The street of Gion have quietened down, but the tea houses are thriving…
Continuing the Geisha theme that I’ve been working on over the past couple of months I now have a couple of oil painting portraits to share.
Katsuru – Geisha Girl Portrait – Oil on Canvas
Mameka – Geisha Girl Portrait – Oil on Canvas
These portraits were great fun to work on and I learned such a lot in the process. I worked on these with my usual method of approach; starting with a preliminary charcoal drawing, then transferring an outline to canvas before working on the underpainting.
So as a result of the current lockdown measures here in the UK I have been afforded a rare luxury within my artwork; time. Time to experiment and play about with ideas and techniques; time to learn from life studies and master studies; time to reflect on the work I’ve been doing with the pencils and brushes.
One area that I have been really getting stuck into is alla prima painting. I’ve done some pieces as still life artworks, setting up the subjects and lighting them in the way that I desire; there is no better way to learn a subject than by studying it in real life, in person. I’ve also done some alla prima paintings using reference and photography too, a total opposite to my normal slow and steady approach of building a painting up in layers, slowly and steadily.
During the past few weeks of the UK lockdown, amongst delving into a new series of artworks I have spent a decent amount of time doing alla prima painting sessions and I’ve set up a few still life pieces to paint. It’s been nice to have the freedom of time to paint for the sake of painting and to learn, observe and explore different techniques and methods to my usual work.
Memory Lane has been a popular destination of late…
Over the past few weeks I have been working up a series of watercolour sketches, it wasn’t really intentional, just a quick little bit of doodling some mornings before work and it soon became a part of an occasional routine.
Serving as the inspiration behind these sketches, i have been using nostalgia as a vehicle to take me down Memory Lane and revisiting iconic characters/scenes/stories from my childhood.
I have every intention of continuing this series and I have a ton of inspiration to draw from and endless artworks to create for this series. Star Wars for instance will be revisited several times, as will many of the other ones!
For quite some time, I have say here and typed out several lines of poetry, then deleted them. Several short, two sentence storylines, then deleted them. I can’t settle on a singe idea for this painting and have therefore decided to leave any story or meaning down to the viewer’s discretion and imagination.
This painting was a total step out of my comfort zone, I used palette knives as my weapons of choice, and painted solely from imagination, this is a painting that I felt my way around as opposed to hours of studying reference photography.
Once I had it completed, I posted it to a few groups on Facebook to garner some feedback and ideas for a title. I had a lot of different titles to choose from before settling on ‘Nocturnal Sun’ – as chosen by Panagiotis Zacharatos (who won a free print in the process of giving me the title I chose).
So pretty much every stage of this painting has been a totally alien experience and process in comparison to my normal methodical approach to my artwork.
I would be very interested to hear what stories you would assign to this piece. What do you feel when you look at it? What do you think is happening or has happened? I’d love to hear any short stories relating to this artwork and to get those creative juices flowing!
The Farewell Speech!
If you’re interested in bagging yourself an original artwork or a fine art print then check out my Etsy Shop –
“It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and gives you a deeper meaning.”
– Vincent van Gogh
It seems appropriate to start this post with a quote from the post-impressionist master himself, as it was watching the recent biographical drama about the latter years of his life ‘At Eternity’s Gate’ that inspired me to create something bolder and looser than my usual work.
Things have been considerably quiet on the blog posting front as of late but behind the scenes the wheels haven’t stopped turning, well not quite anyway…
Work and other commitments take their toll on my time and make it hard to update the blog as regularly as I want to.
That being said, I’ve decided to step into a slightly new venture and try my hand at turning my artwork into a marketable business plan and I intend to start painting murals. I spent yesterday white washing a practice wall at home and I’ve drawn up a design to try out in my first attempt, it’s not a huge piece but a good starting ground for this new journey.