New materials new discoveries…

My focus this week has been on small floral studies, a daily challenge to develop my gouache technique but also my discipline to show up to the page. You can find these basic studies on my Instagram page.

I had purchased several new soft pastel sets and was excited to experiment.  Very pleased with these three works as I feel they are birthing a new dimension to my semi abstracted landscape work. They feel a little bit urban, which is purely coincidental.

“Travelling Through” soft pastel on Fabriano Artistico paper. App. 10″ x 8″
“Travelling Through II” soft pastel on Fabriano Artistico paper. App 10″ x 9.5″
“First Visit” soft pastel on Fabriano Artistico paper. App 10″ sq.

Workshop in the stunning South of New Zealand.

After years of not tutoring face to face, I have finally started taking art workshops again and I had forgotten how much I enjoy it! I was asked by the Southern Pastel Artists based in Invercargill, to share my process for semi-abstracted landscape painting.

“Journey Southward” 21″ x 7.5″ mixed media and soft pastel on Fabriano Artistico paper – demonstration piece.

We had a fabulous weekend and the results were amazing. Abstraction is not as straight forward as one may think with some challenging decision making along with the use of mixed media.

Thank you to Southern Pastel Artists for inviting me down, I had forgotten how beautiful the South of New Zealand is.

The Importance of Experimentation

I have come to realise the importance of experimentation, not just in the studio, but with life. I’m not talking about anything life threatening or physically painful, but just enough to push yourself out of the comfort zone. Why? Because stretching yourself in one area releases courage in another.

Experimentation in my arts practice shakes up my routine and forces me to reconsider my process as well as introducing me to new ways of discovering texture and mark making. Is it uncomfortable? – yes, does it always yield good results? – no, is it worthwhile? – absolutely!

The images below are those I considered worked, I used a mix of media; acrylic, pencil, pastel, ink, and watercolour with various bushes.

The image below did not work as a stand alone image, however, there is something in the washes of greens and the high horizon line, sitting next to the hard bristle strokes of the purple marks that I will be further exploring…nothing is lost.

Last year I attended an online workshop with Louise Fletcher an artist and tutor from Yorkshire in England. I am repeating this workshop this year. The six acrylic squares at the start of this post is part of the first exercise from her course, it is a great way of loosening up and having fun with acrylic.

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