Thursday 31 May 2012

Fire Plane and Tree, Greenham Common

Greenham Common is a funny old place. It's been open to the public again since the late 1990s, but most people will remember it as the site of an American airbase, the home of Cruise missiles, and the notorious Women's Peace Camp. The Americans took their cruise missiles home (and eventually the women left, too). A small peace garden memorialises the occupancy of the women but the Americans left a lot behind, including several massive missile bunkers (still fenced off), a small township of military buildings (now the site of a thriving business park), and a collection of airbase detritus. Most of the latter is small stuff - fire hydrants and chunks of concrete runway that didn't get broken up - but, tucked away in a corner, there is this.

Sunday 27 May 2012

Study in Yellow

A drawing, today. I'm thinking of entering this in the Campaign for Drawing's John Ruskin Prize (the theme is "A New Look at Nature"). The deadline isn't far away, though - all entries must be submitted by 5pm on the 1st of June! Fortunately, in the first instance, they want digital images. So I might even have time to do a second image...

Edit: I didn't get shortisted.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Botallack: Chimney: Framed

Botallack: Chimney gets the medium wax driftwood frame; another Cornish subject for another Cornish frame.

Godrevy Lighthouse 2: Framed

Driftwood seems like an apt frame style for this seascape. I opted for the limed white option here, thinking that it might echo the froth on the waves. This is the second version of Godrevy Lighthouse from Gwithian beach; the first has a frame due to it, too (the same type), but as that painting already has a new home, I only have the frame in my posession at the moment.

Cannon Heath Down (7): Framed

I'm quite excited; today, I received a large, flattish parcel with four frames in it. They've come all the way from Cornwall (quite fitting, considering that the other three frames are all destined to surround paintings of that glorious county). The frames are all from Moonshine Framing's Driftwood range; this particular one is the clear wax version.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Lego Minifigures 44: "Arwen"

← Welby Church 1: Framed
Bethnoir suggested that Legolas needed a friend. Well, all Lord of the Rings fans know that he gets on very well with a certain lady elf called Arwen - and so that is the name of this figure, custom-built to resemble the Liv Tyler incarnation of said character. Of course, her ears are hidden beneath her flowing locks.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Welby Church 1: Framed

← Lego Minifigures 43: "Legolas"                                 Lego Minifigures 44: "Arwen" →
(Original Welby Church post)

What do you think of the choice of frame? I quite like it - nice and broad, simple (like the subject), and the yellow wood seems to pick out the sandstone of the church. The frame was, ahem, a sale bargain. The subject was serendipitously on my list of things I wanted to paint, and when I was considering what size and shape to make the painting, I remembered the little canvases that fitted these frames. And the colour of the frames...

Thursday 10 May 2012

LEGO® Minifigures 43: "Legolas"

Well, what else would you have me call a decidedly Tolkienesque elf made of LEGO? He even looks suitably stern.

Acrylic on canvas, 7 x 7 cm

Stack o' Freesia

You may recall a post in which  I mentioned that I tend to paint the edges of the 7 x 7 cm canvases, and demonstrated the effect of a "Stack o' Mini Canvases". Well, I've gone a bit over the top (should that be "over the edge"?) with the freesia paintings. The nature of the subject  is such that it naturally continues beyond the confines of the canvas, and it seemed necessary to make the edges part of the painting.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Lots of Freesia - SOLD

The freesia are lasting well, and today it was seeing them massed together from above that inspired me. A bit of the vase crept in on the left, but that just helps to link this painting to the first one.

Acrylic on canvas, 7 x 7 cm

Freesia 1
Freesia 2
Stack o' Freesia (shows edges of all three paintings)

Tuesday 8 May 2012

More Freesia - SOLD

Some more snatched time, some more freesia. (Well, actually, it's the same bunch of flowers, albeit a different stalk, a different angle, and a different background). I do love the shapes you get from freesia - all those delicate, trumpet-like flowers standing to attention in a row on each and every stalk, with the buds tapering off the end. And in the morning - another flower has bloomed!

And they smell lovely, too.

Acrylic on canvas, 7 x 7 cm

Freesia 1
Freesia 3 
Stack o' Freesia (shows edges of all three paintings)

Saturday 5 May 2012

Freesia in a Purple Vase - SOLD

A good friend gave me flowers (to congratulate me on the imminent start of a full time job*). Flowers are for painting, right? I just cannot let cut flowers exist in the house without itching to portray them... in the past, I've done watercolours on cards for friends' weddings. But watercolour isn't really my m├ętier, and, besides, none of my friends are getting married. So out with the acrylics and the tiny canvas it was.

Acrylic on canvas, 7 x 7 cm

Freesia 2
Freesia 3 
Stack o' Freesia (shows edges of all three paintings) 

*Unfortunately, the full time job means less painting.

Thursday 3 May 2012

Welby Church, Leicestershire

This is Welby Church in Leicestershire, on the edge of the market town of Melton Mowbray.  I grew up in Melton, and the building is special to me. Its incongruity - the church without a village - its isolation (it can seem like a lonely edifice, particularly on grey, wintry days like the one that this image represents) - its sense of history and, perhaps most important to me when I was a teenager, the way that it seemed to represent rurality in close proximity to the town.

The medieval village of Welby is no more - it was "lost" due to enclosure between 1450 and 1700 (i.e. the local landowner decided that sheep were less bother than crops - which required a lot of agricultural labour, increasingly expensive after the black death - and so the villagers were evicted and the common land enclosed). The site is now classed as an "Antiquity (non-Roman)".

The church is the most obvious remnant. It sits just shy of the crest of the hill on a narrow lane, and is constructed in local sandstone. It is thought to have been built in the latter part of the 12th Century, in the time of the first Roger de Mowbray. Services are still held there, although not regularly. It seems to be a popular little church - on the occasion of a service, the sides of the little lane are usually clogged with parked cars.

These days, its nearest neighbours are a farm and the site of a former (never functional) coal mine, now a business park. Not much further away, Melton's sprawling residential fingers provide a cohort of leisure walkers who often use the building as a landmark.

Lost Villages
Explore Britain
Local Diocese
The painting is based on a couple of photographs that I took on a recent visit to family in the area. It's rather small - I had limited time this afternoon, and it occurred to me to create something to fit in a frame that I already have. But, then, the church itself is not grand. I think that the size suits the subject.

And here are some in-progress shots:

Actually, the last one is the finished version, but it's a different photograph. All of this sequence were taken with the canvas on the easel (although the light is different on the final one - I turned the easel to face the window). The main picture was taken with the canvas lying flat.

Oil on canvas, 10 x 8"

Wednesday 2 May 2012

Botallack: Chimney

This is another image from my day at Botallack, Cornwall. There's no engine house - just a chimney... and some ruins. And rocks, and vegetation, and sky. Lots of sky. I like the way the chimney reaches into that glorious blue sky, and the way that the rocks define the right hand foreground.