Monday, 9 August 2010

More Plein Air Paintings & Our Latest Project

A week last Thursday I painted at Newton St Loe. It should have been at Victoria Park in Bath but that is another story. Here is the result.

The Church at Newton St Loe.18" x 14" 152lb Veneto Not

I wasn't going to post this one but after looking at it a few times decided to take the plunge. Drawing wise everything is pretty much in the right place  and I simplified the scene. I was positioned just in front of the monument on the left and started the drawing at the front of the entrance in the centre. As usual I attempted to do this by modified contour drawing, drawing then stopping, leaving the pencil on the paper while comparing each section to get the proportions right. This doesn't always work for me - I'm not Charles Reid - but is not bad in this instance. Newton St Loe is a delightful village on the western outskirts of Bath. Apart from one residence all the others belong to the Duchy of Cornwall - in other words Prince Charles - and there is a waiting list to rent the various cottages, including some lovely thatched buildings. It isn't tiny and has a village shop with an annual fete on May day. My AVAS group usually put on an exhibition in the church during the fete. Prince Charles occasionally flies in by helicopter as the Duchy have a regional office.

Regarding the painting I used Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Gold Ochre, Ultramarine Violet, some blues and other yellows plus Burnt Sienna. I am almost out of the true Quinacridone Gold and am trying Gold Ochre instead. Ah yes some Permanent Carmine in the roofs.

Thomas a Becket Church Pensford 18" x 14" 152lb Veneto Not

Last Thursday my Avon Valley Artists Group, seven of us, painted at a small village called Pensford several miles south of Bristol. All those present decided to paint this ancient building formerly a church but now, would you believe, being converted into a private residence. The church dates back to the 14th century but was badly damaged in the 1968 floods when the River Chew burst its banks and reached unheard of levels. It was then abandoned and has been rotting ever since but in 2008 was bought for repair (it is a listed building) to be turned into a home. Apparently the couple who bought it have four children.  When we were painting a lady invited us to look inside and see how the conversion was going and several did but I continued painting. I'm just amazed that anyone would want to live in it. The church itself is not enormous and is surrounded by a modest amount of ground but, as you will see from the painting, filled with gravestones, some of which appeared recently tended!  According to the lady it is to be the subject of a television programme. I cannot imagine how much all this will cost. The owner must be a banker or financier.

I'm not really into painting churches but decided to have a try and took the porch in the centre rear as the focal point. That porch is in need of repair looking at the state of the roof and the background was a sea of green from the surrounding trees. Other than that there were gravestones everywhere. Perhaps I should have left them out, or at least most of them. I painted almost exclusively with a number 14 round Escoda Kolinsky-Tajmyr Series 1214 retractable (Jacksons) to try and avoid being too tight. Colours used, lots of blues and yellows to get varied greens, Ultramarine and Burnt Umber or Burnt Sienna for the darks, Raw Sienna, Raw Umber and Gold Ochre (Windsor & Newton) for the buildings and I used Cyan Blue (Maimeri) mixed with Cadmium Orange (Maimeri) for various shades of grey. Possibly a few other touches such as Green-Gold (PY129) Rowney.

Our next project

This is me working on our next project. The subject and photos were supplied by Mick. This is my `studio' a converted bedroom. My wife keeps wanting to sort it out as I have stuff everywhere. You can see why I wear a cap most of the time when outside.

This is where I draw and paint when not outdoors. The drawing is partially completed.



Mick Carney said...

Great post Peter. Interesting material and a little different to some of your recent work. I really enjoy this sort of subject matter and feel the urge to get out and about some of our older churches seeking inspiration. I like the composition of the first one and you have created lots of interesting variation in your colours. The second is a strong picture and I think you did well to leave in lots of gravestones.

Good to see you've started on the next project. Do I spot that you've done some cropping of the scene in your photographic prints?

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Mick. Yes I've used artistic license and moved the tree on the left to the right hand side, also adding another, slightly different shape, on the left hand side to give it balance. I've made the Lighthouse much larger and closer. Will it work? That is the question.
As for subject that's the great thing about painting with a group where you have to paint subjects you might otherwise avoid.

Robert P. Armas said...

I like that table easel,looks comfortable and sturdy.

Peter Ward said...

The easel holding my board Robert is a Windsor & Newton model. I bought it at Harris's in Bath who were offering it at half price. I don't see the exact same model available now but the current Arun is similar. Only criticism is that the various catches have loosened slightly and defy tightening up. Great Art do a similar looking model called a `Prague' and Jacksons `Wentworth'. They are excellent for table use and also portable. I take mine to my indoor painting sessions at both my art groups.

The other simpler model holding the photos was bought at a discount warehouse called `What!' They were selling them off very cheaply, the downside - easily remedied - was that they were wrongly assembled, which is why they were cheap! I've bought a lot of art gear over the last few years, some foolishly, but much of it at less than full price.

Robert P. Armas said...

There is a model similar to yours here called Renoir Table easel sold by Jerry Artarama and Art Supplies Warehouse(ASW),both are the same company,for 50.00 dollars.I might decide to purchase one in the near future.Now I can't.Thanks,Peter.