October 2020 at the art table
October was a wild weather month as Autumn arrived with storms and blustery walks. The high winds blew huge waves and seaspray down at the beach. I spent more time painting this month, partly because I had more time at home and partly because my play canvases are in the way on the living room floor! There’s also some mark making in the Seawhite concertina sketchbook, inspiring stories from the West Pier archives some new Powertex project ideas thanks to a tidy up.
The idea of play canvases is that they have no intention and they don’t need to be finished. They are a place to try a different palette, practice techniques and take risks without fear of “messing up” a precious painting.
These two canvases have been around for a while now, building many layers as I try new things and then move onto the next idea before “finishing” a painting. I also use two next to each other so I can move between them freely while some sections dry.
It’s a fun way to work and has really helped me practice taking risks without worry or fear of wrecking a painting! It can throw me off for a short while but it always comes out better.
The first photo shows the chaos created by play, lots of colour and energy but the composition feels overpowering and it’s really too much! Taking a risk and painting over large areas of the painting, even parts that I like, gives me a new problem to solve as I look for a composition that feels right. It’s all very intuitive and not everyone chooses to paint this way but I’m seeing them as tall snapshots of abstract landscapes and I want to paint open skies.
Taking photos of the paintings is a great way to get a new perspective and I see some adjustments I can make to improve them, a little dark area here, a scribble of orange there!
Reading about the West Pier, Brighton
The West Pier in Brighton really inspires me, I love it’s decaying structures and it’s history is fantastic. On misty days it’s easy to imagine the buildings still standing, the walkways full of strolling Edwardian couples in their fine dress. The Pier was also a place for people to gather for entertainment including “fancy diving” and stories of the divers captured my imagination. Especially the story of Zoe Brigden, a local swimming champion who would dive headfirst into the sea, arms by her sides, to the delight of the crowds! I began to wonder if I could paint a West Pier abstract of Zoe and her fancy diving.
In the sketchbook
In the sketchbook in October there’s mark making and keeping lots of white space. I’m trying out letter stencils, loose drawing and washes of faded colour.
The Powertex supplies have been largely packed away this month. Changes at home mean the art supplies are being sorted and shifted around. As usual this has led to the discovery of forgotten things and lots of ideas for new projects. Maybe it’s the cosy days inside creating that are calling me? I’ve set up a new Instagram account today, specifically for my Powertex projects and tutorials so if you’re looking for some textured art techniques or Powertex inspiration, come and join me there!
Cosy up with an art book
I’m getting ready to cosy up for Winter especially as a second lockdown is soon to be in place. I look for home comforts and good books to get me through the cooler months so I sorted a pile of my favourite art books. We may all be wishing things were different, but I hope you can find something to bring you comfort this month.
Until next month from my art table,