Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Seventeen come January

I forgot to mention in my last post, I recently turned seventeen ... for the third time! The stresses and strains from work related matters are quickly beginning to fade now as my company's latest product finally moves out of development and into full production. The snow has disappeared completely now and the white, snow leaden skies of late have given way to the beautiful and clear, cobalt skies of late winter. Spring is still a few weeks off, but it soon will be here, bringing forth new growth, and of course, from a personal and selfish point of view, the chance to get out there and have some plein air fun again :)

While I 'm waiting for the better weather, I have been playing around with various papers using small sets of student quality watercolour paints and pencils in an attempt to get the contents of my sketch bag whittled down to something I can physically carry LOL. I'm beginning to move away from good old cream coloured blocks of Arches, towards spiral bound pads of bright white papers like Fabriano Classico 5 HP (50% cotton rag) and gorgeous Winsor & Newton Artists CP, both of which seem to handle any wash I throw at them ... not literally of course !

Happy painting !

True blue



The willows in winter

On thin ice



You take the high road

32 comments:

  1. Beautiful skies Michael - All of the sketches are lovely! I can't wait for the Spring either - That carrot keeps dangling! :0)

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    1. Thank you Sandra. With spring hopefully on its way, it's definitely time to start following that carrot. Hope you still got the Cotman bag for Christmas :)

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  2. Beautiful washes in those skies! I love the first one and the thin ice one is fabulous! Happy 17th birthday (x3)!

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    1. Thank you Judy. I love doing skies, so I'm glad you loved them too :) I started with the board at an extreme angle (about 60 degrees, gave the paper in the sky area a fairly good soaking, and then dived in with undiluted pigment - student pan colour in this case.

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  3. Beautiful Michael. Love the skies.
    We all do waiting for better weather. Happy painting.

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    1. Thank you Renske, I'm glad you love them too! Yes, I'm hoping we get some better weather soon :)

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  4. I wish we could have some of your snow.. just an inch or two would do. You have truly captured the cold weather and gorgeous skies with a few brushstrokes! 4 paintings! You are definitely in the groove! Cheers to a wonderful week ahead xox

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    1. Thank you Rose. Ever since I first started painting in watercolours, I have loved the work of Alywn Crawshaw, and I have tried to convey the feeling he gets in his snow scenes ... so I am delighted that I managed to get it right this time :) Have a good week and happy oil pastelling xox

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  5. Very beautiful skies, indeed, and nice serene atmosphere in all these winter scenes! We've had the weirdest snow-less winter here.

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    1. Thank you Blaga. No snow in Canada ? What is happening? Snow is lovely at first, but I'm sure, deep down, that you haven't really missed having to de-ice the tyres, just to get the car moving :)

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  6. I like the confident painting in all of these, and no unnecessary detail.

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    1. Thank you Keith. Yes, I always find it difficult to stop fiddling and put the brushes down, as it often ends in a fussy or spoilt composition if I don't!

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  7. Beautiful sketches. Love the blues.

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  8. All lovely paintings Michael, but the top one is my favourite. Well done mate. All the best.
    Vic.
    P.S. What is happening with our bloggs? everything has become smaller.

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    1. Thank you Vic, my friend! Google have been updating Blogger recently. Not really noticed that everything was getting smaller ... I just think it's my age LOL.

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  9. Lovely painted sketches, Michael!
    and congrats on the recent birthday! xx

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    1. Thank you Pat! I can't believe it's over a year since the big 50 ... and it's almost a year since I started blogging :)

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  10. You have been busy! These sketches are lovely, there are a couple I think you should get framed and up on a wall. Winter willows shows the cold of winter just perfectly it needs to be displayed.

    Spring is coming - hurrah! Are you returning to Dorset this year?

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    1. Thank you Lisa. Frame them? Wow ... I think I may just do that! I think the taste and smell of the fish and chips in Swanage and the sight and sound of the sea may just be too much to stop us returning to Dorset this year :)

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  11. 17 what a horrible age. I stopped at 28 :) Belated happy birthday.

    Lovely watercolours Mike.

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    1. Thank you Sue. I wouldn't say it was a horrible age, but being seventeen in the late 70s was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I blame the Sex Pistols :)

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  12. I'm glad to hear your work situation is easing up - that's something I can very much relate to. Very nice paintings Michael, all of them.

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    1. Thank you John. I see you're getting closer to taking the big holiday :) You lucky (expletives removed) thing! No excuse for not meeting up for a sketch and a pint some time!

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  13. Beautiful work Michael. I also love working and experimenting with different papers. I am so happy you are able to paint more often. Excellent work.

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    1. Thank you Joan. I'm a bit of a paperholic and an art material junkie really! I bought another two A5 Hannemuhle watercolour blocks at the weekend. (I hope my wife doesn't read this reply! I have a feeling she may be skulking around here somewhere ... LOL.)

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    1. Thank you ... erm, let me guess ... Sue xxx

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  15. nice sketches michael ..good to see you back .

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    1. Thank you Jane ... it's good to be back :)

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  16. I missed these landscapes. Glad your back in the painting mode.
    I also have used WN 140lb. CP . It was my absolute favorite and now I can't find it.
    Online I suppose... BJ

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    1. Thank you BJ, it's good to get back in the mode! I really like the WN paper. It's so easy to get into this way of thinking that good paper must be made by a company that makes nothing else! It must be available online from suppliers here in the UK - I would suggest Jackson's, Ken Bromley's and GreatArt (UK office but warehouse in Germany) ... but I don't know how much it would cost to get it shipped to sunny FL !

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