Updates from my studio

Messing About with Paint

Review of what to pack for painting Travel

In the five weeks, I painted 20 pictures on canvas, linen and paper.

Of the limited pallet of 11 colours (Ultramarine blue, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Red, Cadmium yellow light, Titanium White, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium yellow deep, Cobalt Blue, Naples Yellow, Phtalo Blue Green and Cerulean Blue) I hardly used the Cadmium red and I would leave the Burnt Umber out next time.

I found the dark mixture of Burnt Umber and Ultramarine blue disappointing. I did need the additional tube of white paint that I didn’t take along, and both the Cadmium yellow deep and Naples yellow ran short as I did not anticipate the huge amount of yellow colour everywhere in Vietnam.

Phtalo Blue Green, Alizarin Crimson and Naples Yellow made a wonderful rich grey color that contrasted fabulously with the Cadmium Yellow.

Diary of an Adventure, Messing About with Paint

Bay of Dragons

Bay of DragonsAcrylic on canvas 150cmx70cm 

Vinh Ha Long, means “Bay of the Descending Dragon”.

The legend says that during the old time when the country was newly formed, Vietnamese had to fight against fierce invaders coming from the North through the sea. Feeling sorry for the country, The Jade Emperor sent the Mother Dragon and her children descending on earth to help ancient Vietnamese people defend the country.

While the mighty enemies were attacking the main land, The Mother Dragon and her children suddenly appeared and incinerated the enemies with their divine fire and giant emeralds. The emeralds from the dragon’s mouth were scattered around the battlefield on the sea and formed an invincible defensive wall that left enemy battleship fleet sinking. Thanks to the dragons, the Northern invaders were finally swept away and the peace finally came back the South East Asian country once again. After thousands of years, the wall of emerald turned into island and islets of different sizes and shapes.

After the battle, The Mother Dragon and her children didn’t come back to the heaven, but stayed in the mortal world and turned into human form and help people planting, cropping, raising cattle, reclaiming, and expanding the country.

To remember the help of Mother Dragon and her children, the people live there from generation to generation name the bay where the Mother Dragon descended “Ha Long or Halong” and the bay where her children descended “Bai Tu Long”, which means “Thanks to the Dragon’s children”. This legend is also a part of the general belief that Vietnamese people’s has Dragon’s origins.

http://www.halongbay.info/news/the-legend-of-halong-bay.html

Detail

Messing About with Paint

Vietnam Adventures

‘Cards’, and the companion painting, ‘Another hand’

Acrylic on linen 40cmx50cm 

Hanoi, Vietnam. 

From Terry’s photo, ladies playing cards next to Westlake. 

Frenetic, expressive smearing of paint onto the linen canvas. Craziness after a heart-beat walking through the traffic? 

Raw Sienna, and Alizarin Crimson for the face, with a darker mixture of Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Red. Naples Yellow for the background. Quinacridone Rose and Cobalt Blue for the clothing.

‘Another Hand’

Acrylic on Linen 40cmx50cm 

Messing About with Paint

What Could Have Been

Oil on canvas 76cmx102cm

Portrait of a homeless women in Knysna.
Perhaps a fitting title on the eve of the American election that is reverberating around the planet??.
Her gentleness, and beauty shinning through the hardships of her life. A glimpse of what could have been. In a different world.
Based the portrait on Bertha Morisot’s work that she did on brown paper. Naples yellow, and raw sienna, with a touch of burnt umber, as an underpainting to create the paper background, allowing the Naples yellow to dry before applying the raw sienna.
Messing About with Paint

Colour Madness

Oil on canvas 122cmx41cm

Streaks of colour, an abstract expression (Action Painting) of quickly rendered gestures, capturing the essence of emotion, painted directly from the paint-tube onto a horizontal canvas on the studio floor.

The bending over playing hell with my back!

Being less than comfortable at what I was doing, and even less sure as to the result, I used paint that was still lying in my ‘magic box’. Struggling to keep the colours clean and not to control the abstract approach.

The unusual technique entertaining those who passed the studio.

Diary of an Adventure, Messing About with Paint

Harbour Town Adventures

Portrait of ‘The Fisherman’ finished. Tossed on the sea of life. His hoody, a halo of protection, insulating him. Retreating into the anonymity of its darkness. Within which his eyes stare unwaveringly at the hostile environment within which the homeless exist.

Raw Sienna mixed with rose and a touch of Naples yellow gold as the base colour for the portrait, with shades of Indian Red and Cobalt Blue grey.

My elbow complaining at the contortions.

Early summer days. Beach walk at first light. Paddling, with blue herons watching, in pure stillness. Feet pounding the brick paving alongside the lagoon. Braai fire creating a glow, adding to the fiery sunsets across the water. Owl hooting its greeting to those who pause long enough to listen. Pin-tail Whydah’s filling the air with attitude.
osbloodLimited edition, hand-crafted wines from Osbloed winery in Somerset West. Each with its unique story, and intriguingly different to those we normally drink.
The Knysna River glowing in the sunset. Red-bridge a shadow. A question, as to how would Jackson Pollack paint such a scene? Did his paintings have any compositional strategy (He famously said: “I don’t paint from nature, I am nature.”), or were they a random splattering of paint, without an underlying concept? “When I paint, I have a general notion.” Jackson Pollack 51. Colour as shape.
Can his ‘action technique’, as manifested in ‘drip painting’, be applied to my style, which is neat and compact (His were none of those things!)? Ever mindful of the person who came through the studio exclaiming ‘Thank goodness, not another #¥@! landscape!’.
The river, the flow between past, present and future. ‘The River does not flow, but the bridge does.’
Terry’s dinner menu full of Mediterranean flavours. An instant transportation that made one want to head off to Greece, Turkey or Morocco. Salmon ceviche starter (lime, orange, chilli and red onion), followed by grilled leg of lamb with roasted bringel and a yogurt sauce infused with turmeric, paprika, and mint.
Messing About with Paint

Boy and his dog

Oil on Canvas 90cmx60cm

The beach paintings of Joaquin Sorolla are full of movement and life, capturing the innocent pleasure of children in particular. This, my inspiration for the painting of the Boy and his dog.
Bold strokes, on an underpainting of Naples Yellow that pushed into the abstract expressionism boundaries for the painting. For the shadows in the painting, I used Purple Madder (Van Dyk 38) with Cadmium Yellow Deep as a contrasting colour. A mixture of Raw Sienna and Rose Quinacridone contrasted with Cobalt Blue for the water. Touches of grey made from Indian Red and Cobalt Blue were used to add sparkle to the white. Flashes of Magenta to ensure the unpredictability of the beach.