Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Watching the Sun Go Down

A watercolour sketch from my sketchbook.  This one is a 'try-out' for a bigger painting of a seascape, to be included in a series of oil paintings about the sea.   (The first two are of pebbles, sand and surf)

In my sketches and photos of the actual site there are two men side by side looking out over the bay, I can't decide if I like this old man sitting alone on his crate or not.  Perhaps he needs his friend with him?

Monday, 25 February 2013

Exploding and Erupting!

This photograph's from last night...looks like a giant rising up as lava shoots up into the sky

It seemed like a peaceful and quiet weekend...but wait 'the old lady' has woken up!
Mt. Etna is erupting again and is spewing ash and lava, making a wonderful show at night.

Snow and lava

Not to worry I'm at least two hours away by car (We're closer to Stromboli, a smaller volcano which is out at sea) but I have had the opportunity to see the lava flow at night and it's quite beautiful and scary at the same time.  Etna erupts nearly every year and people who live near or on it(!) are used to the earth tremors and ash.

Photographs are from local news site but unfortuately I don't know who took them.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Why use a sketchbook?

I started to think about why I keep a sketch book after Rebecca Stahr asked the question on her blog

My sketchbook or should I say sketchbooks are an important part of my creativitity, I sketch everyday to keep myself thinking, drawing and painting.  I sketch what I see, I scribble ideas and try out compositions.  I would find it difficult to paint or come up with ideas and inspiration without them.
Many use their sketchbooks as journals to record daily life or a journey, making notes as well as drawing.

I have many sketchbooks, cheap ones for rough ideas and five minute sketches, and more luxurious moleskines in different sizes, watercolour and smooth drawing paper.
Sketchbooks are important for eye/ hand co ordination and you also learn how to get something down on paper fast!

Five minute sketch from 2 weeks ago, but  I can still feel the sun on my back,  hear  the sound of the  boats moving and distant church bells clanging.

When you sketch you really look at your subject and understand it's shape and see how the light falls in a way a photograph could never do.  While you are sketching you absorb the sounds, smells and atmosphere,  you then only have to look at your sketch  to be back in the moment.
In my sketchbook I can experiment with new materials or ideas.  There is no pressure to make a 'finished' painting, the outcome is not important and if inspiration is ever lacking you only need to flick through your sketchbooks to find a wealth of ideas.

With a little sketchbook and pen in my bag I'm never bored, long waits in airports, hospitals etc become opportunities to capture something new! 

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Small and Sweet

When it's wet, windy and cold out I start to paint what I find in my kitchen.  That's why all my recent posts have been food/fruit, here's hoping for some sunny weather!
I enjoy painting with red so these little cherry tomatoes are ideal, I might have another go later if they haven't been eaten....but then on the other hand I've got a big bowl of oranges here on the table.
Decisions, decisions.

If you would like to keep up with my posts/artwork on Facebook, I've just taken the plunge and started my own page.  It would be great to see you over there, the more the merrier!  You can find the link on my sidebar.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Lemons, Lemons and More Lemons

It's that time of year again when lemons and oranges line my dusty lane, so of course I had to paint some.

This was my first rough sketch, then I went on to paint some more in the evening.  
At first I thought the elecric light was changing the lemons to a warmer colour.

But then I realised the second lot of lemons that I'd cut up were actually a different colour and their skins were thinner.   Sometimes  we get a cross between oranges and lemons when the trees grow wild and unattended and I think that had happened in this case.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Just one bite...

Here for you in all its glory is the Sicilian Cannolo.  A sweet pastry tube filled with soft ricotta cheese, chocolate drops and candied fruit.
After I'd painted this I thought I'd have just one little bite but it was too much can imagine the rest!

Monday, 4 February 2013

A King

It was fascinating today to hear that the skeleton found in a carpark in Leicester has been confirmed as King Richard III 's remains.  
I tried to imagine what he was like from portraits and the descriptions then painted  him just for the fun of it.  Richard was king for only two years before he was killed in the Battle of Bosworth and until recently it was unknown where he had been buried  .

Friday, 1 February 2013

Hidden Away

Just a little sketch in between working on some bigger paintings.
This tiny harbour is hidden away and really only known to locals.  It's also where you find my favourite pizzeria, a tiny little place along the harbour wall.  It's popular in the summer months and you may have to wait ages for a pizza if you don't book, but it's worth it to sit by candlelight overlooking the fishing boats.    I get hungry just sketching this place!


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