Giving It A Go

22 Oct

It’s almost half a century since I rocked up, in flares and platforms, at the Foundation Course in Swansea Art School, determined to be a painter. Then I did the module in printmaking and retired my paintbrushes. Until the pandemic lockdown started in Spring last year. We were only allowed out of the house for an hour a day and I discovered Ed Sumner’s Cheese and Wine Painting Club on Facebook when I was looking for something to do to pass the time. After so many decades I thought, “Why not give it a go”. So for 15 months I have been copying great works of art, which is Ed’s way of teaching, and that gave me the confidence to start choosing my own subjects to paint, with varying degrees of success. This landscape in acrylics is based on a pastel drawing I did en plein air at Birkrigg Common in the Lake District last month.

I used a textured canvas, I scrape leftover paint from the Painting Club sessions onto spare canvases. Waste not, want not. Then I applied the coloured “ground” that Ed Sumner recommends doing. And from then on, I followed the original drawing, using Liquitex Heavy Body acrylic paints and a mixture of brushes and palette knives. I can see the influence of some of the artists we have studied, especially van Gogh and Hockney; I need to keep working at it to find my own style.

Here’s my original drawing. I prefer it to the painting, I love the immediacy and the nature of the Daler Rowney soft oil pastels onto a very rough Khadi paper. But I’m still a novice at painting so I must get more practice in.

My lovely nephew (in the middle) along with these other wonderful young people have benefitted from the Children In Need charity and now they’re giving something back. They’re the Surprise Squad (more about them here) and you can follow their adventures on BBC1s “The One Show“, 15th – 18th November. I know that times are hard, but if you can spare a quid or two, please consider donating to Children In Need (here). They really do make a difference to young lives. Thank you xxx

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