Monday, 21 October 2013

Open Studios Week Activities

Back in Edinburgh last week after an amazing weekend at Inchnadamph. I tried to continue my momentum in the studio, but I was a bit distracted by all the activities in St Margaret's House - it was 'Open Week'.  Thanks to all of you who looked in to see me and my studio - always good to chat.

I did manage to do a little work.  I thought I should have a go at continuing with the beeswax to create encaustic paintings, following up from the course in August.  The smaller one - a morning view at Luskentyre was based on this acrylic painting.

I had a nice purple pigment and thought this picture presented a lot of potential for exploiting the colour. The start I had made was a bit rough and ready - too textural, I thought.
 I carried on working into it and it ended up like this - a little smoother and more intense colour.  I've decided to leave it now, for the moment. I THINK it may be finished...

I tried another Harris painting, focusing on the view of the North Harris hills, really based on this painting.

I had changed the composition a bit in order to fit with the piece of hardboard I was using. I had left it looking like this. Again a bit too textural, I thought.

Again I worked into it further and introduced more colour, more enriched.  I left it looking like this. I'm not sure if this composition works quite as well.
I have set it aside for the moment - not sure if it's finished yet.

My other main activity this week was a session at Edinburgh Printmakers (had to close my studio that day!). I wanted to make a new plate after my 6 week absence, but I've been thinking so much in colour recently that I found it very difficult to settle down to doing any meaningful drawing.  However, I had some 'MMR' (plastic film) and I finally managed on Wednesday to do a few drawings.  I was intending to make a copper plate etching, but I realised that there was quite a lot of tonal variation in the drawings. So I was persuaded to buy some (expensive) 'Toyobo' and use this instead.  I ended up doing two etchings - and I was really pleased that I remembered most of what I was supposed to do (using my notes) although I did get a bit confused over exposure times.
The first is a view similar to my Crannog view (based on Loch Assynt). It turned out like this.

The second was a drawing based on my Aberdour tree.
These are kind of interesting. I'll need to consider how much better they would be if I had reduced the exposure time. I did enjoy doing the drawing - I used some special pens that were left to me years ago.  I've never really found a proper use for these pens over the years and so I was pleased finally to use them productively this week.

Anyway - open studios week has now ended, so there are really no excuses now for not getting on with more work - but I'm sure I'll think of something.

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