Thursday, 22 December 2016

Still Water

I saw this painting in terms of contrasts: light tones and dark tones, bright colours and dull colours, smooth texture and rough texture. From that point of view the grey, stained and dilapidated side of the harbour was just as important as the placid water reflecting evening light.

I was just thinking to myself that in years gone by, I had a tendency to overdo the darkest tones in a painting - basically, to make them all a flat, uniform black which never looked right. Now I know better, I suppose, and I make a point of getting some variety into the darks. At least I've learned something!

The scene, by the way, is the inner harbour at Dysart, on Scotland's East Coast. There's always a lot there to catch an artist's attention.

Monday, 19 December 2016

A Moment Of Calm Reflection

A quiet summer evening, with a single yacht lying alongside an ancient stone pier, her prow catching the light of the setting sun... I've painted this scene a couple of times before, from other angles.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Abstract Flowers

I had just started work on a painting of a boat when defects in the paper's surface produced horrible blotches. After a bit of cursing I decided to have some fun with the paper, rather than waste it. I wet the whole sheet, then poured on red, yellow and blue paint. As the resulting mess dried, I threw salt all over it. This causes white blotches to appear everywhere - so the original paper defects were barely noticeable. I selected two vertical 'slices' of the paper and did these two paintings of abstract flowers on them: "Wildflower Blue" and "Wildflower Red".

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Cherries And Glass

For this still life I dropped some luscious red cherries in a plain glass and set this on a reflective black surface. I scattered a few more cherries round about, along with three glass spheres I once bought in an antique shop. The set-up was lit from above and produced some beautiful highlights and lots of light/dark effects. While I've done similar paintings of cherries before, this is the biggest one yet at 14 by 21 inches (unframed), which means that everything is larger than life. The cherries are almost plum-sized.