Style 3 – Tilda

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Similar to an illustrative style, these pieces are outlined and accented in pen, within controlled compositions of nature. I want them to feel relaxed, simple and almost childlike.

It’s taking some practice, and I don’t feel I’m quite there yet to produce the quality I’m aiming for in this style, but I hope it will be worth it when I get there. Your thoughts? Too simple?

Changes

To focus my work, I’ve created three different categories of ‘style’ that all my work should fit into. This is the first product of this new process, and I’m really pleased. This style I’ve dubbed ‘Johnson’, at least for now.

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Johnson – One

The theme is ‘Remembrance’, including in the motif an Elm tree which signifies death, Nasturtiums for resilience and victory in battle, Foxglove signifying medical treatments and poison, and Rosemary and Poppies for remembrance.

I would love feedback, hope you like this direction! The other two styles will feature soon. Lots of exciting things to come. I’m even toying with some poetry ideas to couple with this piece.

An Update on Paintings

I’ve been away for over a week so have been unable to post anything here. (I have been active on my Twitter! @SukyWhettam) Here are some small square practice pieces I’ve been making on my week away.

I was using Khadi paper here, a very absorbent, textured cotton paper that took a while to get used to. It did however make way for lovely soft blending since the paper stayed wet for so long. I’m happy with the effect produced on the Tree Trunk, and also enjoyed using pen to provide a children’s illustration feel against the matt gouache in the Smoke and Garden pieces.

A big risk with this paper was overworking it, so these were worked quickly and kept as simple as possible. I’m happy to work like that because it keeps it fresh, even if it does mean I’m not perfectly pleased with all these pieces produced. I can always come back to the original idea again and redo it. It was great practice and nice to work in a different setting for the week.

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Let me know what you think!

Tree Surgeon Painting

 

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The scan isn’t doing this piece justice, the nuance is a little lost. However, I was pleased with the masking fluid working in my favour again.

The subject is a friend of mine who works as a tree surgeon, who posts really cool pictures online of his enviable vocation. I wanted a feeling of movement and wilderness, as I think that sums up his work.

Hope you like it Alex! I love painting trees.

Wendy’s Wonderful Garden

My good friend Wendy runs a great blog, which you can find here, documenting her gardening and growing flowers from seed. She has kindly let me use the pictures on her blog for inspiration for this piece, which has been really fun to make. I hope you like it, Wendy!

I wanted to grasp the feeling of keeping a garden and how you feel when you’re there; the comfortable and serene space that comes through in Wendy’s blog and photos. The round freehand, water-blob shape I felt would signify the connection to nature and life gardeners enjoy. I think it created the enveloping world a hobby can be. I also wanted a balance of wilderness and the cultivated nature, completely using only elements from Wendy’s garden.

Wendy 1
Whole Painting
Wendy detail 1
Detail
Wendy detail
Detail

 

I hope you like it. Now go check out Wendy’s lovely blog, then go outside!

View from a Breakdown in Les Hautes-Alpes

 

Bright mustard lichen, stuck on
silver skeleton trees, looked on by
taller, boney figures, grasping bushels;
moss green mistletoe.

Rich evergreens, staining
a weathered grey cloak
of ashen winter, reluctant spring
mountains; aged and towering –

pale dead wisps, yellow
amongst swathes of scrub, ’round
old tin-roofed houses, under heavy cloud,
with shuttered windows,
wood, stone, sleepily shadowed
by grander nature.

Am I Naked like the Trees? (Painting, poem, and good news!)

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I fall out the apartment with no more grace than a fat bird.
Both parties,
surprised by the power of my presence,
my step into the pavement
scatters a squabble of seagulls
like a dropped bag of marbles,
out into the sky.

All the branches of the trees are undressed today
letting me see so much further:
a horizon far along is close today,
hidden things now clear.

And all things
all greyer, matt and crisp.
My face dry, and the world alike.

I’m so clothed, so wrapped up,
but feel so naked today.

So naked, and shivering, like the arms of the trees
that suspend cherry blossom clouds,
like billowing sheets out to dry.

We’re both shivering,
but at least I can come home.

Bonjour. This is the first time I have managed to paint and write about the same thing. I hope you can relate to the coldness we’re experiencing lately Up North. Winter feels so long and so severe.

My Good News:

I’ve had a poem of mine published in the Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine! Click through to download it for free (!) or buy a print copy. Support artists and feed your soul at the same time, win-win! It’s a fantastic publication.

Have the loveliest evening.