I’ve gotten into doing quick, small paintings at the moment. Usually to get myself into the mood before I start concentrating on other works.
I’m really enjoying them, and I love doing skies of extreme colour.
I’m finding them to be a real escape, there is something rhythmic and relaxing in producing them.
Much unlike my last artistic inspriration, Chris Riddell this lady is a far more recognized artist. Of course she has some years on him though.
Beatrix Potters work has always been present in my life. I had two box sets of her books, that I can remember being read to me from a very early age. I must admit I never remembered the words clearly, other than she wrote about lots of naughty little animals that usually got their comeuppance. Tom Kitten being put into pastry for roly poly pudding, Peter losing his blue jacket and being frightened by Mr McGregor after being told not to go into the garden by his mother, Squirrel Nutkin having his tail bitten off by the owl after he spent day’s teasing and baiting him to name a few.
But the illustrations, how I have always loved them. Not only the subject matter but her skill. The Tailor of Gloucester I believe is one of her story books where her talent for anthropomorphism and story telling through illustrations is so wonderfully shown.
This little mouse, for example. Who has always been my absolute favorite character, in all her ruffles and lace. But the details on the fabric of the garment she is standing on, the mouse who is peeping through at the back and her tiny little fingers.
Or even just this very simple line and wash illustration of the the cat crossing the street. Are all just divine.
But it’s not really her story books, or anthropomorphics that I want to share here, or even that I have been most influenced by.
It’s her beautiful biological and botanical illustrations.
Her mycology illustrations are still used today for identification, and her work in the scientific field of fungus is well recognized, despite at the time a male associate put her theory and work forward as she was dismissed due to being a woman.
Her soft, yet sharp and detailed watercolours are something I have always aspired too.
More and more of Potters works are being released as her diaries, journals and sketch books are displayed and removed from the collections she left them too. Hopefully her work will continue to persevere, as she is is one of Britains most wonderful illustrators.
All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed. – Richard Adams, Watership down
Watership down is my favorite book. I shall ever be irked that it is sold as a children’s book just because its about Rabbits. If the characters were people it would be far from child friendly. I first read it by myself at 10, I barely understood half the vocabulary used. A gentleman at my art club today described it was “a reflection of the human condition but through Rabbits” which I feel is quite accurate in a way. It certainly is about how we still fight our hardships and celebrate their victory though we know it will only be fleeting.
I have had the above quote stuck in my head for a number of days now. I’m not certain that the Rabbits at work appreciated me reciting it to them though.
So two weeks ago i professed to be posting a video within a few days which was to be the first of a once monthly, tutorial, or art technique exploration. I actually recorded it the next day, and then failed to make any blog posts for nearly two weeks! For that I can only apologize, however I have been busy and exhausted all the time recently.
So without further ado: This video is a very brief overview of how I personally use water colours. It isn’t fantastic, and I really want to a get a better camera, find a clever way to rig it up, and maybe a better video editing program.
Also sorry if i’m unintelligible, i have quite a quick, quiet voice.
I’ m not sure how well known I’ve made it, but I love frogs. I actually Paint them a lot, but usually I paint horned frogs, Bullfrogs and other big fat ground dwelling species. Last night i started new paintings to try out painting the negative spaces rather than the positive. ( WIP here) I chose to add some dart frogs, specifically Darts from the Oophaga Pumilio (Strawberry) family, as I think they are really beautiful, and come I so many colour morphs.
I finished them late last night. In all I’m rather happy, they have a much looser, “painterly” look, especially the one with the yellow frog.
In all I think the negative space painting can be really effective. I shall be doing more.