Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Fast & Loose

Two Jugs on a Windowsill
© Teresa Kirkpatrick 2010

As soon as I'd finished Borough Market I had an overwhelming urge to do something in a completely different style. I'd taken a photo earlier in the year of some tulips making a lovely shape in my favourite jug on the kitchen windowsill; the tulips had long since wilted but I could at least recreate the jugs from life and use the photo to recall the flowers.

So - completely different. No initial drawing, just putting colour straight onto the paper. Forget perspective, paint the jugs from life - OK, but the yellow one's a bit small, let's make it much bigger in the picture. Three colours only (alizarin crimson, indian yellow, cobalt blue). Concentrate on the flowers and the jugs and add the background later. Lots and lots of water and free application of paint - splash it about a bit . . . . from start to finish it took and hour and a half - and that included a break for a visit from the gas man and a cup of tea!

On the whole I'm pleased with the finished painting; ironically the least spontaneous part is the flowers which caught my eye in the first place. Painted from a photo, you see. I could probably make a better job of the jugs if I did it over again, but they'd be far less lively!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Underneath the Arches

Borough Market
© Teresa Kirkpatrick 2010

One dull February day I found myself wandering around in the colourful bustle of Borough Market, popular amongst foodies for its vast array of fruit & veg, fish, meat, unusual cheeses and other delights. Nestling under the railway arches at London Bridge station, it's due for some hopefully sympathetic redevelopment as part of the Thameslink Project. I've been meaning to paint it for some time, so I took a series of reference shots with the camera on my new mobile phone.

Initially I stuck a dozen photos on my ideas board, hoping to capture the hustle & bustle, the colour, the soaring Victorian cast iron work, and the variety of goods on offer. I realised fairly quickly that a conventional painting Would Not Do, but the snap of a girl clutching a bouquet of white roses and lilies (and a can of coke, which has become a paper cup in the painting) gave me something to anchor eight or so of the other images to.

The result is Borough Market (original title, eh?). 48 cm x 36 cm, it took me eight intense two-hour sessions over four weekends to complete, using a no. 6 brush and plenty of Viridian Green, Raw Sienna, Alizarin Crimson and French Ultramarine. The whole experience has been absorbing, exhausting, and ultimately tremendously rewarding!