A new Long Walk mini canvas (10 x 10cm) commission - same picture, but different each time. The new minis are on deeper canvas, so instead of extending the painting onto the sides I paint the sides in one colour (this person wanted lilac, and it worked beautifully). More to follow!
Four works-in-progress, featuring people and animals I know and actual places (1,2 and 4; 3 is an exception).
I made a life-changing purchase recently - after months of talking about it, I finally bought a wet palette. I had been unaware of their existence until last year, when one of my students turned up with one.
For some reason I had never bothered to research different palettes. I owned a wooden palette once, because it looked the part, and I tried out tear-off palettes, but in the end I settled for a simple china plate, which I would clean after using it. It did the job, there was no waste, and it was sturdy and had a bit of weight, unlike the flimsy tear-off palettes, and it looked nice enough to be left on my desk (I care about the aesthetics of my workspace! One reason I procrastinate so much).
I still use a plate for oils, but acrylics now go into my wet palette, which is not a thing of beauty (big plastic container with clear plastic lid), but it has made me much more productive, and I do not waste paint anymore, as it keeps acrylics wet for weeks (you just have to make sure the paper inside remains wet after the initial set-up. I sprayed it with water after a week or so). So now I can snatch 20 minutes here and there, where in the past I would spend 20 minutes cursing the tubes, which can be difficult to open, running them under hot water in order to be able to open them, trying to gauge which colours and how much of each I will need, sticking the palette in the fridge afterwards in the hope they'll stay wet for a bit longer than the usual 15 minutes, and then having to throw out the hardened paint, because in the end I didn't have time to use them again within their short life span. All that is in the past now.
I bought the Stay Wet Palette from Daler Rowney, but there are also countless tutorials online on how to make your own, and when I've used up the parchment and membrane paper that came with the palette, I'll just use baking parchment and kitchen towels.
Floating away for this year's festival. The programme launch is on Monday, 26 January, at 1pm in the Cube, Áras na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway. All welcome!
"Layering a vivid orange across an arsenic green, crouched under a line of cobalt, sends messages to the brain; and those messages can be communicated, however inadequately, in language.
...dark greens, particularly dappled with apple greens, and strong verticals may produce a feeling of security in a hominid species that emerged relatively recently from the protection of forests.
Hodgkins uses colour in ways that may be at times highly personal and autobiographical but are more often in a long tradition, fully alive today."
- from this piece by Andrew Marr on the artist Howard Hodgkin, essential reading for anyone interested in the visceral power of colour combinations and why they affect us in that way
P.S.: The Howard Hodgkin page on Artsy.net is a brilliant resource.
This is the window of the lovely women's clothes shop Gúna Geal in Athenry, which hosted two of my paintings and a beautiful bag made by my sister Anke (her online shop is here; we are also going to open an etsy shop together very soon) as part of the Athenry Art Trail 2014. Thank you to Máire and Donnacha for including us and for all their hard work, to Sarah for letting us take over her shop window, and to Vinnie for displaying our work so beautifully. And a big Thank You to Fionnuala for all her help and encouragement!
Zooming in on details from some sketches for a lovely project I am lucky to be working on