Painting is on Pause!

This time of year in the UK the weather is sucking big time.  I go to work in near darkness and come home in the dark.  So I have been trying to paint on weekends.  When the light is dim, I don’t see very well and that makes it difficult for me to paint.  I may need to get a lamp with a daylight bulb in it.  If anyone else has this issue, please let me know how you get around it.  I also cannot paint in greylight.  As it is winter in the UK, the light is mostly grey.  I was thinking I might need to change my subject matter if my vision is fuzzy because of the light situation and start painting some abstracts again.  I went off-piste with that as I really love painting flowers, but I am struggling with trying to focus.

So, with not enough time to paint, and the light being rubbish, I also have nowhere to paint.  My usual painting area, in the dining room, at the back of the house (hence the lack of light in the winter months) is no longer available as the room now contains furniture from my living room.  My husband is decorating the living room and most of the furniture is now in the space where I used to paint.  It is very cozy in the dining room to say the least.  Because my house is very old and there is still a fair amount of work to be done, I could be out of action for weeks.  So, I have put a pause on my painting for now.  I am doing a lot more cooking now instead.

There is, however, some good news.  I found an art class I can take in the evening and it starts in a couple of weeks.  Considering the amount of creative people in this town, art classes tend to be limited to the morning or afternoon, so it is either the retired or jobless that can benefit from most of them.  Plus they get daylight to work in! I will keep you posted and let you know how it goes.


Working on Paper

Gladioli - Acrylic on Paper - 7x10 inches
Gladioli – Acrylic on Paper – 7×10 inches

This is my first attempt at working loosely.  As you might tell, I am working on a theme here, Gladioli.  I loosely drew an outline of my still life, with only basic shapes.  I mixed up new colors and started painting in the shapes.  I was having trouble with the orange flowers, so I decided to add some pinks to them which helped tie them in with the purple and the pink background.  Although the flowers look beautiful together in real life, I found this color combination quite challenging to paint with.  I will be playing around with these flowers over the next few weeks.  I will paint some all in purple and all in orange.  I might even paint a few close-ups with loads of detail!  Old habits die hard.

Although I have a few canvases I can paint on, I will be mainly painting on paper for now.  I have so much and I need to use it.  It is certainly different painting on paper than it is on canvas.  I painted the above painting on Galeria Acrylic Paper.  This paper is embossed to look like canvas.  However, it is not the same as painting on canvas and I find that the paint dries a lot quicker.  Surprisingly though the paper doesn’t buckle, so it is possible to add many layers of paint.  You can also use watercolor techniques with acrylic paint on paper.  Different types of paper have different properties when applying paint to them and is great to experiment with.  Paper is also easier to store when you don’t have a lot of space.  Paper makes a really good first draft, (or second, or third) before putting your idea to canvas.  If you don’t like your painting, it won’t pain you to throw it in the re-cycling bin.  Those are some of the advantages to working on paper.  I’m looking forward to trying out lots of different ways of painting on it.

Start as you mean to continue…

Acrylic on Paper - 5x7 inches
Acrylic on Paper – 5×7 inches

This is my first painting of the year using the leftover paint from the Gladioli painting I finished on New Year’s Eve and painted on Galeria Acrylic Paper.

This style is a bit of a departure for me.  I want to paint more loosely and more abstractly, but I find it extremely challenging.  Considering I’m a big picture sort of person, meaning I don’t worry too much about the minutiae of life –  when I paint, I want to paint every little detail.   The odd thing is, the art that I really like and aspire to paint is really loose, bordering on the abstract.  Go figure.  I am sure there is a good psychological reason behind it.

I was playing around in Picasa on one of the close-ups I took of some gladioli flowers and came up with these:


They are very Warhol-ish.  I love the colors.  I thought these poster-like images might help me loosen up.  Do you know, I still tried to paint all the details and get the colors right! Ugh!  And mixing purples is challenging.  In spite of everything, I really like it.  I’ve got three more to try.

I am going to try and paint or draw something every day.  That is going to be very challenging as I go back to work next week, but the intention is out there.  I am in my painting clothes and ready to try something different today.  We will just see how things go.

Happy Painting for 2015!