I've just had the nicest possible morning ~ I managed to get a little time to myself in which to finish this painting that I've been working on in fits and starts over the summer. It seems a long time ago since I began this one, and if you recall, it all started with a little drawing in my sketchbook...
I had been happily inspired by a book I had purchased round about this time called Plants and Places by the talented print maker, Angie Lewin. I have long been a fan of her work and had coveted this book for ages before it finally came to live with me. There is page upon page of her print work, featuring her trademark seedheads and other native flora; and peeks into her sketchbook which are themselves beyond beautiful.
I myself have rather a love affair with the latter end of summer, when the dry stone walls here become fantastically enhanced by the skeletal shapes of teasels and cow parsley. I've been known to stop the car suddenley on quiet country lanes to collect small armfuls of them to bring home and draw.
So anyway, I think what I'm getting round to saying is that Angie's book was the catalyst for this particular painting. I decided I wanted to paint a late summer window scene with found objects from the shore on the ledge, overlooking a harbour. I also wanted to focus (unusually for me) on a limited colour palette. The colours I worked with mainly on this painting were:
Cobalt Blue (hue)
These paints are from the Daler Rowney Artist Acrylics, and Golden Acrylics ranges.
I also use Derwent watercolour crayons to add texture and detail.
As the painting progressed, I was reminded of a time I had spent in St Ives one October a few years ago. We stayed in a little fisherman's cottage just up from the harbour, and although there were still plenty of people about, the town seemed much quieter since the summer hoardes had returned home. It also had a beautiful light to it. I remember there being a warmth to the days too, warm enough to sit down the harbour and catch the sun, but which turned to an unmistakeable autumnal coolness come teatime.
I hope I've managed to convey a feeling of this time of year in this painting.
As well as using my imagination to create the layout and Angie's book as inspiration, I also wandered down the riverbank beyond my house to collect some real seedheads to use in the work (alongside the ones I had drawn in my sketchbook). It was a bonus to discover a huge undiscovered bank of blackberry bushes as I went foraging and I shall be going back down there later on with a big bowl to fill up!! I feel a blackberry and apple tarte tatin coming on!! (something else that is very much a part of this time of year).
So once more I am at the point of feeling euphoric that another work is done, but am also on the brink of 'what next?' It's a bitter sweet feeling to complete a painting; I've probably said so a hundred times but the journey through a painting is so deep and involved, there are highs and lows, there are absences and intense periods spent together...it is really like a love affair and I miss it when the journey is over.
However, I have a few small ideas I'm keen to start on so the fact I have projects lined up is a good thing at least! I recently ordered some tiny canvas boards and have Great Plans for those, not to mention designs for new Christmas cards which are already happily percolating away!
The painting will be available shortly in my gallery, in both original and printed format.
I hope you all have a glorious weekend, sending love and thanks for visiting ~
Julia x x x