Unfinished, unclothed, uncut

Three new pieces up for sale over yonder – firstly, a watercolour painting/ink drawing from a lunchtime last month. I've drawn the National Monument – or, er, Edinburgh's Disgrace – a couple of times before, but this was the first time I've done a decent watercolour & ink piece of the unfinished Parthenon.

The monument dominates the top of Calton Hill, just to the east of Princes Street. It was designed during 1823-6 by Charles Robert Cockerell and William Henry Playfair and is modelled upon the Parthenon in Athens. Construction started in 1826 and, due to the lack of funds, was left unfinished in 1829. This circumstance gave rise to various nicknames such as "Scotland's Disgrace", "Edinburgh's Disgrace", "the Pride and Poverty of Scotland" and "Edinburgh's Folly".Wikipedia

The small size of the watercolour paper I worked on fitted a window mount perfectly, so it's looking rather natty, all ready to go into a frame.

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National Monument, Edinburgh (May 2014) watercolour and ink on paper, mounted (£45)

Also, there's another piece from the first life drawing session this month – a complementary colours painting that inadvertantly has a hint of the Obama-ize photo filter about it.


Complementary 6 (June 2014) oils on canvas paper (£75)

Finally, here's a still life oil painting from last weekend, returning to the thrilling world of citrus fruits.

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Lemon (Uncut) (June 2014), oils on canvas (£60)

So there you have it. Play us out, U2!


Life drawing 22/06/14


2 mins, charcoal

A rather so-so life drawing session today, with no pieces that leapt out as personal bests and more than my fair share of mediocre work. Even so, I still enjoyed myself, savouring the very process of drawing and painting even if the results were no great shakes.


2 mins, charcoal

With the short poses, I went back to charcoal in my ongoing yet inevitably doomed attempt to draw fast charcoal pieces as well as Henry Yan. Ha! Not a bit of it. Back to the ink next time (which seems to result in better short pose pieces) or keep on keeping on with the charcoal in the hope that eventially it clicks? Dunno.


5 mins, charcoal

Next up, a couple of 15 minute poses where I put a couple of apparently-fast-drying oil paints to use for the first time. One piece turned out pretty well, the other not so, but neither dried any faster than the water-mixable oils of previous sessions, so slightly regretting getting them. Ach well, they may yet prove themselves in underpaintings.


15 mins, oil paint

And, as with a few weeks back, finishing up with a long pose drawn using Conté pastels on pastel paper. Struggled a bit with the proportions here, and I'm not sure I won in the end, but it was a good challenge trying to do so.


60 mins, Conté pastel

You can see the other pieces from today that survived the end-of-session cull at my Flickr page. The soundtrack? BBC 6Music for the first hour or so, then back to Swans' remarkable To Be Kind again. It's pretty much the only opportunity I get in the month to listen to something so enormous, so powerful – it doesn't really lend itself to the commute, given one track alone is pretty much the length of Aberdour to Edinburgh. Still, something different next time. Sonically and artistically, I think today I got a little too stuck in my ways.

Banana, nude

Two new pieces up ye olde artte shoppe. Firstly, a still life that was painted back in April but has taken bloomin' ages to dry off enough for varnishing. It's a #naptimeoilpainting (the hashtag I use whenever publishing a picture of one on Twitter) and has a nice curvaceous energy to it as I rushed to get it finished before The Boy returned from his brief sojourn to Nod.


Banana (April 2014), oils on canvas board (£55)

Secondly, one of the oil paintings from life drawing earlier this month. A nice quick one, working with three colours and very little time.


Complementary 4 (June 2014) oils on canvas paper (£75)

A feast for the eyes

As muttered the other day, I've not written any blog posts about making art for weeks on end because, er, I've been making art. Which is good! Since it clicked that I could splash together quick oil paintings during the Boy's naptimes, rather than noodling around online, my painted output has shot up from zero to plenty. Between this and my daily drawings, this year's already been more productive artistically than the last three years combined.

Even so, it's a bit shoddy if I'm posting new paintings up on my Facebook page (when they're probably only going to be seen by 4 or 5 people, thanks algorhythms) but not doing the same here, on my own cheery corner of the internet. So this is a bit of a catch-up splurge, with all future new pieces getting a post of their own. Click through to each piece to learn more, such as my struggle with the identity of a lemon.

As you'll see, it's all still life oil paintings, because a) it broadens my repertoire beyond naked bods, b) the lighting for painting landscapes isn't very interesting at midday and c) they present an interesting challenge in their own right. They've made me aware of my own limitations just now, but the more I do, the more I learn. On top of that, I'll be making my way through Michael Friel's Still Life Painting Atelier book over the coming weeks and months, so I'm hoping by the end of the year there'll be a tangible improvement in my work – which means I'd be able to ask more for it. Hooray! Until that happens, I'm keeping these all priced pretty low – I think they're good (wouldn't stick them up for sale if I didn't) and look rather lovely up on the wall, I just know there's better to come.

image from flic.kr

Blood Orange (April 2014), oils on canvas (£60)
image from www.flickr.com

Lemon Lime (April 2014), oils on canvas (£60)
image from www.flickr.com

Red Bell Pepper (April 2014), oils on canvas board (£45)
image from www.flickr.com

Garlic Bulb (May 2014), oils on canvas (£60)
image from www.flickr.com

Little Pine Cone (May 2014), oils on canvas (£60)
image from www.flickr.com

Butternut Squash (May 2014), oils on canvas (£60)
image from www.flickr.com

Sweet Red Pepper (May 2014), oils on canvas (£70)
image from www.flickr.com

Avocado (May 2014), oils on canvas (£60)
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Tomatoes on the Vine (May 2014), oils on canvas (£70)

Drone logic

If there's one frustration about narrowing the focus of my blogging to artwork, it's the way it's shunted music out of the way. While I can't make the stuff, listening to it remains hugely important to me and I love the sheer variety of great new music. I've wanted to yelp enthusiastically about new tracks but not really had a decent reason to do so on an Artblog. And then… eureka! All I need to do is make a drawing, painting, sculpture, something inspired by a track, and I can yelp with impunity!


So, starting off, here's a sketch I made this morning en route to work, inspired by the title track from Daniel Avery's debut Drone Logic. I first heard this on Mary Anne Hobbs' weekend show a few weeks ago, and have played the bejaysuz out of it ever since. It's a splendid throbbing slab of techno that does a lot with relatively little, bringing to mind (at least to mine) images of AWOL drones circling the world listening to Walkmans. I think the above picture could've been clearer in that regard but, hey ho, such is life. Listen below and see what it conjures up in your own noggin…