Work. Don’t Think. Relax.

large oil painting, wip

large painting of Crosdale shortly before being hung up to ‘mature’

The latest big painting I’ve been working on is in its death throes/finishing stages. It’s reached the point where I thought it might be done and so hung it on the wall to ‘mature’ (this is something that paintings are mysteriously able to do by themselves while the artist isn’t working on them). Usually, after a painting has matured for a while you will either be able to see glaring problems that need correcting or you will realise that, in spite of everything, the work is actually done. While paintings are maturing you should only sneak quick looks at them now and again as it’s important to ‘forget’ them in order to be able to see them anew.

An evening of plein air work resulted in several new small sketches and I have placed them below. The light had seemed promising and I staggered out with my kit imagining that I would be sitting bathed in the sun’s last rays as they lit up the fells in spectacular fashion. Instead, the sun disappeared behind a bank of misty cloud and there was very little light to work with – although some interesting pink, red and purple hues did make their way into the scene just before hypothermia set in.

plein air oil painting of setting sun, 6"x8"

plein air sketch, oil on canvas, 6″x8″, setting sun from Crosdale looking west

small plein air oil painting of hills in the evening, 6"x8" on canvas

last light hits the slopes, oil on canvas, 6″x8″, plein air

small oil painting of Crosdale in the evening, on 6"x8" canvas

evening colours in Crosdale, plein air oil painting on canvas, 6″x8″

As winter creeps ever nearer I’ve been working on still life projects more often and enjoying them. This painting of apples (Coxes, I think they were) was one of the first.

still life oil painting, apples, 6"x8"

apples in a bowl, oil on canvas, 6″x8″

I also have plans for a family portrait. The first oil sketch, which turned out pleasingly strange due to the odd lighting we ended up with, is here. The lighting would have been fine but by the time dog and humans had managed to settle themselves in some kind of order the original set up was no longer pointing in the right direction – we should all have been ‘over there somewhere’. So, we are bathed in fierce white light which attacks us from odd angles.

portrait, family, 6"x8", oil on canvas

strange family painted from observation, oil on canvas, 6″x8″

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