stories and illustration

Exhibition: Different Hares, Different Horses

Snow at last in Coldstream, as has been forecast for days. Feeling happy that the paintings have been put up in the Gallery (all of them, and apparently they look OK); now feeling peaceful. I will be ready for new work, after asperging the studio (which needs it).

For the pictures, I changed these hares against a dark red background:

two hares

by scumbling the background with gold, and working somewhat on the bodies of the hare.  Maybe the dark red was more striking but there was so much red in my pictures I wanted something softer, The pictures all look much darker, as they have been photographed on a pre-snow day, but this one is anyway cooler in tone. I could always put back a bit of the red, as acrylics are so forgiving.  I was putting mirror plates on one of the pictures, and could see a dove from an earlier picture showing through quite clearly outlined, from a painting I had painted over. It is not so much that I am short of canvases, as that there are certain pictures I don’t want to live with any more.  Anyway,this is the softer picture of hares boxing:

e hares boxing

This next hare changed quite a bit:hare, red sun,gold field

I used acrylic craft paint for the moon, pearl with pearlising medium, and like the effect. The original image looked a bit rough, so I worked, again, on the body of the hare. This, I feel, has more life in it,and the pink is richer:

e hare III

This hare:running hare

was just tightened up a tad, and I changed the colour of the grasses breaking up its body.  I think there could have been more grasses silhouetted against the body, it would have made a more unusual image but maybe that will be a different picture.  All these hare paintings are tiny, I have always had a taste for the miniature, although with a long landscape format I feel easy working on a larger scale:e hare II

This hare stayed more or less the same.

As did these two small musicians and the hare in the foreground.  The hare is in marshy land, it must have strayed from its natural habitat (playing musical hares?):exhibition flute-player and fiddler

The little rider was changed by adding details. If he had been larger I could have done more with the face. Maybe, also, the horse would look good with embroidered reins. I don’t know why he is Spanish.  I was going to paint windmills in the background, but thought in such a small, and essentially decorative,  picture it could easily get too complex; and besides I like the outline of the horse against the red:little rider and catThis next rider changed considerably, the original sky became very pink, and I have temporarily taken against red suns, so all hale the pearlised medium.rider on the common

exhibition travelling home

There is still something I like in the looser early stages of a painting, especially when they are reproduced (even)smaller, as in this blog. But I am so used to a high finish of detail in illustrations, I find it difficult to leave well along.  Also, there is something attractive in a surface when it has been more worked on. Maybe it makes me feel safer, I don’t know. When I embark on a series of drawings, then perhaps a looser surface will appear. I think what does look good in reproductions is patches of the background showing through, which disappears when the work is more finished. During the process of painting, the sky in the original painting became more and more pinkly garish, and I much prefer it toned down as it is. But I still haven’t a clue about painting skies, even though I have been fascinated by them (which is really a changing “it”) over these last few months.

Also, I need to study the structure of animals and people, the bones, the muscles, the gestures.

Whilst painting,  I found myself thinking of the common at Chailey, where I used to walk with my grandfather when very young. These almost abstract paintings, as well as the horse above, are about that place. The first is called Common Ground: Small Water:commonground small water

And this is Common Ground: The Burnings:

common ground, the burnings2

That’s all for today. Off through the light snow,  ostensibly to clean the studio, but probably to watch through the small window the birds coming for the seed I have put out. Good to be living in the Scottish Borders, even if we do get snowed in once more (though I don’t think so, this year). Saw daffodils spikes and snowdrops and leaves on the trees showing, hope that there is no hard frost to damage these early shoots.

January 15, 2013 Posted by | Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments


%d bloggers like this: