Monday 27 July 2020

Morning All.

Hello there. Just to break up the monotony I thought I'd indulge in another of my fireside chats. Not really just a few musings about things art and especially watercolour painting.

I hope everyone who reads this is well and best wishes to my many friends and followers. I sound like a sage when I say that but in reality am just a humble hobby painter. I'm still striving to improve and at the present time am painting more than I have for a considerable period, perhaps more than ever. This is courtesy of the pandemic although I'd rather it wasn't so.

At the moment halting steps are being taken to restart my Avon Valley Artists group though it is proving difficult. Salford Hall, where we meet, wants to start again for obvious monetary reasons and we've been issued with a  set of new conditions in addition to the normal ones regarding the hire of rooms. This amounts to three pages of dense print.! The group has shrunk and we are barely seventeen, although already some of that number have indicated they aren't coming back. Others like myself are reluctant to commit to the suggested start date of October. How things have changed -in every way - since this virus appeared. I was just two when WW2 began and this current pandemic is undoubtedly the most serious major event since then. Of course WW2 was different and unlikely to be equalled, at least I hope not, but the problems we have are unparalleled. I'm optimistic though and think a vaccine or vaccines will arrive sooner than later. Why do I think that? In many respects, although completely different, the current disaster is equal in magnitude to aspects of WW2. As an amateur historian of WW2 I know that technology in five and a half years, advanced at a rate that would have taken fifty years in peacetime. Why? Because things were desperate and such things as budgets and profits went out of the window. Money was no object with concerns about how it was to be paid for put aside. The best brains on all sides  worked at winning the war and fortunately the Western Allies with  the Soviet Union came out on top. This current crisis has the best brains in action on a massive scale once again.

As regards painting we do have a number of tools that help. The internet and social media like Facebook have come in for much criticism recently, but aside from that it has been a boon when so many of us have become somewhat isolated. Youtube is also very good, in fact I was looking at various videos the other day on the new Roman Szmal watercolours, which intrigue me. I'll undoubtedly try some at some stage. In addition I was asked by Jacksons if I would like to review products on my blog. After some thought I said yes but only those relating to watercolour. I am not getting any remuneration for  doing so although none was actually offered . The first product which should arrive soon is a new mop brush under the Jackson label. I've no idea if or when they might ask me to do others.

Since  the death of Charles Reid, who was only six months older than me, I've been pondering mortality, but less morbidly remembering all the workshops I did with him and his wife Judy. She sent me a very nice e mail about the obituary I wrote. I think life is proving a little difficult since Charles died.

I get regular e mails from Jacksons, the most recent listing all the makes of watercolour they sell. Very impressive and mouth watering. The problem to me is how expensive paints have become. I'm not pleading poverty because I can buy more or less what I want within reason, but both mine and my wifes parents had very little money and this has taught us prudence. Anyone starting off now with a 12 palette set can easily exceed £150!. This is a lot for 12 small tubes. When I see artists promoting Daniel Smith - good though the paints are (mostly) - I do think amateurs are being badly served. Many must buy them as Jacksons say they are 'Best Sellers'. They do say Jacksons own label are also 'Best Sellers'. I'm trying a few of the latter at the moment. Unfortunately several of the other leading makes have edged up their prices towards the DS level, although there are a few that are still very good value. Daniel Smith have a huge range with many appealing paints but most of the basic colours can be purchased from others like Lukas and some of the Asian makes at much lower prices, and are quite good enough. I know personal preference plays  a part but even so the differences are not that great for the average painter.

I wonder what has happened to the 'new' Rembrandt range? It was supposed to be introduced last Spring. I don't know what the pricing will be but the new range, when and if introduced, would compete with all the  majors  at 140 paints with excellent pigments. In the meantime Schminke continue to expand their range. As I've said prices have edged up but I'm interested in what Rembrandt do as the current artist quality range are very well priced. I also recommend trying the enlarged Van Gogh range of 72 paints. Very reasonably priced and pretty good.

That will do for now so best wishes to everyone and KEEP SAFE!.

Sunday 19 July 2020

Latest paintings

Here are the latest efforts. despite a post seemingly directing me to an artist who'll teach me how to draw  I'll continue on my path well aware that my painting  (and drawing) is far from the finished product.

"A Magnificent raptor" 16" x 12"

"Monkey Business" 16" x 12"
Nitram Liquid Charcoal and Daniel Smith Lunar Black

'Maori Chief' Third attempt.

I'm much happier with this one although it has received few likes on facebook.

"Jay' 12" x 9"

I'm pleased with this and it has been well received. Even my wife likes it!

'What Big Ears you have Grandma" 12" x 12"

I wasn't 100% happy with this, although that's the case with most of my paintings. However very well received on Facebook

Tuesday 7 July 2020

Latest Paintings

My latest efforts. All A3 or 16" x 12" unless otherwise stated.

Herdwick Sheep (1)

Siaga Antelope

Herdwick Sheep (2)

The 'Young" Joni Mitchell

"The Horse Has it"!

Chaffinch 12 x 9

Maori Chief

This is my second attempt at this subject and another failure. I may have a third try. I will have to have another rethink as it is not easy, at least to me, but I'm reluctant to give up so watch this space!

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Watercolour Paintings 68

Here are Julys batch. Another very varied group in terms of style, subject and colour.

Olga Litvinenko

Evangelina Stroeva

Gerard Hendriks

Robert Massia

Charles Reid

Gerard Hendriks

Edward Seago

Al Kline

Elaine Chiu

Bev Jozwiak

Robert Wade

Martin Oates

Roger Simpson

IIias Aidarov

Kaname Kano

Herman Pekel

Ewa Ludwiczak

Oleg Kharchenko

Ong Kim Seng

Liu yun Sheng

Eugeniu Goreau

Sergei Minin

Roger Simpson

Vladislav Yelisegev

Thats it folks hope you find much to like.