 cm)
As always I have far too many projects on the go. I need to complete this course; there are three other seasons after all. Yesterday I bought a bunch of huge beautiful peonies and I’m itching to go back to the Abstract Florals class and have a go at painting them …. but I couldn’t help myself, I’m working on something new and very exciting. More to follow soon
At the beginning of the year I bought an online class to learn the art of abstract floral painting. Easy, you might say …. but allowing myself to free up every brush stroke has been a challenge. Putting down a chaos layer and ‘finding’ the flowers within has been fun but not always successful. Sometimes I’ve worked it too hard and lost the looseness of the painting.
I’ve made a lot of mess splashing paint about, our dining room table is out of use and there are traces of paint on the walls and floors but I’m loving the process.
Out of the dozen or so canvases I’ve painted so far, I’ve kept one for our spare room and two are now hanging on other people’s walls, so that’s not bad. It’s such a great compliment when someone wants to live with a piece of my art in their home.
The online class still offers so much more so no doubt there’ll be more to come. Watch this space
You may know the Fab Four as John, Paul, George and Ringo. Well, not where I live, we had Harry, Jack, Blue and Elsa. They were well known in these parts. Three Lurchers and a Collie cross. On any given day we could be seen crossing the meadow, woods and park with the Fab Four or, should I say, the Fast Four. They would run and run and run, in big loops before coming back for treats. My friends and I had to stop meeting for morning walks because the dogs were all over-exercising and beginning to suffer muscle related problems. I miss those days.
This is Jack and he is fast and funny and if you stand still chatting for too long he can jump as high as your shoulder from a standing position just to remind you he’s there … and bored … and wants to go home to crawl under the covers.
Earlier this year I visited my childhood friend in Spain and had a great time catching up with lots of old friends. It had been many years since we had seen each other, so many that I had never met my friend’s grown up daughter. When I returned back home I thought it would be nice if I made something to show my love and appreciation for their warm welcome. This is my gift.
Early in the Spring I was commissioned to paint a canvas of Arny, a very lively Jack Russell. The fun started when I visited the terror terrier to take his photograph … … … he just wouldn’t sit still.
After a chase around the garden we went inside and after a bit of sofa hopping, Arny relaxed on the seat next to me with a dog chew and I managed to snap a photo of him, at last!
I made a start on the painting almost straight away, but then the Summer months arrived and I put it to one side for a bit.
I like to take photos as I go along. Even though the painting can be right in front of me, it helps to see it from a different perspective.
I’m happy to say that I finished Arny’s portrait today, it’s now signed and photographed and is ready for delivery tomorrow. I’m nervously hoping Arny’s owners love the painting and hope I managed to capture his personality for them.