There’s a long tradition of poetry inspiring art. Finding focus and inspiration early in an art career is challenging. In fact the two needs can lead you into opposite directions. It’s easy to follow whims and do what takes your fancy but the truth is you also need discipline.I find mind through poetry inspiring art. When I began painting professionally I fell into the trap of creating anything that inspired me Which resulted in a confused array of paintings. One week I’d be doing caricatures, the next landscapes. Sometimes abstracts, you get the picture. Eventually I fixed on a medium, watercolour and acrylic ink, but the subject matter still varied. Clarity came when I was “Inspired by a Poem” The title of my local Art group’s exhibition. The first one was based on William Blake‘s Jerusalem, The poem is also a popular hymn.- I’d been playing with buildings and it was one of my first to combine the technique i developed and architecture. It’s loosely based on Times mill, a mill which dominated my childhood walks to school. But with a healthy dose of artistic licence. I’ve played with the mill and the lane by it. It’s called “And did […]
What is an abstract Painting? What do you think of when you hear the word abstract? Does you conjour up images of Jackson Pollock,s drippy or Mark Rothko squares? Or do you imagine something closer to reality? Pablo Picaso’s cubism paintings perhaps? There’s no one size fits all with abstracts. You can have pictures that are just a little abstract. Based on reality, they look like something but they are still abstracts. There has been an attempt to use an existing object, scene or person to begin a process which has resulted in the painting. To splodges of paint, lines or blocks of colour. This is where I’ve settled, architectural abstracts. It suits me. One thing I’ve always found though. The best abstract paintings abide by a set of rules. It may be limiting the colour palette. Or dripping the paint or only using angular shapes. Barbara Hepworth’s sculptures applied the “Less is More” rule. There are many rules you can use. If you want abstracts to work, it’s not a case of just splashing colour on a canvas, throwing things together or carving as you fancy. So take your pick and make your choice. Spending time deciding what is […]
Mixed Media was once revolutionary Like the Daily Express Building in Manchester, built in the 1930’s, it could have been built today. Even now people are wary of phrase mixed media and aren’t sure what it is. Simple put, watercolour is one medium, oil is another, ink another and so on.Mixed media is when you use two or more together. If you use acrylic paint and oil paint it is mixed media. You can add as many media as you like, even things like metal, threads, wood and other materials. I tend to stop at two or three but there’s no need to. The Daily Express building, above, featured on my daily commute to school. Sitting at the front of the top deck I could see clearly into the windows. Behind the glass, a mass of printing presses running paper at full speed creating the next edition. Hot on the press. I often wish I’d had a camera and taken some photographs. In the days pre-mobile phones the thought of carrying a camera around was the realm of professional photographers. Parents didn’t allow their children to carry expensive items to school on a daily basis. The most technical and expensive […]
Back to Manchester painting the Hollings building. The Hollings building or Toast rack is a well known landmark and used to be part of the university. It’s a hard building to photograph as the angles I preferred were on the northern side, which meant they were dark. One of the reasons I love photo editing software, ah, the adjust lighting setting. So handy! I took the usual excess of images and found this delightful bush on the north side, including chain link fence. I always look for a strong foreground image and the bold shape of the flowers appealed. I got a bit carried away with the creation of this one, So the earliest work in progress image I have is the final painting stage. I do have a few close ups of the masking being removed. First removing the masking from the foliage. Next the masking coming off the Toast rack itself! And finally the finished picture. I’m really pleased with the colours for this one. Can’t wait to see it in a frame. Those who visited me during open studios will remember I’ve been working on a H van for my next painting. Well it’s nearly finished… There […]
The moment trams were reintroduced in Manchester, I knew I'd end up painting them. Trams are fascinating, aren't they? They appeal to a childish part of our nature. So painting trams seemed only natural.