Autumn inspirations…

I have been sharing my work on facebook but need to catch up here on the blog and show you some paintings I’ve been doing inspired by Autumn, which for me is the most wonderful season for finding inspiration.  I guess it’s the colours that inspire most, the leaves, fruits, flowers providing a panoply of delicious shades and tones.

A loosener exercise from last Autumn

But it’s also the special atmosphere that excites the senses… well no, excites is the wrong word as it is all so mellow and relaxed, as if Nature has done her work for this year and is breathing a long sigh of relief and settling down for a long snooze.

And it’s the special light, of course.  Low sun sending shafts of warm light through hedges and wooded areas and trees throwing long shadows across russet coloured undergrowth.

I took a walk along the short stretch of the Grantham canal near our home and saw the fruits and flowers in the hedges.  I have countless photos of tangled hedges with hawthorn, sloe, blackberries, elder berries.  This time I was taken by the bindweed flowers which are not welcome in our garden but which shine out like white stars in the hedges.

I put some of what I saw into a composition of leaves, flowers and fruits.  I masked out the flowers and some stalks, then mixed up loads of the autumn colours that I love and went in with a first wash of yellows, reds, pinks and browns

My drawing
First wash and some negative shapes found
I had masked out some shapes representing the holes in the hedge where the light was filtering through.  I love trying to create that illusion.  I laid one or two more washes over the background trying to keep the illusion of other vegetation behind the main subject.  Finally I painted the flowers with shadow coloured washes.  Hope you like the result!
Final Painting

Why do we do art?…and similar questions.

The recent news articles about the winner of the £25,000 John Moores Painting Prize, Rose Wylie have really made me think.

If one of the reasons for producing art is to shock and make people ask questions, well then this time it worked!  I had never heard of Rose Wylie or seen any of her work and so seeing her prize winning painting was something of a surprise and a “sit up and take notice!” moment for me.

This is her winning painting “PV Windows and Floorboards”

I’ve been looking around and researching her, looking at her art on line, reading articles and watching videos of her being interviewed.  Fascinating stuff if only because she is 80 years old and is being described as an up and coming artist.

What intrigues me is her utter unconcern about how her work is viewed and how she has all these years kept to her particular vision of what she wants to create as art despite up til now being largely ignored and her paintings not selling. She appears not to be interested in putting over a message or communicating or creating something which would be described in traditional terms as beautiful.

So I ask why do we do art?

More musings to come…