Friday, 23 December 2011

Jean Noble RI

Houseboats - 18" x 19" - Acrylic on Paper

All my work begins in front of the subject, whether in the urban landscape or the countryside. I allow my eyes to relax and my thoughts to absorb what is around me, so that from the initial sketch I make a response to my surroundings. Back in my studio I interpret my sketches into paintings that once started often dictate changes and further responses to colour and shapes that I recollect from my original interpretation.
As an abstract painter, it is very important for me to keep the ‘idea’ of the original reaction to a given space and allow the viewer room for their own interpretations as well.

 Moorings - 23" x 19" - Acrylic on Paper

Some of my work is intimate, some giving depth in space and air. The density of colour, it’s transparency or opacity, the layers that build up the painting are designed to add richness to forms within the flatness of the canvas or paper.
My work is an ongoing journey. So far the end is not in sight!
My work has an ‘essential reality’ in it’s non figurative execution. Hopefully, giving an immediate contact with the viewer.

The Boat Yard - 20" x 22" - Acrylic on Paper 

All my pictures are the result of personal experience and whatever reorganisation of the subject has undergone in the process of painting, something of the colours and shapes I originally saw always remain. Paint represents space and makes it ‘actual’. I do not start with the idea, but with the experience. My source is from the ‘sensation’ of the place. The summarised compositions never entirely relinquish specific subject matter whether in cities, sea or landscape, though they exercise freedom of paint handling of an abstract nature. The paintings are about reality without resorting to imitation.

Images and text © Jean Noble 2011

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Chris Forsey RI

Cottage Cluster Port Isaac - 20" x 16" - Mixed Media

I began painting in watercolour as an antidote to the rigours of being an illustrator, a career that I fell into when offered a chance to “give it try “when I left art college. My style was tight and detailed and I have spent 30 years trying to escape that discipline, to create work that is loose , well composed, expressive, but with an underlying component of sound draughtsmanship.

End of the Afternoon - 16" x 16" - Mixed Media

My technique has evolved from straight forward watercolour into something of a hybrid, using some mixed media, ink, pastel, crayon and acrylic paint applied to a paper support, sometimes partly covered in gesso. I apply acrylic ink or acrylic paint in transparent washes over a largely tonal, expressive underpainting, then increasingly opaque acrylic paint in richer colours followed by more form and lights in thicker body colour, final detail sometimes added with very loose ink mark-making, scratching out and body colour highlights to draw the eye to a defined focal point.

St Ives Light - 16" x 16" - Mixed Media

Landscape subjects are my favourite inspiration, I enjoy structured compositions, townscapes, cliffs and coastline, treescapes, and harbours, always using the weather and lighting to try to create mood and atmosphere in the work.

Tools of my trade include broad, flat brushes, card and palette knife, dip pen, stick and finger nail, toothbrush and pipette. I enjoy the uncontrolled, the unexpected and the accident…therein lies my creative excitement.

Images and text © Chris Forsey 2011

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Lillias August RI

Hammers on Paper - 37cm x 43cm - Watercolour

I was the Project Artist during the Suffolk Cathedral Millennium Project – the building of the central tower at St Edmundsbury Cathedral - the crowning glory of which was the fan vaulted ceiling.

I like the quiet solitude of working in a place of work, in my own space with my work and my subject irrespective of the outside world. I am not a ‘quick sketch’ drawer. I like tone, light, dark, atmosphere and study. I like to model. I like to work at it.

Scissors on Velvet - 28cm x 40cm - Watercolour

All the drawings were done on site. I was on the scaffolding during the building of the tower itself and did balancing acts on stepladders to get close to the ceiling on the platforms 140ft up inside the tower. I then had a break of about 6 months before I started the paintings in the studio. The site drawings tell the story of the immediacy of the work whereas the paintings are a reflection on it.

Brushes on Cardboard - 28cm x 40cm - Watercolour

I work out what it’s going to be laid out like but am always hoping that the actual painting process will throw up interesting alternatives. I use masking fluid where I definitely do not want to put paint. Once off, I work on the masked areas to draw them back into the painting – otherwise they can be too harsh and, anyway, a lot of those areas need clean colour or need to be toned down anyway. So, it’s a build up of washes, always working on the complete painting, it’s a juggling process. I usually do complete overall washes at the end to draw everything into one – often with clear water and sometimes sprayed on from a spray bottle, allowed to soak in a touch and then covered with an absorbent cloth to prevent too much merging. This final thing often has to be done several days later to allow for some of the pigments to set well.

You can drift into a watercolour painting in a dreamy way; it floats, it glows, it has a subtle depth.

YouTube: Lillias at work in the Cathedral
Images and text © Lillias August 2011

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Ian Sidaway RI

Richmond Park Kidney Wood - Watercolour

I came to watercolour through my illustration work after years of using both oils and acrylics. I found it enabled me to work and complete images relatively quickly and having been trained as a designer I found it sympathetic to those graphic qualities that where inevitably inherent in my work. Gradually I came to realize that it was a material that had the potential for creating images that could easily compete with those made using both oil and acrylic. I love the stuff of traditional transparent watercolour and find perverse pleasure in the struggle to seamlessly integrate the many techniques that can be called on to shape the image as the paint is applied, settles and dries. As an artist I enjoy reading the creative process and technique used in the work of others and learning from it. The challenge is in manipulating the paint to form the image whilst trying to maintain that clarity, spontaneity and freshness found in only the best watercolour work, not easy at all!

Scotland Oil Rigs Early AM - Watercolour

I collect and collate source material, linear sketchbook drawings and watercolour paintings made on location together with photographs, and piece together the image to be painted, usually from several different items of reference material, in the studio. My intention is not to recreate a photographic representation but something that hints at spirit or sense of place. Design and composition are of great importance and I will often move, add or exclude elements to improve both. A synthesis, if you will, of things seen. The paint is applied using transparent and semi transparent washes, with several being applied one over the other in order to build up strength of colour, tone and texture. Paint is applied using brushes, sponges, painting knives, bits of wood and rags, anything I think will achieve the desired effect.

 Wells Next the Sea Allotment 2 - Watercolour

Influences are wide, ranging from Peter Blake, Paul Nash and Andrew Wyeth, Cotman and Mackintosh all masters of the medium and all strong on design. I am also influenced by the strong graphic representations of British towns and countryside seen in the work of commercial artists like Frank Newbold. My subject matter currently deals with the landscape and travels both in the UK and abroad.

Blog: Ian Sidaway Fine Line

Images and text: Copyright © Ian Sidaway 2011

Monday, 5 September 2011

Julia Sorrell RI RBA

Scots Pines of East Wretham I - Watercolour
This summer has been a very inspiring and positive time resulting in a body of new work centred around a particular subject matter - the tumbled down Scot's pines on the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve at East Wretham not far from where we live. What particularly appealed to me were the bleached shapes with a lot of drawing within them. So far I have produced three large water colours, two oil paintings and a pastel drawing, when the weather has allowed me. I only work well drawing directly from the object infront of me, and as a result I have had to battle this summer with rain and wind, and occasionally burning heat. I have not finished there yet!

Scots Pines of East Wretham II - Watercolour

Wood, although a figurative natural form, is the ultimate in abstract shape which I use to express myself in a variety of ways, whether it be my emotions, my exuberance, my love of drawing and above all my love of life with its complexities, strengths and weaknesses.

Scots Pines of East Wretham III - Watercolour

The more I have worked at East Wretham, the more my paintings have become colourful and expressive. For these three pieces shown I have used pen and ink and watercolour, developed on a highly structured drawing. I have loved being out of my studio and have enjoyed the public's reactions which have been very positive, I am glad to say. I know many artists hate being noticed by the public, but I have found it resulted in generating more self-confidence in what I was doing.
Text and images: Copyright © Julia Sorrell 2011

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Delia Cardnell RI

Dandelion - Watercolour & Gouache
I live in London and enjoy both city life and walking in rural parts of Britain. I carry pens, pencils, graphite sticks and books in which I sketch and make notes. My drawings are protected with a fixative spray and carried in labeled transparent bags. I am always amazed by the variety of landscape found within a short geographical distance and use my sketches back in my studio for inspiration to paint spontaneous abstracts and semi-abstract landscapes.

Wild Strawberries - Watercolour & Gouache
For my still life I collect objects that interest me; bottles and vases, fabrics and sometimes small items of furniture. I have painted flowers ranging from the exotic to common wild ones- subtle, small and generally over looked, they are often beautiful. My favourites are dandelions, wild strawberries and clover.

High Tide - Watercolour & Gouache
Often I draw on cartridge paper, concentrating on the composition, before painting on hot pressed paper. Using many subtle thin watercolour washes I build up layers to achieve rich textures and patterns. I love to incorporate details, my paintings and views in my still life and aim to capture a sense of tranquility and mystery.

Text and images: Copyright © Delia Cardnell 2001

Friday, 1 July 2011

Paul Banning RI RSMA

Fishing on the Edge - 29"x19" - Watercolour

I often wonder what it is that makes me paint certain subject matter. It could be said that it has to be a difficult subject to bring the best out of me, but in truth it is mainly that I feel a certain drawing to the subject, that glance, a short intake of breath, then inside me there is a buzz, an excitement, a satisfaction that I have found what I want, and then a nervous energy takes over.

Light over Senise Basilicata - Watercolour

I would agree that light is the dominant factor in deciding what to paint, but it is perhaps more the understanding of the changing tones, an overall large shape that is divided into interesting smaller shapes with subtle tones, creating also sensitive colours. This can happen with interior as well as exterior subject matter. 

Chiese Giovanni Paolo Venice - Watercolour

The image of the interior of the Chiesa Giovanni Paolo Venice is an example of the impact that an image has for me. It was by chance that I entered the interior, and though very dark to the eye at first, the light through the windows created subtle changes within the interior, as well as subtle sensitive colours. This gave me the buzz.

The success of any painting is dependant on commitment and hard work. 

Text and images: Copyright © Paul Banning RI RSMA 2011

Saturday, 4 June 2011

David Poxon RI

 David Poxon - Machinery on a Farm - 20" x 28" - Watercolour

I live in rural Shropshire, although only 30 miles from my childhood home, it’s a different world to the one I knew as a growing boy. In those days greenery was few and far between. My formative years were spent in the shadows of the thundering rolling mills and foundries of the Industrial heartlands of England. I watched the toiling thousands hurrying to work with collars turned up against the cruel winter winds, ex army knapsacks strung on shoulders containing the days sandwiches and the vital thermos and tea supply. The coming and going was none stop, 3 shifts per day, six days a week, with only Sundays off. With children and pigeons to nurture, the only respite for the nations workforce was the glory or otherwise of the Saturday football.
As a treat at the age of 5 my Grandmother let me work in her sweetshop on Saturdays, my pay was all the coconut mushrooms I could consume. Then one birthday she gave me a very precious gift – a tin of Rowney watercolour paints. There was no stopping me then. I was mesmerised by this seeming box of jewels, such a contrast to the working greys and hues of toil that seemed to be the whole world that surrounded me. Every pan a vivid colour I used rolls of old wallpaper to practice painting on. I had no idea how to use the paints, and had to find my own way. As then the same excitement grips me when starting a new painting, for each work is another step on the same wondrous journey.

David Poxon - Field of Dreams - 22" x 37" - Watercolour
My paintings can take many weeks to make. Sometimes there is up to 19 layers of thin transparent wash applied to gradually modulate colour ways and build the tonal depth that’s necessary to capture drama, and consequently contrast against an all powerful dissolving light force. I do not use white paint, preferring instead to harness the purity of the white paper. This is technically challenging, but once in that mind-set the rewards can be uplifting. This painting of heaps of discarded metal at the back of an Iron Foundry in the Severn valley took a serious amount of unravelling to make sense of its tangle.

David Poxon - Another World - 12" x 17" - Watercolour

I love to zoom in on abandoned corners or overlooked machinery, and am continuously drawn to things that have worked for a living. These objects and scenarios seem to imbue something of the men that created them. Not just content to make things that were fit for purpose they also harbour a living character and aesthetic harmony which is both joyous and soulful.To capture the reality and essence of these places and things in my paintings I consciously leave nothing out, and put nothing in, that is not there. I do this out of respect for those that have enriched our world with their astute craftsmanship.

Text and images: Copyright © David Poxon RI 2011

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Naomi Tydeman RI

Naomi Tydeman - Marsh Moon - Watercolour & Silver Leaf
I live on the edge of a shallow sandy bay with a large tidal reach. I'm down there every day with the dog and have often considered the simplicity of a straight line and a circle - the horizon and the rising sun or moon - alongside the complexity of patterns that water makes in the sand. Over the years that I have been painting watercolours I have come to love the times when I allow Nature to take over. Too often we try to impose our will on something that has a life of its own, and sometimes just standing back a little and allowing something else to take over will let something happen that you could never have conceived of.
Naomi Tydeman - Breaker - Watercolour
Using watercolour to paint with is like using the elements that Nature uses to create a landscape - pigments and minerals, water, gravity, evaporation and time. And it's when all those things are allowed to operate without intervention from me that I am most happy with the result. Sometimes I just feel like an observer, although the hands and mind are still working, still busy, still concentrating, still paying the utmost attention, there is still the underlying discipline to just 'let'. This is scary sometimes, because part of me is such a control freak, but I have to concede that the most beautiful and spontaneous things occur when nature is left to her own devices.
 Naomi Tydeman - Twilight - Watercolour
Text and images: Copyright © Naomi Tydeman RI 2011