Monday 27 June 2011

Studio Again

It's Monday, so I was in the studio. What to do? I was tempted to launch straight into an attempt to improve my large oil paintings, but instead, I spent a bit of time thinking what I wanted to progress with over the summer. I concluded that yes, I should make an attempt at improving the oil paintings, and I should also do more monochrome acrylics-with-charcoal-and-ink. I also want to have some time for experiments.
So  first today I started a new monochrome, and here it is.
Image copyright Aileen Grant
This is based on a sketch I did on the beach at Tighnabruaich - it's of the sailing club (the Kyles of Bute Sailing Club?). I added some white conte as well as the other materials. I am quite pleased with it, but will review it over the next few days. It did feel like a bit of a struggle today. I did some oils as well, but forgot to take my camera to the studio, so I'll have to wait now till I'm back in the studio on Friday to review the changes.

I'm also thinking about things for other pictures -for instance, I could consider compositions based on these thumbnails.....
I quite like both of these as compositions - the top one would be a re-working of one I did badly at Leith, doing it in a landscape format instead of square. However, that will be for another day. Back to work tomorrow.

Friday 24 June 2011

Last day of term - Up on Calton Hill

Today was the last day of term for the Friday Advanced Drawing and Painting Course at LSA. We were up on Calton Hill sketching. Luckily the weather was good and I think we all managed to do a few sketches despite coming under the scrutiny of the tourists. It was so busy up there! But not really surprising given the fantastic view.
Image copyright Aileen Grant

 This was a view to the south, over to the Royal Mile - over to the office where I used to work at the botton of Cockburn Street. The North Bridge is such a lovely structure with the dark area underneath it, and the profile of the Royal Mile against the sky. Anyway, I tried to capture the flavour of it here. Then I couldn't resist having a go at sketching Edinburgh's disgrace (i.e. Edinburgh's first disgrace) along with Nelson's Monument (I love that building).
Image copyright Aileen Grant
This is a big drawing - Matt had brought the drawing boards for us to use. I think I've got a little finishing off to do after discussing it with Matt, but I am relatively pleased with it. And then I tried a sketch looking north - over Leith - this was much more difficult and less successful...but here it is

Image copyright Aileen Grant

This is another big drawing - difficult to do without an easel. But worth a try. I'll definitely go back and do more sketches. It's such a great place.
Anyway - then the class went for a late lunch at Cafe Marlene in Antigua Street. It was excellent...and here we all are...

So it's bye bye class...I'm on my own now in my little box of a studio at St Margaret's House, Meadowbank. (The former office block which I recommended that planning permission should be granted for in my early planning career - Covell Matthews were the architects I seem to remember. I'm so glad it's having a new lease of life as studios.)
Anyway, I hope to keep in touch with the class through occasional visits next year. And also hope to keep in touch wth the others who will be out on their own. Lots to do!

Monday 20 June 2011

Back from the west

Back from Tighnabruaich after a relaxing weekend. We did two of our favourite walks - to the Caladh on Saturday and round Ardlamont Point on Sunday - and the rain stayed off. I took a pile of photos and managed to do a few sketches until the midges got the better of me.

Image copyright Aileen Grant

 This pencil sketch was done from the kitchen of Rowanbank, looking towards the narrows between the mainland and Bute. I did another pencil sketch on the beach down from Rowanbank, looking towards the sailing club, but I had to finish it off indoors because of the midges.

Image copyright Aileen Grant
I'm still continuing on the shoreline theme for the moment. I feel I have more to explore in terms of composition and medium. It's been good to refresh the idea with new sketches, and as always, trying to capture to look of water is a challenge. I'd like to try some more monochrome ideas as well as something else in oils. But beforeI can get onto that I have a sketching day ahead on Friday - our last day of the course - views from Calton Hill. And also, of course, the end of term exhibition takes place this week. In the end, I didn't change my pictures on Friday. I felt it was too late, and hence too risky, and my big picture did look a bit better than I remembered it. So I thought it best to leave it alone. We'll see.....

Thursday 16 June 2011

Anticipating another day at Leith (School of Art)

I've finished my working week now, and am anticipating my day at Leith tomorrow. It's so close to the end of term - only two more Fridays to go - and we know that next week - our last day of the course -we're to be out sketching because all the artwork will be on the walls.

So tomorrow will effectively be our last day in the studio. Our paintings will have been framed and we will have to check if any repainting needs to be done. But I'm not sure what we will do other than that. I'm thinking of doing some extra work to my large painting - the one below. I'm still not sure if the area of shingle looks ok - Peter thinks it looks too fluffy to be shingle or stones. I have a couple of ideas. It's obviously a bit high risk - it'll be too late it it doesn't work. I shall just have to size it up tomorrow after a week of not seeing the picture and make that decision.
Image copyright Aileen Grant
I think the actual picture (about 60x40 cms) is a little more colourful than this....

After the class, Peter and I are off to Tighnabruaich for the weekend with Rona and Mel so I won't be able to add any update until Monday. I'll maybe get a little sketching done over the weekend - hoping Rona will join me - but the weather forecast is not great. So fingers crossed.

Monday 13 June 2011

A busy day in the studio

Image copyright Aileen Grant

Today in the studio I was trying to finish a few things off. I started on my black and white pictures and a large drawing. I was a bit surprised about how the picture above turned out. It is a picture of the shore at Kintyre - where I was recently for Rob's birthday party. On his birthday, it was a really stormy day, but we spent most of  the time on the beach in the howling wind, keeping a fire going. I think spending so long on the beach allowed me to absorb the atmosphere. Anyway, I had already pretty much finished this picture, but I wasn't happy with it. So I had a bit of a go at it today - more charcoal, black ink and white acrylic - and here's the result. Still not sure if it's finished. Comments would be welcome.

I've brought another two pictures home - I need to review these over the next few days. More later.

Friday 10 June 2011

Pictures submitted for end of term

                                                                             Picture copyright Aileen Grant
Well - it has been a couple of hard day's work. Yesterday in the studio and today at Leith. But I've managed to finish a couple of pictures and submit them for the end of term show (nothing guaranteed). I have finished off the "End of the Pier" - it's the one above - I made a few subtle changes -added a little light to the top of the pier and a little grey to the pier wall and the seaweed lines. It's's a very simple composition, but people seem to like it. I'm still not sure about it.
So now it's the waiting game while pictures get framed (we made the framing ready by painting lathes), and then there will be the consideration of te pictures by the tutors to see what there is room to hang - space is at a premium.
I haven't heard anything from Balerno, so I hope things are going well. I'm on duty tomorrow at 12. Fingers crossed that it's busy.

Wednesday 8 June 2011

Art for Japan Charity Exhibition

I was out in Balerno this afternoon, helping to set up an art exhibition. This will be on for the next few days. It is raising the money for the Mercy Corps' work in Japan.

The exhibition is taking place in
Balerno Parish Church Hall, Johnsburn Road, Balerno EH14 7DN
It will be on fromThursday 9 June to Saturday 11 June (Open 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. daily)
There are lots of Pictures, plus Photographs, Glassworks and Ceramics.
I have some pictures on display. The other artists include Jacqueline Watt, Elizabeth Cull, Roger Cull, Chris Edgar, Mhairi MacDonald-Greig, James Denison Pender, Junko Eager, Jacky Gooder and Joy Alstead.
This charcoal drawing of mine is on display.

                                                                                 Picture copyright Aileen Grant

The entry fee of £1 plus 50% of works sold will be donated to the Mercy Corps who are helping to provide relief and recovery to survivors of the recent earthquakes and tsunami in Japan.
This link tells you more about the Mercy Corps

I'm hoping there's a lot of interest and that we sell a few pictures to raise funds. Fingers crossed.....

Monday 6 June 2011

Work in progress

Was in the studio today (at Artscomplex, Jock's Lodge), doing some work on pictures for my course at Leith (Advanced Drawing and Painting with Matt Storenstein).
I have a crit coming up on Friday, so I want to have some pictures ready for review. Today I was focusing on oils - a medium I'm not so familiar with. I feel as if I am getting somewhere with this picture, but I'll see how I feel about it later in the week.
                                                                     Picture Copyright Aileen Grant

This will be one of my Shorelines series - sounds a bit grand, calling it a series, but in the class we have all been working at building up a focused body of work. Finally - today - at this late stage - I feel as if I'm (maybe) beginning to get somewhere.

Saturday 4 June 2011

The view from Hawthorndene

                                                                       Picture copyright Aileen Grant
I painted this view from the cottage at Hawthorndene towards the end of winter. I was upstairs and noticed the sun and wind making bright patterns on the water. Painted in acrylic on watercolour paper. The picture is currently on display at the Power Station at Cockenzie, East Lothian - part of the 3Harbours Art Exhibition which finishes tomorrow. I've also made it into a card.

Lochcarron - Seabank Cottage

                                                                                Picture copyright Aileen Grant
This is Seabank Cottage in Lochcarron, along with the clothes poles and seaweed. I made an ink sketch of this while sitting on the beach and then painted the picture later using acrylics. I have made the picture into a card - for sale in the Bistro in Lochcarron and the shop at Kishorn "Patterns of Light". The original picture has been sold to a good friend of mine.