(Oil on canvas, 1mx1m)
It's been a day of the grumps. Everyone has been dour and black-moody, unwilling (and sometimes unable) to shake that sinking claggy feeling. The greys have slowly deepened and gathered to crowd out any light that may have been able to encourage them to lift their heads and hearts.
Time edges on and the tide turns in the bay below. There is that midge-filled stillness as the sea decides to change for the last time that day. Deep blue rumbling waves start to be reflected in lofty patches above and that dark gathering ceiling begins to break, everyone realising that they have other things to do than sit above the same piece of land and sea for eons. Bleak light gathers increasing brightness as spaces appear and rays of waiting warmth slowly welcome back their loved ones. Sunny confetti dapples the skies.
Oil on canvas, 1m x 1m
Layer upon layer of dense plumage ruffle and re-ruffle as they shuffle and shake. True beauty can be found amongst those lacy tendrils. Sometimes one only allows their inner light to shine purely when they're peeking through protective veils.
Plumes of Passion
(Oil on Canvas, 12"x12")
Fleets of hurrying ruffles bustle and hustle up amongst those bleary-eyed greys. Temperatures rise with the increasing wind speed as the sun glows to fire up the crowds. The journey-focus gives way to heated passion as those plumes spread their wings across the skies like pink peacock tails attracting admiring glances.
(Oil on canvas, 12"x12")
Stories buffet and wend their way through communities, countries and skies. Different yet the same in that all stories are told at some point, and those telling similar-veined tales usually find like-minded atmospheric tones to congregate with. The heavier, more venomous and sometimes regarded as the juicier stories wallow and dive into the increasingly tragic tellings of the other. The optimistic and spiritually light stories are harder to find but look up and you'll see their versions of reality floating, waiting patiently to be heard. More translucent and sometimes seemingly invisible, it's often the respectful space they give each other to exist that defines them the most.
(Oil on canvas, 12"x12")
Pale raspberry doughnut jam is everywhere! Simultaneously they bit into the bit where the hole was on the other side. Rookie mistake on all parts, although potentially just a misjudged mistake for the fully grown mistake-ees. The sugar was already working its way into every crevice and now a substantial portion of pink stickiness is liberally working it's way across. Tongues reach to catch the tasty widespread jam and sugar combination and distinct remnants of the frosty sweetness continue their journey.
Mixed Media painting on canvas
Finding the original inspiration (a beautiful mosaic archway from a gorgeous Persian cookbook), getting the patterns in the hues I wanted, ripping paper piles so the edges were raggedy. After all the collage preparation, layering and drying, I then had a go at trying to paint with a palette knife! And do you know what? I enjoyed the process :)
I received an online art course that I had wanted to do for ages (http://mondayonlinestudio.weebly.com) from my generous brother a while ago. After much procrastinating, the time was earmarked in the diary and I actually committed to the class. It took much longer than planned but it was amazing! Simply loved just working the mediums in a whole new way and I think I have a new inspiration for future paintings. This is always the way when I'm meant to be focusing elsewhere, but it did remind me of how important it is to be allowed to learn for fun.
I know I'm doing what I love for a living. So little of it is exploring and creating the art itself. This made me re-evaluate. Maybe I'll spend less time on the admin and more on the painting. I'm having the new moon feeling of taking stock and reviewing things - and lots of financials are coming up for renewal (including this website). Watch this space, I'm definitely striving for simplicity over complexity.
The sun was out, the sea was sparkling and the beauty of the highlands was clear for all to see as I sketched from the GALE Centre in Gairloch last weekend. I have an exhibition there during this month and I love the chance to meet some of the visitors (the cake is also marvellous if you have the chance to pop in and treat yourself). It was also great to be able to gaze through charcoal at Skye and Rona from their eastern sides rather than being on the islands themselves.
So I now have a highland sketchbook as well as a Skye one (you could call it an excuse to collect stationery but I'm calling it a necessary item as part of the project) in my midst! How lovely! I'm appreciating the ring-bound 'sketch and store' sketchbook by Derwent at the moment. I like to put a piece of glassine paper between the pages to protect the drawing and its a great way to hold everything all in the same place.
PS: There's still chance to see the exhibition if you're in or near Gairloch before the 26th May, the details are below:
I've been dreaming of doing this for years, and last Sunday I finally got round to it - doing a series of charcoal sketches from the roads and lovely scenic spots around Skye. I watched Brené
Brown's new talk on Netflix 'The Call to Courage', choose 'courage over comfort' and got myself out with the sketchbook.
You see, I don't have a problem particularly with people seeing or watching me draw/paint, it was the fact that this tiny idea of a potentially enormous project would actually start when I made it. It would mean that I had committed to potentially sketching from every layby and every sight on this island, other islands and the rest of the Highlands (not unusually, my sights and ideas have escalated exponentially since I first had the inkling). That's huge by anyone's standards isn't it? So, I took a took a starting step and went to nearby Dunvegan Castle to begin - here before you are the first two sketches of the series that has been dwelling in my head for quite some time:
The weather was clement (although distinctively breezy on the Lochside, unsurprisingly), the midges hadn't hatched and it was lovely to at least begin something that had been brewing for so long. Like any release of energy, lots of new ideas also seeped in: there are lots of beautiful tulips and rhododendrons currently in bloom that swept through my unsuspecting imagination. So my brain leapt from monochrome to vivid colours - typical! Maybe next spring for those, but it was so fabulous to be out and about doing what I love most.
Cloudscape painting in oils
Charity postcard for the Twitter Art Exhibit 2019 (#TAE19)
Jostling layers buffet together as the wind takes their edges and reels them round like a softened version of white socks and lacy edges against many kilt colours in a highland fling.
Supporting the Art in Healthcare charity, the catalogue for the Twitter Art Exhibit is now available to pre-order. Go to http://twitterartexhibit.org/product/tae19scotlandcatalogue to order yours!
So there we have it - a whole series of the stunning colours of the skies over Skye from each day of last month and the beginning of this one. And what a thirty days it was! As always, I'm delighted to have completed the paintings and even though I've been painting clouds for a few years now, I feel I've learned so much in the last month.
Thank you for sharing the experience with me - I'm off to busily frame paintings of a whole other genre (life drawings and abstracts) for my next exhibition (see my exhibitions page for details). Then I'll delightedly pick up the paintbrushes and/or pastels again with glee.