Art Fair Preparation…. watercolours

I have been taking my art to theTasmanian Craft Fair at Deloraine in Tasmania for more than 10 years. Although I sort of know what to do, I always find that towards the end I am coming up with heaps of ideas but not enough time to act on them. Not as many watercolours this year but I do probably have  enough (except for flowers), and today I have been cutting matts, wrapping in cello (close fitting bags when possible) and pricing (now that is tricky). Hint: re cellophane…. I always use the top quality PR range as it is crystal clear and sturdy. Here are a few of my latest watercolours ready to go to new homes. (available as early bird purchase)

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Loose style figures add life and umbrellas are great for colour. As the artist you can choose whatever colour umbrellas you want. I love the way the lady in the yellow jumper looks a little cautious in the wet, while the lady is the green jacket does not seem to worry.

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I used the cling wrap technique here to get some of the light patterns. Throw colours on, use the wrap.remove and decide what it wants to be. I love this imaginative style of working as you never know what will emerge from the surface.

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I visited Melbourne this year in late Autumn, early Winter, hence this street scene and the rainy day umbrella ones. I want to go back again for more inspiration. The flickers of white (unpainted  spots of the paper’s rough surface (300gsm Saunders Waterford rough), suggest sunlight.

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Another rainy day in Melbourne, and another loose style watercolour with flickers of light. SOLD

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Back in Tasmania for this one. My beloved Tarkine Wilderness Coast (Nelson Bay). We stayed for a couple of nights at Arthur R. This was the first evening, it had been raining but on sunset the sky cleared for a while and lovely soft sunset colours said “peace”.

Forest Light, watercolour

Like many artists I love depicting light in my paintings. This work was started by flooding cool yellow on the paper from the top right then cyan, ultramarine and a little Maimeri permanent red light (not light red which is more opaque) in varying amounts from the left and base, weighting the base with darker hues. The yellow was to give a sense of light, although at this stage I did not know the resulting scene was to be a forest. My concern was purely to paint atmosphere… the sense of light. The depiction of a setting would come later. I was working with cling film technique with students, so while the work was still damp I covered it with cling film, pulling and manipulating it to create interesting shapes, bigger in some spots and smaller in others. At this stage I was thinking “underwater scene” with the patterning being refracted light within the water. On removing the cling wrap I saw a tree suggestion on the LHS and I started to ‘pull” that out from the background. A lighter patch suggested a waterfall so I lifted colour to re-inforce that…. made easier because of the extra soft Fabriano torchon paper. Gradually the forest evolved with some traditional brushwork, a little use of palette knife, scraping and calligraphic marks using sumi ink, watercolour and a little white gouache. The centre back was left to suggest the indistinct, hazy mystery of distant, vegetation.

Forest mystery

Forest mystery

Watercolour techniques… clingwrap

For the past week with my art classes we have been enjoying using cling wrap to create exciting textures in watercolour. With practise one can have a degree of control over the patterning but as with many of the techniques I prefer, part of the art creativity is the serendipity of it, and working with what happens. My starting thoughts for this particular painting were sunlight and forest. I chose a lemon yellow, cyan and a little red (all transparent), put bold colour on the wet paper, arranged the cling wrap then left sitting for a while before drying with the hairdrier (in a class I often need to hasten drying of my demo works). I then worked quite extensively into this “base” letting the patterns suggest the evolution of the piece.
Can you see the remnants of the cling wrap patterning? I do not like such techniques to be too obvious. They should enhance the painting not be the primary focus.
We will look at this again in classes this week so if you are able to attend a session on Tuesday or Wednesday evening (7.30) or Friday afternoon (1p.m), you will get instruction in this. (I can provide gear).

Forest mystery

Forest mystery

Trees in watercolour

These recent watercolours are part of a set of commissioned works for the Madsen Private Hotel in Penguin. They are refurbishing a room retaining  the historic building feel with its prevelance of timber, but with a bit of contemporary flair to link to the presentation of other areas. The works are square…. a bit of a challange for the subjects chosen….. and to fit 50cm square frames.

One set of three works, shown here,

are of tree trunks, a beautiful subject for playing with watercolour…. mingling colours, deliberate watermarks and palette knife effects for texture, and tricklings of Sumi ink. I chose an ultra rough, soft textured paper to enhace the textural properties of the subject.