Monday, 25 July 2011

bikes to blog about

red bike, yellow door

Who said getting married and moving house within the space of a few months was a good idea?  yes, it was me.  This punishing schedule has played havoc with my creativity already this year and we haven't even got into our new home yet . . . so I've cheated for this month's photos on the run and used a mixture of old and new photos;  some from my regular walks along the Thames and some from various trips I've made to Oxford.  I did have more, but can I lay my hands on them? don't ask . . .

The photo above is the one which gave me the idea for the July photos.  I knew I had plenty of bike pics taken in Oxford, but I needed some more recent ones.  So I started to look for bikes - there are plenty in London, too, but they're not necessarily going to make a decent photo.  So last Friday I was delighted to find the one below - I think somebody up there must have known I was looking!

bike, boat, bridge, St Paul's

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Trailing Along

source photo for Backwater, Venice

Life is so chaotic at the moment it was no surprise to me when I realised that I hadn't yet blogged about my latest painting, Backwater, Venice.  I finished it a couple of months ago (I think -  I've lost track!) and since then I've been trying to decide whether I like it or not.  The painting itself was long overdue - I meant to paint several Venice subjects this year after our honeymoon back in February - but various things including an impending house move have thrown everything out of sync for some time now.

early washes for Backwater, Venice

I began by blocking in the scene with raw sienna, adding in some turquoise for the water and sky.  Elements of these initial washes were very pale, as even at that time of year the sunlight was quite strong,  and I made sure I kept the runbacks to add some watery atmosphere!

Viridian wash added

The next wash was of viridian green.  I'm attracted to this colour, although it's not everyone's cup of tea, and it added a lot of depth to the reflections in the canal.  Plus it was close to the original colour of the shutters on the buildings.  I also used it to add texture to the walls.  I was tempted to leave the painting alone after this, but it didn't have enough contrast.  So I added a final wash of ultramarine, to bring out the deepest shadows and reflections of the buildings in the water:

Backwater, Venice

This is the result - and I really can't make my mind up about it. Still, there's plenty of time to decide whether it's worth framing between now and Open Studios in September - isn't there?

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Elderly Couple in the window of Shephard & Akay

At the moment I have two paintings on show as part of the Hitchin Art Trail, which runs alongside the Hitchin Festival throughout July.  Elderly Couple at Rossbeigh Beach has been hung in Shephard & Akay Optometrists, Churchyard.  It's part of a seaside-themed display and I like the idea that the couple might be enjoying the view thanks to specs supplied by the business.

Breakfast at the Brown Box Cafe
in Tim's Art Supplies

My other entry,  Breakfast at the Brown Box Cafe, was one of around twenty pieces not shown by any of the participating shops.  The art trail organiser, Tim of Tim's Art Supplies in Tilehouse Street, thought they deserved to be seen so he's hung them in his own shop - some in the window, some in the art section and some (including this one) in the haberdashery & knitting wool section, which gets a lot of visitors.  My husband and I did the Art Trail on Saturday - it took two hours (!) - and it was extremely interesting to see how some businesses obviously choose by subject - music-themed paintings in music shops, the fish-and-chip shop showing a study of sea creatures - and others by size.   Maybe next year I'll be more organised and enter something relevant to specific shops.  Maybe  . . .