Tuesday 27 November 2012

Workshop with Greg Baker

On Sunday I went to an all day painting work-shop.  The first I’d ever been to.
The workshop was at the home studio of Greg Baker http://www.gregbaker.com.au/ a very eminent local Perth Artist who also exhibits in Europe.
After spending all year painting alone in my art room, wrestling with a medium I really know very little about, it was great to see a master in action and get some insights into how I can improve my work.
Greg works predominantly in oils at the moment, but is also very accomplished in acrylics and pastels.  He demonstrated in all three mediums for us throughout the day displaying his consummate skills.  In the afternoon, along with many of the others, I attempted to emulate his style by using his photo reference that he painted from during the day – a scene from Rottnest Island waters.
I tried in vain to capture the light in the way he does, but I enjoyed the attempt nonetheless.
The first photo was taken once I’d decided I could risk going no further.
The second photo was taken after Greg made a few gentle tweaks that helped to enliven the scene.
Such a joyful day! Life has become very hectic this past week or so, so I’m hoping I will find a quiet day soon to paint before I forget all the jewels of wisdom I collected on Sunday.

Below is the final result after Greg added a few deft strokes and demonstrated how to do a glaze by adding medium.  I was pretty clueless about how to get the best out of my paints so I am going to try using medium in my next painting.  All very exciting!

Saturday 17 November 2012

Art Deco Strainer

                                                    Acrylic on board 5" x 7"
I painted this today in two sittings - 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon.  It was 6.30pm when I finished, so the photo was taken at dusk and probably hasn't done justice to the colours, but I was too impatient to wait until morning.
I set these items up right in front of my easel to get the view I wanted, hoping all the while that I wouldn't get paint on the fabric. Thankfully I didn't! I also painted "Christmas Baubles" from life as I find it takes so long to try to get a good photo of the subject.  Also the colours end up too far from the originals.  It is far more satisfying painting from life even though it is harder to keep the exact angle that you begin with.

 I hadn't originally begun with a top view like this.  It was slightly on an angle so I took care to make sure the plate wasn't exactly round. Then I discovered that I had painted the strainer from a top view and suddenly the plate looked like it had a flat bottom.  I tried to change the strainer to have the same perspective, but it didn't save the plate, so in the end I made the plate a little rounder.  Now I see that I forgot to change the shine on the strainer back to what I had originally.   However, it wasn't precise enough in the first place to get too precious about its faults at this late stage.

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Christmas Baubles

                                          Acrylic  -   canvas on board  8 x 6
                                         Available as Christmas cards on Fine Art America

I began painting this last Thursday and have returned to it for a couple of hours most days since.  I had run out of rectangular boards and had to use canvas. I think it took longer doing it on this rather than on board because it was harder to get the fine detail on the textured surface.  However, I was quite pleased with the finished result and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I didn't try to loosen up in the end, as I liked the challenge of the fine details.   Which isn't to say that I wouldn't dearly love to also be able to do this subject matter in a looser style.  Hopefully I will find it easier as I continue to paint more regularly.

For anyone who is curious as to what happened to the cuttings and seeds I was trying to grow from the propagation class I did a few months ago, here is an update.  Everything died!
There were half a dozen that bravely clung to life for a while, but slowly and surely the hints of green disappeared entirely.  Surprisingly, this bleak outcome hasn't put me off and I hope to try again later on.  In the meantime I have bought dozens of seedlings from a specialist native nursery "Lullfitz" and every single plant is thriving where I have planted them.