still life nr1

still life nr1

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

CHAPTER 10 : Project 4

Project 4 : A Waterscape

STAGE 1 : Visual Research

I was happy to find this place, very far from a crowded place, where no one will disturb my creative work.  Although I know that one day, I will go and paint somewhere more challenging where people will watch while I paint.
This is a place down the river Stort about five minutes from where I live.
I took a canvas 100 x 50 cm and decided to paint with acrylics again.  That type of paint is very good for outdoor painting as it dries quickly.

Why did I decide to paint exactly there?  When I was walking to find an inspiring place, I found this part of the river quit amusing as the colour of it was nearly black.
STAGE 2 : Painting And Reviewing


STAGE 3 : What have you Achieved?

Friday, 18 November 2011

CHAPTER 10 : Project 3

Project 3 : A Townscape

I did not go very far to look for an inspiration for this project.  I went out on the balcony where I placed an easel.  The view from my balcony was something that I wanted to paint.

The sky was very interesting on that day, with many greys and purples tones.

I put two sheets of 50 x 40 cm and created a piece of paper 78 x 50 cm.
I used acrylic paints for this task.
I started from painting over my white paper with grey colour.

I just painted some basic shapes but I am not sure do I like them?

I would like to keep it as light as I can and do not want my composition to be very complicated.

Yes, now I am starting to be more excited about this painting although some parts look flat.  I have to work on them bit more. I would like to create a nice mood in style of Milton’s Avery paintings.  He managed to keep his colours very simple using big spaces.

I like the colours of the houses and I do not want to change them however, I have to find a good colour for the shadows on the road.  The houses are still floating in the air so I will have to work on it.  I finish my work for today and I come back to this painting in a few days time.

CHAPTER 10 -Project 2

Project 2 : A Landscape

This is a great feeling, sitting on my small stool in front of my portable easel and thinking about colours and natural light.

I was walking around the area that I live and trying to find the best place to paint.  This is my last decision and here I would like to start my painting.

I took a big canvas ( 100 x 50 cm  ) and started from covering white space with light brown acrylic paint.  I covered with the light green paint the parts where the fields and the trees were.


At this stage, I started to paint clear blue sky with blue acrylic paint than adding some lighter to build some depth.  I used flat wide ¾ brush and wide round ¾ one for this task.

Everything looks well so far.  The composition is getting more interesting at this point.  I think this is because I use my brush to express big variety of lines on the ground.  This is still only a work in process so I do not know how it is going to look when I finish.  I like the exposure of texture but it is still only a sketch.

  I finished my first outdoor session and I would like to come back tomorrow.

 Second outdoor session

Now I managed to calm the lines down and concentrate on adding some green colour on the field. I left only a few brown parts to show the difference between the ground and the grass.  There is a nice small part of light green paint but only where the sun was shining the most.

I put some more blue paint and made a difference between the sky and clouds.  I also have different colours on the trees as at this time of the year the greens become somewhere brown and yellow.

Now when I manage to finish my painting I may say gladly that I enjoyed my first proper outdoor painting.
I decided to paint in a very quiet place far away from a crowd.  I did not feel comfortable to paint between a large numbers of people. However, my biggest enemy were flies flying above my white canvas.  They were very stubborn and did not want to leave me at all.

I can see the difference in colours that I used to paint this work.  I used less dark tones as the light was everywhere.  The composition is open and simple.  The painting is very spacious and there are few repeating shapes.  The painting has many individual units like small trees.  The lines are sometimes angular and sometimes curved.
Colours are very bright and the colour palette is wide from warm yellow trees to cold green field.

CHAPTER 10 ; Painting Outdoors Project 1

Project 1: A Garden or Park

This project was more complicated than I thought.  I had a big problem with finding the right place for this task.  Either I did not like the surrounding or I did not like the place in terms of crowd.  The weather was another disadvantage for me, sometimes it was sunny but not for a long time and some times was cold and miserable.  I took a few pictures of places that I liked and worked I a bit at home.

STAGE 1 : Starting Your Painting

  I found this big canvas 101 x 127 cm quite uncomfortable to carry around my town place therefore, I painted first few stages at home.

I used acrylic paints and a cloth to cover my white canvas.  I enjoyed this stage of my work, as I could be as expressive as I wanted.  I like to work on the big space, which gives a great opportunity to release my inner creative part of me.

I used only basic green, blue and white paint.

I went into more details in this stage.  I used a sponge to put the paint on the canvas. I also managed to use more colours like black and yellow.  I had to stop at this stage so I could still create a fresh painting outdoor.

STAGE 2 : Reviewing Your First Painting Session

I went to my local park this time.

The weather was ok so I could carry on my painting however, it was starting to get chillier.

At the end of my first painting session, I can see so much to work on.

I am glad that I used different materials in terms of put paint on the canvas.  I used cloth, a sponge, toothbrush and a broken old credit card to paint leaves on the ground.

This painting looks vivid and very interesting from a distance.

I would like to make the smallest tree less visible then it is now.  I also would like to paint the leaves less obvious that now and make them more like an abstract.  I do not like the bench and need to work on this part of my painting.

STAGE 3 : A Second Painting Session

STAGE 4 : What have you Achieved?

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

CHAPTER 9 : Project 2

Project 2 : Atmosphere

STAGE 1 : A Starting Point

When I read the title of this project I knew what sort of atmosphere I would like to capture. It was a year ago on my holidays to Poland. My husband and I decided to take a different path on the way to Morskie Oko in the Polish  mountains.  The weather was gloomy and very wet but the forest was amazing and beautiful. There was a big contrast between wet light air and wet very dark woods.

STAGE 2 : Preliminary Drawings

 I did not make any drawings for this task, as I did not want think too much about details.  Any preliminary drawing could spoil the final effect.

When I saw painting called ‘Nocturne in Black and Cold, the Falling Rocket’ by Whistler James from 1875-I felt that I would like to keep as much tension in my work as he did.  This is an Impressionist painting not the expressionist but it has so much power and keeps the atmosphere of that event very well.

STAGE 3 :  Painting

This is a painting built from four sheets of canvas-textured paper, 51 x 41 cm each.  This gave me a big space 100 x 80 cm.
I like to work with a rug or a cloth as this gives me more freedom for my movements.
What a joy to be able express myself in such an easy way!
Light acrylic paint covers most of my white space, darker on the bottom part and lighter ton on the top. The small stones appear on the light green colour and the big ones on the darker.

I started to describe the space and distance with different size of stones.  I have done the same with the grass.

All looks well so far.  I like the simple colours, which I used to create this painting.

My biggest worry is how far can I go and not spoil the work?  I put dark woods to make the colour of air more dramatic.  Clear blue water looks fine to me, do not want touch it any more.  The stones are starting to appear and make more structure rather than flat space.

I decided to paint the forest in blue colour to make it visible however very light and airy.

This is my final painting .I do not want to touch it at all.  I put more white paint with a toothbrush, the reason for that was to create water in the air.  

STAGE 4 : What have you Achieved?

I think I have achieved what I wanted.

I created an airy atmosphere full of cold colours.  I used only simple colours like black, blue, green, cold brown and white.  The composition of this work is interesting enough to look few times and try find something new every time.  The organisation is complex; many individual units like trees and stones crowd the painting.  Some of the lines are clear and some are obscure.

I used light to create mood.

I was more free and creative on this task.  When I was painting, I had few images of Helen’s Frankenthaler in my head.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

CHAPTER 9 : Project 1

Project 1 : Associations

In this project, I would like to touch a very important person in my life as my Nan was to me.  I decided to use this task as some sort of personal therapy.  My Nan is no longer with us and therefore a decision that I have made was very personal.  I did not want to create another meaningless painting in my portfolio but to do something to express my emotion.

Stage 1 : A Starting Point

I took few objects related with my Nan.  Her life was around family and food therefore I have some kitchen equipment.  My Nan gave me the book about J.P.II and the small blue scarf.  I put the fork and knife as a symbol of food but I created a cross to show that she is no longer with us.

Stage 2 : A Different Approach to Painting
I took the cross as my subject for this stage.

The black background works well with the fairy cross.  My fingers were my tool for this task and I have to say I felt a big connection with my work.  I could paint more freely as there was no space between my fingers and the black paper .
I do not think that this works.  It is too obvious and too visible.

The more I look at this exercise the more I like this painting.  Why do I like it?  There is a big contrast between bold yellow background and blue sharp items.  Therefore, I created a contrast between colours and shapes.  I used my fingers to paint this stage.
Now I know that this is my final decision about colours for my painting.
Stage 3 : Painting

I took four canvas-textured papers for artists, with dimensions of 51x 41 cm and put them all together to make one big paper space 100 x 80 cm.  With my experience from previous stage, I was happy to use different source of media and tool.  I cover white space of paper with a thin blue acrylic paint by using only a canvas cloth. When the paper was dry, I took a small sponge and started to paint the main shapes of my composition.

 Now some parts of this painting are starting to work together.  I am happy with the primary stage, the colours of cross are ok but would like to make it more fiery to express it with more meaning. I do not want to change the blue texture as it works well and gives such a nice calm feeling.  I would like to keep the calm blue colour and the green bottom part and build the sky and grass.


I put more details on the book just enough to note that this is a religious book.  The black part makes it more mystical and gives a bit deeper meaning to it. To make my composition more fun I put a tape measure as my Nan was working as a dressmaker in the past.


Taking some valuable comments from my previous assignment, I am wondering should I stop my work as it is.  Should I carry on?  I do not want to overwork it.  I would like to keep as fresh as it is.

I put small dots of white paint with my fingers to make the scarf more nature.  However, I like it as it gives some stars effect.  I try not to use the brush only to paint small details on the book cover and to paint the numbers on the tape measure.

I will come back to my work in a few days time and make the decision should I leave as it is?
Stage 4 : What have you Achieved?

predominantly shape, form and colour

I got my tutor report and feedback on assignment 4.  This time I have more things to work on so I will start from looking on suggested artists. Unfortunately I can use only secondary sources like images from the internet, as I do not have opportunity go to the galleries where they are on display.

Milton Avery 1885-1965

Three friends 1944

Seated figure

What strikes me that in his work is the way how Milton operates with colour and big bold shapes.  He feels the space with only few colours but extremely well chosen.  Deformed bodies of his models make his paintings more interesting.  Many times his models do not have their faces or hands do not have fingers.  Perspective looks like is wrong but it works well with deformation of model's bodies.  Paint is transparent on many of his paintings so that we can see a brush marks and sometimes a clean canvas.

In my next project, I will try to play with bold big shapes and single colours like Milton did.

Mali Morris is my next artist.

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Mali Morris is an abstract artist who expresses her art thought the vibrant colours and quick movement of brush or any tool that she uses.  Morris' art looks untidy but when I spend more time looking at her work I become more familiar with this style.  I am starting to like it and finding something peculiar and interesting.

It works well as a composition and many times it is a geometrically order.  Some times the painting is crowded but sometimes it is spacious.  Mali uses large individual units to cover the space. The lines are sometimes curved and sometimes angular.  A big contrast has been created by using different colours; the dark background will meet the light colours.

In my next few projects I will definitely use her expressive line with contrastive colours

Helen Frankenthaler

 There is a short movie about Helen on youtube and worth to watch :

I am glad to say that I liked this artist from the first moment, her sensibility got to me straight.  I didn't have to think about it, I just knew I liked it
Helen's art reminds me some sort of Japanese art in how she operates with the line and colour.
Definitely, I will use this artist as my future inspiration.