Sunday, 24 March 2013

March Smarch

Weather wise it's been a pretty rough month. Here in the Borders we have been lucky and missed the worst of the snow, but the last few days have been bitterly cold.

Signs of spring

Our outdoor activities have been somewhat curtailed, feels a bit like ground hog day. Looking back to March last year at the first post of my weather diary,temperatures couldn't be more contrasting...18 c then, -1c now!!
Gorse at Kyloe (end of February)
Work in the studio has been steady. I seem to be fairly well motivated despite not having any real pressing deadlines. Strange for me but I suppose when you get to this stage in life making work becomes a need not a want.

Large Oil based on the coast
I've been finishing off a couple of large paintings. One linked to the coast (from visits made earlier in the year) and another to moorland in Northumberland.
Work in progress
Both paintings have not been without their problems and I feel somewhat defeated by the last one.
The trail and tree motifs I have been working with seemed so perfect in the small scale studies in oil, pencil and watercolour, thatI felt confident and ready to scale up. But once I hit the bigger scale both trail and trees had to be abandoned. Compositionally they just didn't work!

Small Oil
Small water colour

Always a lesson to be learned when scaling up. Things which appear perfect on a small scale don't necessarily translate successfully into the larger format. It's all double Dutch sometimes and best abandoned?

Quick oil sketch
Those pesky trees!
A bright day at Bowden, early March
An audience with the Bowden crowd

Early morning sunshine.... a rare sight this pass few weeks

Last week end

View from the studio this week
Meanwhile in between working on the larger paintings I've been planning out some plates for collograph prints....(my students have been inspiring me!)
 I've worked with this image in a variety of media, oil,water colour, mono printing so I thought, why not a collograph as well. If the prints are any good I'll post them up here next month.
Collograph plate sealed and ready for inking

Mono print 

The Easter holidays start next weekend. Hopefully the weather will improve and our plans to get up a few mountains will come to fruition. Everyone deserves to feel a bit of warmth from the sun on their faces, after all it is Spring!