Saturday, 30 April 2011

S-Bend on The Welland

Oil on Panel, 9 x 12 inches

Just a smaller panel this time amid my bigger paintings; the river near home at Duddington where its course glides through an S-bend, flanked by Ashes and Oaks. It's a very warm, summery painting, with lots of subtle greens throughout. The Ash tree's boughs dipping into the water on the left stop the eye flying right out of the painting.
Frosty one coming up next......................

Friday, 29 April 2011

Grange in Borrowdale

 Oil on Panel, 12 x 17 inches

Here's my version of the oft-painted Grange-in-Borrowdale in the Lake District. You're probably wondering why I haven't posted for a week....well, I've had a friend staying with me and we've been painting furiously, so will be posting 2 more new paintings over the weekend.

Obviously, I shall be at the Abbey today for a couple of hours, then straight back to it...............................

Friday, 22 April 2011

Hazy September

 Oil on canvas, 22 x 30 inches

I was going to call this one 'The Cobweb', but 'Hazy September' describes the painting well I think.  This was one of those lovely, bright, hazy, late summer days, much like the unseasonal ones we are experiencing over this Easter period. Dewy gossamer was adorning all the bankside vegetation, with one big cobweb made all the more visible with its watery embellishment (I think I've turned into a poet).

Again, it is my favourite sort of light effect - looking straight into it - which gives that gorgeous sparkle of sunlight on the water.  I find painting these light effects extremely taxing to get the tones of the receding planes of trees light enough.  I seem to invariably make them too dark and have to repaint them much lighter than my eyes are telling me.  Paint what you see Barker, not what you think you see, as I always drum into the folks who attend my demos.  I've only been painting for a living for 28 years, so you wouldn't expect me to get it right first time yet....ahem.  It took longer than I would have hoped for that reason, but I'm happy with the result, I think, at this early juncture. 

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Spelling Mistake

The Spelling Mistake, Oil on canvas, 22 x 30 inches

MackerelYou can't actually make out the sign on the pole on the left of the painting - it says 'Mackeral Fishing Trips' - hence the title. 

This was a triumph over adversity; there are 2,623,714 pebbles on this bit of Beer beach in Devon.  Did I paint them all you're asking ?  Don't be ridiculous, I only painted the ones on the surface.  How did I do this ?  If I told you that, I'd have to kill all of you..........

The fabulous reflected light was the inspiration for this big painting, for me.  I love a subject looking directly into the light, especially when that light is bouncing off water.  I wanted to capture that blinding light that almost obliterates anything set against it, in this case the flags on the light blue boat and the fisherman in the dark blue boat beneath it, about to launch.  There's also lovely pure sunlight catching the damp boards and metal rails on the two foreground boats.  Pure Titanium White is the hopelessly inadequate brightest colour an artist has in his arsenal, so you have to employ a few tricks to try to create that illusion of blinding reflected light. Again, I can't possibly tell you how it's done, or....................

I never think bigger paintings photograph as well as smaller ones, and I had a lot of trouble trying to get the colours anywhere near the colours in the painting. This is the best effort, although the warm shades are a bit hot.  You'll just all have to come to my show in Devon in July to see it 'as is'.

I've now done a hand-break turn and am painting another 22x30 of my local river, the Welland......will post soon.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Walker below Eagle Crag

Oil on canvas,  18 x 24 inches

This is the last of my Lakes paintings for now. The inspiration for this one was the sparkling, clear water with the stones on the bottom appearing almost turquoise, with the jagged rocks on the right catching the bright sunlight, set against the dark far bank, with the giant blue Eagle Crag looming out of the top of the canvas. Don't you just want to get into that water ?  I did and it was wonderful.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

The Langstrath Valley

The Langstrath Valley, Oil on panel, 18.5" x 26.5"

Here's my latest Latest Cumbrian painting from the truly glorious Langstrath Valley of The Lake DistirctI loved the different textures in this composition - the calm water just before the rapids, the jagged, angular, rocky outcrops with the tree in its winter garb and the distant blue mountains shrouded under the clouds. Lots of different brushes used for this one - hogs, mongoose, riggers and my trusty household paint brush.

Don't forget you can see a full size version by clicking on the image, and zoom in by clicking again.

Thanks for looking and please leave a comment if you wish by clicking on 'comments' in the box below.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Lakeland Paintings

I've just painted these three Lakeland scenes after my recent trip up to that fabulous part of our country. I was going to say back in my comfort zone, but those still-lifes I posted earlier were a blast and I really enjoyed the hand-brake turn !

  'Derwentwater'  Oil, 18 x 26 inches
This was a beautiful, calm morning by the south end of the lake, with mirror-like reflections and Mr and Mrs Mallard in the foreground - Mrs doing some preening and Mr with his head stuffed in his feathers, wondering just how long she's going to be...............

'Stonethwaite Beck'  Oil, 18 x 26 inches
As I mostly paint rivers down in my neck of the woods, this was a right challenge, painting tumbling water through a valley of thousands of rocks. Painting the way I do, it's tricky to paint these anything like loosely.  There is such a lot of light and shade on every damned one, it was great to finish it !  What a stunning valley, though. 
'River Derwent, Borrowdale'  Oil, 16 x 22 inches
Blue distant mountains, un-clad trees, wonderful reflections and just the odd few orange leaves left, like little jewels - what a subject, largely close-toned with muted colours, save for that bit of orange as a complementary colour to the blue of the mountains.