caralockhartsmith

stories and illustration

The Midnight Hare, page 25

MH page 25

It is useful for me to put these images on line, as it distances me from them, and I can apply a more critical eye. The next stage is to print out what I have done and assemble the pages opposite each other. I am working on small sheets of paper, and keeping the paintings within a pad, of pastel paper, actually; so I cannot truthfully gauge the effect until I put them together.  In the past, when working on white paper, I did the pictures that were on opposite each other on the same sheet of paper, as I could get books of  watercolour paper that were big enough. I don’t know why I don’t work on a drawing board, I have always preferred to work with books of paper; though now, the studio I work in is too small for a drawing board, when you take into account the box of crayons, the box of gouache, the two paintboxes, the  bamboo serving tray I use for my watercolour tubes, and the box of neocolor crayons, and the waterpots and the brush pot and the pencils etc etc. that have to share the smallish table (which originally was a breakfast table from a bed and breakfast next door in Berwick which closed down) and the two tiny tables which cower in its small shadow. I do have about five blocks of papers on the go with this story, so can offer up images opposite each other; but there will  have to be adjustments.  I seem to have started to work to a specific hardish edge in a lot of the recent paintings, so think I will deliberately loosen this up, though when there are two images on a single page, as above, then a hardish edge is necessary for coherence.  Next week I start work on the four double-page spreads, having ordered some large sheets of paper, and having cut down the cardboard from a large block of watercolour paper to serve as a base. I may work these so that they do not have any kind of a margin.  The paintings are on different coloured papers, though all within a certain range.  This is a bit of an odd way of doing a book, but I can’t see anything wrong with some oddness here and there.

August 12, 2016 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunlight on the Studio Wall

light

April 15, 2015 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Studio II

DSCF9072

October 12, 2014 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

3 Stages and a Lighting Effect

3 stages and a lighting effectI started off painting this very roughly, and then took a photograph in the afternoon, when (by chance, not design) the light from the window lay over the canvas.  When I looked at the photograph I liked the effect of the window and its shadow, so decided to incorporate this effect in the final picture. I am used to painting illustrations flat on the table, but with this larger painting I propped up the canvas on a chair with two sturdy arms.  I am going to get a piece of wood and balance it on the chair to use as an easel.  The studio is small, and though I have an ornate, gold painted metal easel, this is used to hold many sheets of watercolour paper and big books of expensive artistico fabriano paper which I use for illustration. I also have a table easel which I think I bought in Lidl, or Aldi maybe: but for larger bits of canvas, the chair and the bit of wood will do very well.  It is fun to do something larger and freer after the small pages of illustration: though in a sense this is still an illustration, as it is a painting based on a poem which I wrote many years ago. I have incorporated the words of the poem in the painting.  I admire very much the use that some artists make of words, I haven’t explored this enough, and need to widen the range of my lettering. However, it is fun to realise that there are ways of expanding one’s range. I went to an exhibition of illustration at the Granary Gallery in Berwick upon Tweed (where some of my illustrations were on show among those of other people) and was very interested in one or two paintings which had incorporated words beautifully in their work. Rather a delightful exhibition, connected with Berwick’s first Book Festival, which takes place next weekend, and which it is hoped will be a yearly fixture. The picture above (final version) I delivered today to the Berwick Watchtower Gallery, for their Open Exhibition, which also opens next weekend.

 

October 11, 2014 Posted by | Painting, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Studio III

Owl 3

October 11, 2014 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Moonwuzo’s Sea-Song

The Moonwuzo's Sea-Song

Who is that walking on the dark sea sand?

The old Bride of the Wind

 

What is that staring out of the weedy pool?

The newborn Monster in its caul

 

What is that eerie chanting from the foam?

The mermaids’ gardening song

 

What is that shadow floating on the water?

The Fish-King’s daughter

 

Who bears those candles down by the Sea’s curled rim?

The children going home

 

from Old Merlaine

October 10, 2014 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tubes of Blue

watercolour tubes

I was trawling through photographs, eliminating a good many –  if I go on amassing images my computer will not have room to breathe. I found some very repetitive snaps of my studio, which I sent to the recycle bin (how do old images get recycled, eh?), but I kept this one as I thought the colours were nice.  At this point I seem to have got some pristine tubes – delicious.  I thought of entitling the blog Blue Tubes, but decided it sounded a bit too like a late-night pay-to-view programme. I keep my acrylics in an old cutlery tray when I am working, but these watercolour tubes are in a contraption which I bought for a couple of quid at Kelso Car Boot Sale, I think it is for serving some kind of Japanese delicacy by the look of it, but soon as I saw it, “paint tubes” came into my mind.  It is ideal, the best thing I have found for keeping the colours fairly separate, so I can find them when I want. If anyone knows what it was for in the first place, I would be interested to know.

Off to Newcastle tomorrow, to look at the SevenStories collection at Design Works, to choose something appropriate to go into an exhibition of children’s illustration in the Granary Gallery in Berwick upon Tweed, as part of the Berwick Book Festival in October.  We have been asked to to choose some work from the wide collection at SevenStories, to by shown with our own work. I am hoping that my choice of a page from Angela Barrett’s work sheets will be permitted to be shown.  Her work will put mine to shame, but hey-ho, that’s my choice.

Actually, I like it that there is much room for improvement – it makes life more interesting.

colours1

colours2

 

August 14, 2014 Posted by | Art, Painting, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cobwebs

cobwebs

The Tardis, my studio, is filling up gradually with books, rags, old paint pots, half finished canvases, big bottles with paintbrushes, knick-knacks, charcoal dust, cacti and bird seed. In the midst of trying to finish some acrylic paintings I get a commission of tiny proportions, which means some delicacy needed, which means the table gets dusted free of gubbins, and I take my watercolours out of the cupboard, two paintboxes, a brush roll, and some tubes arranged in a Japanese type woven tray with shallow baskets, obviously for food, but brilliant for keeping the colours separate, bought at a car boot in Kelso.  As I sit down to sketch out a tiny rough, I notice the light through the cobwebs in the window.  Ah, distractions, distractions….

July 7, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Robins in the Conservatory

Been working in the studio most of the hours I can manage, and when taking necessary breaks from painting something rather fragile that needs not to be overworked – or underworked either – I watch the birds out of the window, eating the seeds, bread and apples put 0ut for them.  I call “birdies” in rather an idiotic way when I put out the seed, but it does please me when there is a kind of rustle and quiver in the nearby trees.  The hornbeam hedge has been cut down to its minimum, so the birds at the moment prefer the bushes with more shelter to wait until I have gone back into the sutdio.  I was playing some Handel very loud so I turned it down to not frighten the “birdies”.  There are two robins that come, each bird has its own way of taking food.  The blackbirds are very unafraid of people compared to other birds, but they don’t eat much in public, they seize something and fly into the shadows with it  The sparrows cluster together, there are either 15 or none at all.  I think some of them are dunnocks, which I believe is a different variety altogether.  The robins however are on the qui vive the whole time, they kind of pounce at things. They perch on the wooden edge of the raised beds and look every whichway. I like the splash of colour that they bring to what has been a spell of grey gloomy weather.  Anyway, inspite of the sun coming out this evening and there being a spectacular brief flowering of pink and peach clouds, following a sudden flowering of blue sky and piled up white clouds, I don’t have the time to go out “walkies”, so instead decided to look into my expansion drive to find some old photographs of two robins that flew into the conservatory (aka glassy lean-to) a couple of summers ago.  I only managed to get both robins together in one shot.  Anyway, the colours are cheerful.  And … the first snowdrops are out in the garden.  Can spring be far behind.  In the Borders, probably.  All the same….

January 19, 2014 Posted by | Illustration, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

November: Window, Weathervane, Washing

awindowwitchwashing2

The garden seen through the glass in the studio door, I am back working on The Midnight Hare and trying to decide how to use the materials that fill up the two cupboards that are like a bustle on the back of the octagonal building.  Sit in there, watching the sparrows feeding; not hearing the washing cracking in the wind, as there is no wind today, only a sharp edge of cold, so all the towels will still be soaking when they are taken down. Last week I redid the whole rough, 32-pages, and now there is no excuse not to start working on the detailed rough-to-size, and some couple or so of finished pictures. But I am led astray by the camera sitting on the table, and thus peer out through the door window, enjoying the way the almost monochrome world is twisted and twirled on the other side of the glass.

November 18, 2013 Posted by | Illustration, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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