My partner and I love Japan. We went for the first time last March and it was the best trip I’ve ever been on. So much so that we’re planning on going back for our honeymoon. We’ve got a bit of a Japan-inspired interior design theme in our flat (wallpaper, a screen) and it’s something that we both truly love.
It feels like such a long time since I posted. To be honest, I haven’t done a lot of art. It’s been fairly non-stop between buying a flat (not yet exchanged contracts so keep fingers and toes crossed for me) and music concerts and festivals means my weekends have been fully booked over the last month. But I’ve found myself in the National Gallery cafe having just come back from Spain, killing some time before I go for dinner and stay in a hotel before a very early flight to Milan (that’s what this post was about), and I thought what better place to talk about art? Disclaimer: my life sounds more elegant and exotic than it is, I’m actually in need of a shower and wearing my paint covered trainers.
Years ago (like, an embarrassingly long time) I started a painting for my dad. He loves an artist called Chico Montilla because of the vibrant colours and subject matter: the Alhambra palace in Granada, my parents’ favourite place in the world. They spend just under half the year there and that’s where I’ve been the last week. It’s always relaxing and beautiful (despite the weather being practically the same as the UK this visit) and has all my art things ready to go.
I only tweaked a few things here and there, but I’ve included a few photos of the progress anyway. Somewhere I’ve got photos of it right from the start, but not in a way I can access from my phone in a coffee shop.
The style is inspired by Montilla, but I am nowhere near his level of skill, nor do I work on it regularly enough to be able to pick up where I left off, so it’s become it’s own hybrid.
Next time I’m out for a longer period of time I’d like to just start again and apply everything I’ve learnt so far. At the moment I find myself painting over the same areas and not really progressing with it, but in a way I’m quite happy with where it is. For the next Montilla inspired landscape I’d like to:
Plan the colours in advance rather than ad hoc and changing all the time.
Have a consistent approach to introducing texture – it’s a little “I’ll go abstract here” without reason which I feel flattens it in some areas (although I do like the blue of the mountains).
Use one consistent reference picture early on rather than taking elements from a few.
Having said that, I do love that this piece feels like a colourful record of my own progression and I always find copying an artist (/drawing inspiration) so helpful!
I’ll try to catch up with everyone else’s posts when I can charge my phone.
I’m currently curled up knowing I really should sleep, but enjoying the fact that I don’t have any work or need to get up in the morning.
I don’t have very much to report artwise, but I do have a couple of landscape/nature scenes. They’re simple sketches, but I wanted to practise being a bit more adventurous with mark making.
I’d like to find a way to create smooth or misty surfaces with pen. I suppose smaller strokes would work a little better, but I’ve not been successful so far (at least not with simple little sketches).
I’d like to use my annual leave day tomorrow doing a little painting. I’ve also got some photos I’d love to share, once I sorted through them.
I really wasn’t sure whether to upload this one or not. I like it, but I feel like I could do better. I might try another sketch later just for fun and see which I prefer.
The trees are ‘gigantic’ compared to the house. I wanted to suggest that there was light and warmth from the house. I’m not sure if the trees are welcoming and looking after the house, or whether they’re ominous!
I’m in this lovely position of having started so many projects, that I have more art work than posts. So, I thought I’d update on here with what I worked on yesterday after work.
I had no white acrylic, and no linseed oil, so it was a turn for watercolours. They’re so difficult! How on Earth do you not make a colourful blob? This is not the final piece by any means, I’m just trying to get a sense of how to use them. They are so freeing, and I love the effect, but I think I need to work on layering the colour. Especially on shaded areas.
The original image is of a photo I took while in Norway. I went with a friend ona boat to the most northern parts of Norway back in March and it was an amazing experience. So, so beautiful. Here’s the original photo:
I’ve felt so motivated yesterday. I want to paint all the time, but I’m also impatient to be better. There’s a verse in a Kate Bush song sums it up (also no surprises that I’m using Kate Bush as a reference):
I want to be a lawyer I want to be a scholar But I really can’t be bothered Ooh, just gimme it quick, gimme it, gimme gimme gimme gimme!