Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Secret to Sketching in Secret - Cote D"Azure

Cloudy Day Blues, Cannes

If you don't have a sparkly beach kimono or some killer shoes (boys, yes, you too!) you might just as well pack up and go home - or sketch in secret like I did. The South of France is truly a glamorous playground. Dazzling light. Dazzling people dressed to the nines.

Not quite my style but I find I can fit in pretty much anywhere in the world if I have my sketch box with me. I never leave home without it.

I tuck myself away, like I did here, in a quiet shady corner, far from the madding crowd, and go into the painters' zone seeing the world through different eyes, perhaps looking past the surface and hopefully simplifying it well so I can get it down in paint.

For this quick sketch in Cannes, France,  see top left, it was actually a really overcast day, but super hot temperature, so the blues were more grey. I recall the sights, sounds and smells of that moment each time I look at this sketch. That is the beauty of it. Also the people who politely looked on.  New friends made.

Look for previous posts about what I travel with paint-wise. But I highly recommend the Guerrilla Pochade Cigar Box and accessories.

I have travelled all over the place with it in my carry-on and it feels like an old friend. It is tiny and compact and not too heavy for international travel. I am also now using Max water-based oils overseas. Just easier all around although they take a bit of getting used to and dry much slower than you would think unless you use a drying accelerator.

I'll be posting more sketches over the next few days so come back.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Gift of Time

"The Clearing"
By Johanna Spinks
Palette Knife
I gave myself the gift of time with this palette knife portrait of my daughter done in my garden. A nice lull in the studio workload, deliveries just shipped, and a week's break from my weekly teaching class found me very at peace with myself and my art.

I have wanted to paint my lovely fair-haired daughter for quite a while, having done quite a few portraits recently of my lovely dark-haired one. I found this scarlet vintage hat 'topper' online and that was the beginning of the idea.

It was a challenge doing this with a palette knife especially the hair and gauzy clothing.

I plan on more of this quiet time...with just myself and my palette knife, oh yes, and inspiration.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Swinging a Palette Knife

Swinging a palette knife this weekend painting the lovely Marian Liddel over at Jeremy Lipking's studio. He does a great one day a month workshop. Check it out

There is nothing about Lipking's work I don't like. He is a true young master and I have been lucky to be around him over  the last three years or so lending a helping hand in his workshops and 'study abroad' trips when I can in return for some of his inspiration.