December 02, 2016
'Agave on the Camdeboo'
The agave is actually not an indigenous plant to our region, although it does very well. Supposedly brought in for the purpose of making liquor back in the day, but I am still fascinated by it. One really has to get up close, see its fiberous grain when polished up, and then see it from afar again, the giant ones. This print will be available soon on order via my website (top right).
October 24, 2016
Sense of Place Composition Study no.6 (modified/unofficial version)
(digital painting of the Compassberg peak [witches hat] entering Neu Bethesda)
I was privileged to be part of the new Sense of Place exhibit happening at the moment in Graaff-Reinets fairly new and establishing gallery adjoined to the prestigious Drostdy Hotel. If you want to treat yourself and you are in the area, the cake is very good and reasonable.
I did 10 paintings altogether, 8 in a set plus two limited 2nd editions with frames I made myself and one multi-compostional piece. The process is simple, I paint them as I am inspired to do, on location in procreate on my iPad and print this to a fairly sturdy paper. A transfer glaze is applied (which I have learnt allot about, more to follow on that in future posts) and then press this to a prepared Masonite board, neatly finished off and centered.
The image then becomes a live oil painting as I apply layers of linseed oil and buff, then repeat. Oil paints go on in glazes and overlays, keeping to the basic composition mostly and importantly the correct value ranges. Of the 8 pieces, features include: a karoo house, some famous land mark 'koppies' and mountains as well as suggestions of agave, a most wondrous plant and for me a definite icon encapsulating the theme. They grow in forests out on the dry karoo plains, and it is just the flower that stands out almost like a tree itself. Very sugary, so you can make tequila from them too!
Agave digital sketch
It is amazing to use this new technique and have done the experimenting, discovering how to do the transfer and produce finished paintings. I would not want to work from reference when painting landscape and this technique gives me that ability, since it is somewhat challenging (for most artists) to achieve good 'on-location' results. There is some argument about it amoungst artists, those who condemn using reference versus working from life, but at the end of the day it is just a practicality matter and the notions of the artist in question, each of us having very different needs and therefore processes. Personally I am intent on the magic of painting what I see in life, for sure that process is far from finally understood or ideally handled, but that is also its charm, nothing is certain, and the art is almost secondary to the experience. I may paint from reference too but my intention is then different, the work is then different and so on, each to their own and let the art speak for itself.
Initially the paintings were done as studies, these were added to and by the time they were ready to hang had become fully finished pieces, and made from start to finsih by myself. It was allot of fun and opened a whole new universe of possibilities for me. Some might be a little 'nay saying' also on the part of them being made digitally, and its true, this is a medium of its own, not unlike water colours, or any other way to render a picture, but these finished pieces are not being looked at on a screen when finished, I have taken them further and to the very end. I am also sure not to re print or re work the same image again either, because I want to make more, others and holding to my discoveries, creating works of fine art the way that makes sense to me in the moment. Perhaps one day I will go and collect specific reference, work from it and then display ONLY on a screen!! Who knows..
Here is a link to a gallery shot as it showcases four of these pieces currently. The rest can be seen on my site here. Please follow the links for further information on the gallery and the Imibala trust (which a portion of the proceeds go toward). Thank you to Kim, Dianne and Tessa for everything and for displaying my work, thanks also to Imibala.
|Drostdy Imibala Gallery|
October 14, 2016
October 10, 2016
October 07, 2016
October 05, 2016
August 31, 2016
August 30, 2016
August 29, 2016
Neu Bethesda has to be one of the prettiest towns and most relaxing, inspiring places Winter is a particularly dry time - but in so many ways no less magical.
Painting on location has taught me, as usual quite allot on this visit, about my medium and composing. I spent two days, did research and trial and more research, a few paintings and studies and had allot of fun.
This gouache study is done on gesoed board, standing looking up from the little shade I found on the side of a river bank under a beautiful willow tree.
August 25, 2016
August 20, 2016
2048 x 1536 pixels
Note my sizes in pixels as per pro create, the program I used. Effectively comparable to an A5. The irony lies in the antique subject matter, one of my favourites. This was a simple observational study, or still life. In Still life the intention is to capture certain material qualities.
August 15, 2016
Anyway, I include a photo of the scenery that can be seen would you to look left immediately from within the picture frame. A proud herd of springbuck. In the photo, unfortunately the sun is a little bit too frontal and so it was difficult to expose nicely and show all that there is. But still. It is so gorgeous here at the moment, as there is quite a bit of small scale farming going on, and the sights and sounds to be had!
Also a photo of the subject scenery, at a different time of day from the painting. About 5pm and the sun hits the far blue ranges of mountains from the last road on the edge of town, and of course oom Johan' se bucki en huis op Rawson straat.
August 14, 2016
I'm busy with character design at the moment, on the side. This is something I drew whilst engrossed in a book, Quite a long while back actually, I won't mention which book however. It was scribbled down rather quickly as all my work in this vein is, quite representative, painting more than drawing!
I may have over edited it here a little, . due to my excitment using a new app!
August 08, 2016
Just beyond my small town there are farm roads to write poetry of. I set out with the intention of capturing once and for all a scene with snowy mountains. It has not been nearly as cold a winter as last year but for some few days.
Here is the little study I accomplished against all odds, including a near maul by a giant ostrich, which in hindsight was more intimidating than I had expected. He followed me nearly to the spot where I sat, but trailed behind after our certain altercation. Luckily he kicked only once and I manged to show him off with my sitting stool! I did show him alright! .. Back to painting: ...
I had some prepared small surfaces for colour studies I keep in a small file, this one primed in very nearly the correct hue and tone of the grassy hillocks and plains preceding the mountains in the distance. This helps considerably with painting time. However I had also sealed the surfaces with an acrylic mat medium before, which I find I did not necessarily like too much. I prefer a porous surface, a whole discussion in and of itself I suppose, for watercolour. There is just nothing quite like a good surface, I could go on and on..
Gouche is mostly new to me, and I am thrilled by it, having the sense more so now than before that the old 'pure watercolour approach' is not at all times the highest ideal. Certainly for a study. I am thrilled by the prospects of its quickness and technique and as I am discovering the truths about both transparent and opaque painting.
I did three such studies in all on the day, with differing approaches. Some of the scenery of subject matter so breathtaking it is hard to describe here in words. Working on location is a real challenge but that to which I am more and more intent as I go.
So here I am painting in the cold, sped up and complimented by Beethoven!
July 21, 2016
I did the penciling and first wash on location, with final tones added and white gouche highlights to finish at home in the studio. I thoroughly enjoyed this piece, especially the passages of green under the trees in the church grounds and the lights silhouetted by Spandoukop on the peripheral background.
Graaff-Reinet at Dusk