All tidied up ready for the next mess!

There comes a time in an artist’s studio practice when there is nowhere to work. All surfaces are occupied, references are piled on the floor and there is a very real danger of spilling coffee on the masterpiece or putting the mug down on top of a very nice little sketch. Don’t ask me how I know!

The amount of time spent in preparation and mental manoevres to get to a flow state is often greater than the time spent painting. I have been gearing myself up to working in oils seeing as most of my watercolours have rigor mortis – they lie twisted and dried up in an After Eights tin. Hence a bit of a clean up and a rummage in the tool box for a spanner or pair of pliers that will get the tops off paint tubes.

I am struggling already with paint that has no mind of its own and needs me to place every blob and stroke. It sits on the surface like a tiny turd and I have to resist the urge to saturate it in turps and spread it over the canvas like a wash. It does not work like that, and so I feel like a complete beginner again! Thanks to YouTube and a million art tutorials I am more confused and frustrated than ever and remind myself that this is the life of an artist. I am far from cutting my ear off but slashing the canvas and throwing my brushes at the wall is a recurring thought.

Jacana Studio, Kazungula

Finish what you start!

I’m afraid I don’t have much staying power – the initial thrill of painting wears off as I get into difficulties and there is always something new and exciting in the garden (or over the fence!) that I want to paint. However, I think I must revisit some of these unresolved masterpieces. I have the finished pictures in my head – I just don’t know how to get them onto paper!!

#worksinprogress #thejoyofpainting #finishwhatyoustarted

April challenge – finish these paintings! Show them or bin them – keep moving forward.

Sketch for Survival

This year I sent a sketch to Explorers Against Extinction for their fundraising auction Sketch for Survival.

Sketched from a photo by Phillipa Glendinning, with permission.

Elephant Rising, Meno a Kwena. Pastel and pencil sketch.

 

The auction site will open on Saturday 22nd September, World Rhino Day. The auction will finish over the weekend of November 24th – 25th.

Sketch for Survival – with links to the auction site.

Find out more……