A few weeks ago I published a post about some new pieces I was working on which were a diversion from my abstracts.
They started out as a bit of a distraction. I was working on a large painting (still unresolved), and after a few hours of painting I needed a break. We’re just about to start a kitchen extension and weeks of pouring over brochures and visits to showrooms seemed to have invaded my thoughts. As a result I found myself doodling kitchen scenes and utensils. The builder hasn’t started yet but I’m looking forward to being able to share some ‘work in progress’ photos when he does!
My usual break from painting involves sketching. Good old fashioned paper and pencil gives me the creative boost without the stress or mess of paint.
Sketching is an easy switch off. There is no risk, if it doesn’t work you simply turn the page and start something else. Not so easy with a painting. My sketchbook habit falls into two camps. One is simply about mark making and composition. Whether I’m out and about or just playing with marks, these are my go to when I’m starting a new painting. They provide me with loads of inspiration. They tend to be abstract and loose and if I’m honest almost childlike.
The other side of my sketchbook is drawing and illustration. With these pages there is a very obvious source of inspiration. These usually involve objects lying around my house. Over the years I’ve completed several series of drawings. From camera’s to bottles of gin, stuff in my kitchen cupboards to a 100 day challenge of little illustrations.
I do share some of my sketches on the sketchbook page on website, but I’m not the best at remembering to update this page.
Trust the Process
When painting abstracts, my process involves putting down colours or shapes and responding to what’s in front of me. There is a lot of trial and error, and I don’t really have a clear idea of what the finished piece will look like. I love working this way as each day is a bit like stepping into the unknown. However, that lack of a clear vision can also be frustrating. This is especially true when you get that stage where you feel like the painting is starting to emerge but you’re just not sure what the next mark should be. That’s where I am with this piece. It is on a 60cm square cradle board so quite a large painting for me.
So the recent pieces I’ve finished all have a very similar theme. It started out with my ‘Dinner Time’ painting which is on a 30cm square cradle board.
Still working in multiples I started 7 paintings at the same time. The other 6 were on smaller 20cm square cradle boards and canvas boards. The first two I completed were using the same colour palette – muted blues and greys which is a combination I love!
With the next two I wanted to shake things up so I opted for a palette with a bit more pop. And to mirror the strength of the colours I opted for a flatter, stylised feel with less texture.
The final two I’m still struggling with. I wanted to break my love of blue so colour wise reds, browns, beiges and yellow – very unlike me! This may be the reason I’m having so many problems with them. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks I’ll get these finished and with my exhibition at The Exchange looming a deadline could be just the right incentive!
Also a shout out for my newsletter sign up. I will be starting to email newsletters out to anyone who has signed up. I’m planning on sharing more of my work in progress so if you haven’t signed up you can do so here.
Happy art making!