The last experiment – promise.  This time it is acrylic inks and water.  Very like watercolours and done on watercolour paper.  However the technique of laying a pattern of water and then dropping the ink into it is a bit splashy, a bit messy and needs a bit of nerve.  Again really enjoyed the process, but not so much the result.  Oh and the dribbles are because I needed the work surface for another painting and moved it before it dried.  Inks do not dry quickly!

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More experiments.  I was in Cass Art and for £3.00 there was a experimental kit by Liquitex.  I just couldn’t resist it.  It included yellow spray paint, heavy body acrylic, soft acrylic and acrylic marker pen and yesterday I decided to use all of these without worrying about the results too much. Still life no. 1 is a straight watercolour, which I did as quickly and loosely as possible and I am happy with the results. No. 2 is spray paint, soft acrylic and then acrylic marker.  I should have stuck with just the first two and concentrated on more depth of everything. No 3 is the spray paint again (I love the interaction between it and the soft acrylic), and then heavy body acrylic on the pots.  Overall, it was a fun couple of hours, I like the spray paint and acrylics but I think I’ll give the marker pens a miss next time.

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The past fortnight has been a time of experiments.  I’ve had a lot of fun with acrylic inks and pouring medium.  Many failures later, I’ve actually finished one I’m happy with.

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This week’s topic was sacred geometry as used by Cezanne, specifically Fibonacci spirals in his compositions. I enjoyed the task of laying out a still life using this spiral as a base – makes for interesting use of space – but my painting left something to be desired.

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Here I have taped a rough spiral on top of the painting on the computer screen so it’s a bit blurry:

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And here is a Cezanne still life:

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I couldn’t get to the class last week because of the snow, so i had to google Diebenkoorn and guess what the subject of the class might be. I then worked at home, using very cheap acrylics, which I’ve barely used before. I painted a board white and worked quite big. I have struggled so much with this that in the end I just said enough’s enough. Because the paint is opaque, I couldn’t get away with not knowing what colour I’d used previously. In watercolour I just layer colours so it doesn’t matter so much that I’m a disorganised painter. I couldn’t make the chopper look sharp or real, I have no excuses, just posting for honesty 🙂

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Here is a Diebenkorn

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No golden mean here maybe just a touch of rabatment. I was trying to be bolder and more adventurous and not spend too much time on this. Moderately pleased with it and the saturated colours. The heavy shadows were gradually added late on when I felt the oranges needed tying together with a stronger grounding on the tea towel.

Crikey what a struggle it was to get this finished. At about a third of the way through, I knew it wasn’t going according to plan but i felt obliged to finish it as I had started. I got more and more dissatisfied until I reached a point where I thought, blow it, lets just enjoy the act of painting. From then on I spent many a happy half an hour twiddling with the brush and patching in another area. Still not happy with it because for me it has no style, technique or purpose but overall it could be worse. I might put it on facebook where everyone seems to think everything is wonderful. That will give me a bit of self-satisfaction!

Mary Fedden:We divided our paper into a grid using the golden mean and rebatment. then we tried to copy the style of Mary Fedden in our paintings. We were using watercolour instead of acrylic so it took a lot of paint to cover the paper. And we only had 2 hours!

Mary Fedden:

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Sketch before I started:

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They’re a bit wonky, the lines I’ve added after, but the black lines are on the Golden mean (5/8 of a dimension) and the red line is the rabatment (a square based on the shortest side of the rectangle). The points where the black lines cross are supposed to be focuses, and apparently the eye looks for squares and other regular shapes and perceives harmony where they exist. I really struggled to see harmony in the Mary Fedden pictures and wasn’t convinced by it, but I was very happy to push myself to do something which felt uncomfortable just to see if it might work. Googling this subject I found a lot of paintings where i thought people were shoehorning the composition into theory, but clearly composition is important and worth thinking about rather than leaving entirely to luck/intuition. Here is one where there are so many lines it would be unusual if van Gogh didn’t hit any of them 🙂

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The workshop this morning was on composition in the style of Morandi, using collage to place objects. Mine is not much like Morandi and in particular I should have used a much larger sheet of paper relative to the grouping of objects.

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First of all, apologies for the addition of the floor.  I had a long, thin canvas to use up and  24 inches by 12 inches does not fit in my scanner and the camera wasn’t too happy either.

I thought I’d try it out in watercolour first.  It’s okay, but a little wishy-washy. The actual acrylic is a painting of two halves.  I got the right hand side well, but not the left, so that’s why third version is cropped.  Make of all this what you will.

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