Friday, 27 February 2015

Thunderbirds Are Go!

I've just been working on our Thunderbirds film with my grandson, Barnaby. We do a bit more every time I see him.
Last weekend we used the string puppets I bought about twenty years ago to make a similar film with sons Leo and Max.
I also used the puppets - Virgil, Lady Penelope, Brains and Parker as models in a painting I was doing at the time.
'Encore!' is the name of the picture I made after my father  died and I wanted to commemorate him in some way. The painting shows a father saying goodbye to his three sons, only we have all become marionettes in a puppet theatre. This was partly because my father was an enthusiastic supporter of our annual puppet show.  I also had been representing family members in my paintings with various TV puppets but this time we actually became the puppets, yet kept our human form.
You can see the painting on the link to the PRINTS FOR SALE page on my website.
You'll have to wait a bit longer though, to see the Thunderbirds film.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

No Smoke Without Fire

Oh dear! I nearly burnt my studio down the other week.
I had recently seen some beautiful smoke drawings in a gallery, where the artist had drawn with a candle onto paper.
They gave me the idea that I might 'smoke' my canvases to give the appearance of translucent shadows for my current painting 'Against The Light '.
I decided to test out the idea on a piece of paper held horizontally above a candle. Although I was careful to hold the two things well apart, I failed to get any smoke and instead a large burn hole appeared in my sketchbook. It quickly turned into a flame which I was able to stamp out.
I am now experimenting with more conventional methods using transparent oil paint and brushes to make the shadows. However, I am also using shapers which are like brushes but have rubber ends and these are beginning to give me the effects I want.
And a lot safer. 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Oh Brother!

The other day we heard that someone was trying to contact Hazel and her family, as they thought they might be related.
It seems that this chap thought Hazel and her sister might share the same father, who  might have had a fling while being married to Hazel's mother.
We had visions of misty eyed reunions in the park between Hazel and her new half brother while violins played in the background.
However, we were all brought down to earth when birth and marriage certificates were carefully examined and it was soon realised that the wrong family had been contacted.
I was very disappointed as I could feel a new painting idea beginning to take shape before my eyes. I do have three ideas for family paintings on the go at the moment though, so that's probably enough.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Chasing Shadows

I've begun making preliminary studies for my new painting ' Against The Light '. I set up the black silhouette shadow puppets of Laurel and Hardy behind a screen and started making drawings of them using soft pencil. By having the puppets at different distances from the screen and moving the light around, I found I could get interesting shadows, making the images partly in focus and partly more faded.
This works well for my idea, I think, because I want to evoke  atmosphere into the studies and  give the impression that they symbolise  humanity rather than just represent real people. Having said that, the idea for the painting came from two brothers in my family, who were seen very differently by their mother and father.
I have now started some little sketch paintings  from the shadows as well and am beginning to introduce colour into  the darkened forms. This is so I can link them visually to the other images in the painting, which will be seen on the other side of the shadow screen.
More of that later.