Thursday, May 24, 2012

A little bit of painting - a lot of mounting and framing!!

Hello again, (said with a smile!) as the sun has finally decided to shine again!!! So much has happened in the last few weeks...where do I start?? With exhibitions looming ever closer, I have begun to mount and frame my favourite paintings. Its a bit of a chore compared to painting, but offers a real sense of achievement when you can see your work presented professionally! My good news today is that I've had 2 paintings selected for the Royal Bath & West Show...I've never entered before, but after a friendly nudge from Lon (fellow artist and 'bird nut') I took the plunge and had a go. I'm really glad I did now, and I'm looking forward to popping across to visit the show next week to see it all for myself!

Preparations for our Summer Exhibition at Clevedon Pier's Toll House Gallery are in full swing. Myself, my mate, Lon Sandford and my Mum, Ann Hughes are Showing  "Feathers & Fur, The Way We See It" From Monday 2nd July to Tuesday 31st July. We are all looking forward to seeing our art on display after many months painting and drawing, working towards this show! Here's a sneak preview of our poster...

Working with the Birds of Prey has been awesome (as usual!)...and to top it all, this weekend, I brought home a baby kestrel to babysit for the night! Totally delightful to be sat on my kitchen floor with a baby kestrel snuggled into my neck under my hair!!! My daughter was pretty taken with it too...cuddles all round for us!

More Hawk Walks have been on the agenda...and to top the sheer pleasure of walking through countryside with an incredible bird, the countryside itself has been stunning! Green fields of long grass dotted with zillions of buttercups and apple trees bursting with pink and white blossom...can it get any better?

Another couple of afternoons at school with Year 5, this group drawing trainers, has once again proved very productive...there are some very talented 9 & 10 year olds! Check out some of these observational drawings made with watercolour pencils...

More excitement this week has included seeing the Olympic Torch pass through Nailsea. Such a buzz as everyone gathered to catch a glimpse of the torch...crowds waving Union Jacks madly as the procession made its way along the street. Its so nice to be part of something that makes everyone feel happy!

With all this going on, I've had little time to paint...just a layer of colour on my big textured 'Woolley' painting, an acrylic of a juvenile peregrine falcon against a seascape background and a portrait of Rogue, a Gyrlin (Hybrid cross between a Gyr Falcon and a Merlin) on a Falconry Glove.

'Woolley'  Acrylic with Texture Paste (second layer)

Juvenile Peregrine Seascape, Acrylic
'Rogue on the Glove' Acrylic (unfinished)

I'm already looking forward to seeing what the next couple of weeks bring...
Until next time, 
Mandi ;)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Texture & Printmaking - my focus this week!

 Another week has flown by...and yet more art works have been created. After all the excitement of the prospect of using texture within my work, I have come to a sudden halt in the creation of my collagraph prints. I have made a series of collage plates to print, but I am unable to gain access to my printing press (its buried under canvases, frames and boxes!!) So for now, I can show you the plates (which look quite beautiful in their own right!) and the series of mono prints I made last week. Due to the fact that all my painting/printing is done on my kitchen table at home, I have used water based printing ink (rather than my preferred choice of oil based ink) because it is SO much easier to clean up!! The down side of this for me is that the water based ink does not give such a subtle print. Until the time comes when I can clear a studio space somewhere, this is something I am going to have to deal with - and who knows where it might lead me on my experimental journey?

So, first here are the collagraph plates - made by painting with pva glue on cardboard, then when dry, the whole thing is varnished to make it waterproof. (it has to be waterproof because to print from theses plates, damp paper has to be used...if the surface of the plate is not sealed, the damp paper reactivates the glue and it all sticks together - Not good!!) I hope you get an idea of the lovely textures that can be achieved using this technique...when I get around to printing them, you will be able to see the  beautiful quality of line that this surface creates!

Barn Owl Collagraph Plate

Boobok Owlet Collagraph Plate

Boobok Owl Collagraph Plate

Barn Owl  Collagraph Plate 2

Woolley, Eagle Owl Collagraph Plate

Eagle Owl Collagraph Plate 2

The next set of images are mono prints - again using water based ink. (a mixture of acrylic paint and printing medium)

Eagle, monoprint
Falcon in flight, monoprint

Eagle Head, monoprint

Harris Hawk, monoprint

Eagle Owl, monoprint

Barn Owl, monoprint

Then, I played with them and added a bit of acrylic paint to add a hint of colour.... These now render the prints above non-existent. As its name suggests, a monoprint is a 'one of a kind' .

Eagle, monoprint with colour wash
Barn Owl, monoprint with colour wash

Falcon in flight, monoprint with colour wash
Eagle Owl, monoprint with colour wash

Hawk in flight 2, monoprint with colour wash

Eagle Head, monoprint with colour wash.
You can see the difference between a mono print and drawing -  these prints were made by drawing, but the act of drawing on the plate through the back of the paper  picks up extra ink which creates this atmospheric look to the image.

With 'texture' being a bit of a focus this week, I made a start on a large scale (3ft x 2ft) textured painting, using the acrylic texture paste I bought last week! Trying this new technique, I decided to use Woolley, a familiar subject to paint. I've only made a basic start - there's a long way to go on this one! I've used the texture medium both on its own, and mixed with the acrylic paint...what you see here is the 1st application. I'm working on framers board which I primed with gesso so it looks pretty stark black and white - I can't wait to get my teeth into this... Hopefully, I'll find some time in the next week - but its looking very busy... Sadly, this photo doesn't show the texture very well - hopefully it will become more apparent as the painting develops?

Woolley - Acrylic on Board 3ft x 2 ft
To finish this week's blog, I am pleased to show this next painting, and to wish its new owner a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
This is a portrait of 'Yuri', my friend Lon's dog. Slightly daunting, painting a portrait for a fellow artist, but I am pleased with the result!

'Yuri',  Acrylic, 10" x 12"
So that's me, all blogged out until next time!
Mandi ;)