Happy New Year everyone! I hope that everyone has had as enjoyable and relaxing a time as whatever rules apply where you are allow!
This post will be brief. Just as I was delighted to sign off from 2020 in the knowledge that, for another year, I’d managed 52 consecutive weekly posts – so it is with nervous trepidation and brimming with doubt, that I set out to do the same all over again!
Also, as I’m sure will be the case for many, my start to the year has been marked by my return to work, the return to home-schooling until at least the middle of February, and a move into even tighter restrictions to try to wrestle some control back over the rapidly rising number of Covid-19 cases. Oh, and it was my birthday too.
All in all, it’s feeling like a pretty somber start to 2021!
Over the past year, I’ve found myself living more vicariously through the exploits of others, and finding inspiration from their photos. This even stretches to enjoying the country walks that others go on!
Inspiration for this week’s painting came from a walk that my artist friend Sarah Mitchener recently went on in the South Downs, not far from Brighton. Here’s my painting:
I was hoping to apply some of the same approaches and some of the things I learnt from my other most recent forest scene. This included a ‘less is more’ approach my use of drybrush for the trees and trying to create the depth by a greater variation of tone in the trees. Everything else was done in a similar vein – beginning with the judicious application and splattering of masking fluid in some areas.
I also couldn’t help but smile to myself as I painted this latest scene while thinking about a comment that had been left on last week’s post about the challenges of painting tiny twigs and how unconvincing they often are. And here I was once again faced with scene full of tiny twigs and desperately looking for convincing shortcuts!
There’s something about the expression ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’ that feels quite apt for how I’m feeling at the start 2021. Fingers crossed this will only improve as the year progresses.
New Year. New Resolutions.
If anyone has any artistic resolutions for the year ahead, I’d love to hear them.
I think mine are still percolating so there’s still plenty of time for me to be inspired by others. So far, my only firm commitment is to try to use my camera more. I’ve become incredibly reliant on my phone for capturing images – mainly due to its convenience and the fact that it’s always on hand.
A year or two ago I splashed out on a new camera (new to me but second hand of course!) and I’ve barely used it. In the right hands, it’s capable of producing photographs of exceptional quality. Sadly, mine aren’t the right hands at the moment, but I’m hoping some practice may help.
The ultimate aim is still for the photographs to benefit my painting and I hope that the photographic considerations around lighting, composition, contrast and storytelling will hopefully all come into play in my paintings.
I feel it only fair to say, and in the interests of openness and transparency, that this isn’t the first year that I’ve made this resolution! So, in addition to finding out what your resolutions may be, I’d also welcome any thoughts on how I might best stick to the only resolution that I have so far!
In the meantime, best wishes to all for 2021.