Friday, 28 October 2011

This and That

I have been so busy with submitting to shows and with helping at the Affordable Art Fair (AAF) and Art In Woodstock  that October has almost slipped by.  First I submitted to the Bath Prize.  Then an Oxford Hospital decided that they liked a pastel of mine enough to buy it and wanted to look at more.  Then we had the AAF, closely followed by Art In Woodstock (where I have been the resident street painter).  I am submitting to the ROI open show tomorrow.  In between all those I have actually managed to get some painting done - 19 new small panels and about 20 'revisions'.  Mid-month I had a day's painting with Michael Worthington at Boars Hill (where he showed me the monument to the last wild boar killed in England) and Bernwood Forest.  Then I managed to slip out during the AAF to sketch in Battersea Park. Finally I have managed 7 panels in Woodstock.  I don't think there is a work of staggering genius among these but it was important to keep painting.

Maddy liked this 30-minute sketch of birch trees in the final light of an Autumn day:

I was quite pleased with the Battersea Park Pagoda:

Woodstock was a difficult location - Half Term - cars and people all over the place.  Michael W painted with me the first day.  First we tried the town:

Then we escaped to Blenheim Park:

I had to 'invigilate' in the Methodist Church where there was a very striking installation by Diana Forster and string hats by Sharon ('Hattie') Hayes.  As I had 2 hours to kill I amused myself with the string-top-hat lady:

These roofers were interesting too:

On my last morning I caught 'Man and Dog' in a tiny panel:

Edges a bit hard maybe but I was in a hurry as usual!  I only got really wet once - on the final afternoon.  I seemed to be an object of curiosity - a outdoor painter painting outdoors.  How does one begin to explain to people who suggest taking photographs?  When I was painting in the rain a passer-by said 'it must be difficult'.  I replied that the suffering was important.  He seemed satisfied!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Wet Panel Carriers

The Venice trip in December made me think again about the need for wet panel carriers because all oils would have to be carried back to UK still wet.  In Cornwall, I remembered liking the one that Mike Richardson had made from foamboard and Gaytor (Duct, Duck, Gaffa, etc) tape.  Two boards in each slot, back-to-back and, say, 3 or 4 slots. 
I decided to make some small prototypes and, once I had got things more or less right go into production for myself and David (Pilgrim), making carriers for the sizes we were likely to use on the trip.  I have reached prototype 4 (P4). 
I started with foamboard, wood strips as spacers (glued with PVA glue) and brown gummed tape - I have a huge stock of gummed tape that my framer used to dump on me every time he made me some frames.  P1 was made this way and takes 8x5.5 inch boards.  P2 is 8 inches wide and will take boards up to 15 inches deep.  Same design but I put Gaffer Tape over the gummed tape to make it weatherproof. 

I then realised that I was running out of wood strips (for corners and for spacers) and it would cost ten times what I had originally paid for them to replace them.  For P3 I decided to try plastic square channel – still expensive but half the price of wood.  I used superglue to bond the channel to the foamboard.  I also used peel-and-stick plastic angle for the outside corners but decided that this is an expensive luxury that just adds weight without making the carrier much stronger. 

P4 is nearing ‘production’ status and will take 8-inch-wide boards up to 11 inches in length.

David needs 11-inch-wide slots (among other sizes) but I think that 5mm foamboard will not be sufficiently rigid for this span so I am going to try 10mm foamboard or make the wide sides from double-skinned
5mm foamboard.  So, on to P5!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Momentum - Or The Lack Of It

What happened to September?  Suddenly it is October and I find that I have slowed down considerably on new work.  I have been consolidating, which means chucking anything that is never going to be of interest, trying to rescue half-decent paintings and keeping only really useful reference material.  Because most of my work in the past 10 years has been done with Alkyd oils on board, I can reprime boards with an Alkyd oil-based primer.  So far I have destroyed 242 paintings, recycled over 200 boards and 'rescued' 20 paintings.  I think it was worth it, if only to rid myself of the weight of so many past failures!

I have done a little new work.  I did make it to Bath once on my own and the PAS meet at Henley last weekend with Rita Vul.  A couple of trips to Oxford and Thrupp and that is about it.  Here are some of the results:

First Bath:


Then Henley:


And maybe just one of the Oxford ones:

Yes, the dear old Radcliffe Camera again!  I did two that morning, both 8x6 inches, and by the time I finished the second one I really had had enough of Chineses and Japanese tourists and their cameras.  They are always very polite and complimentary but there are just too many of them.

Looking forward to tackling the turning leaves once again and those pinks and purples of Winter.