Friday, 29 January 2016

Damp Day

Oil on Board, 7.5 x 10 inches

Here's another one of the River Windrush near Burford, on a damp, flat-light day, very remeniscent of the days of January and December that we have all seen lately. Days like this don't necessarily have the wow factor that the brightly-lit landscape has, but they have their own charm, and every type of landscape deserves its own depiction, and soft greys and browns describe this sort.

Slow-moving water such as this is relatively simple to paint, by describing the milky water with downward and horizontal brushstrokes of the local colour, blended here and there with a few judicious horizontal swishes.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Winter Windrush

Oil on Board, 7.5 x 10 inches

My painting these days is intermittent and although I love running the gallery (other galleries are available, but why bother when you've got the best here) I do miss the freedom of painting when I want. There is always so much to do, but hey, what a great job, being surrounded by some of the best paintings in the country by revered colleagues.

Anyway, here's one I managed to slot in yesterday - a little oil to ease my way back into the painting mode, and a typical one from the last month's weather - wet, a little gloomy and flat light. But every mood of weather has its charm, and the milky flat light provides depth if not flashy highlights. The blues of distant trees is emphasised in Winter, and this lends a hand to help create depth in a painting, as here, I hope!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Sunspot Glade

Oil on Board, 7 x 9.5 inches

This is a view of a huge woodland near my studio called Bedford Purlieus, purlieus meaning once part of a royal forest.  This is a beautiful ancient wood, dating at least back to Roman times.

I loked the tunnel effect of the canopy closing in the distance, leaving that little bit of light, inviting the viewer to go down that path. There was, in fact, a big five-bar gate across the path, but I removed it for the sake of the composition to stop the eye coming to a halt. Tghe hook really, was the lovely shaft of light melting the frost and giving that glorious bit of green and orange, ooh, yummy!


Thursday, 7 January 2016

Frost and Fog

Oil on Board, 9 x 13 inches

Just when you thought it was safe to come out of your bunker, I'm firing another painting at you, nearly a month after the last one - where did that month go?

I must admit running the gallery has taken a lot more of my time than I would have liked, but it's a blast to be surrounded by such great art every day at work and for the gallery to accepted so well by art lovers. It's great to be painting again though.

This one is a reminder that Winter hasn't hit yet, at least here in Rutland, but there may be time for some hard frosts and fog...and snow.  I love it when these foggy, frosty paintings come off, but they are really so tough to get the relative tones right to be convincing. It's because the tones are so light and close, without the contrasty tones of Summer, that make such subjects tricky. When they do come off, they are very satisfying and the effect can be as striking as a bright, sunlit vista.

There is actually a metal bridge over the river just behind the Willow on the right, but I felt it was too dominant, so I painted it out. One day in another century, they might X-ray this painting and see the hidden bridge, ha ha!