Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Abstract Landscape Painter.  Rural Dweller.  Lover of Modernist Art and Design.

The Sun in the Morning and the Moon at Night

I've really enjoyed the week-end.  On Saturday I had the day off and the weather was beautiful.  We did some household chores and then went outside to work in the garden.  My partner did a sterling job mowing the large lawn, while I tackled the overgrown vegetable garden. The heat and bright sunlight were a joy and I didn't mind the novelty of having to wear a sunhat and sun cream!  We worked hard for over three hours and were very pleased with the results of our labours, surveying the transformation with satisfaction over a celebratory drink at the end of the afternoon. While I sat there looking, I was interested to see how yellow the green grass looked in the sunlight and how similar it was to the ground colour that I have been using in my recent paintings. It's funny how often working by instinct proves to be more accurate than I initially think.

On Sunday morning we set off for Gloucestershire, where we were going to stay at our favourite hotel for a couple of days of real relaxation.  This is always such a special treat for me.  It is set in acres of beautiful grounds and I spend hours looking at the various views while walking or sitting in the garden.  The best view, this time however, came during the night.  Sunday's weather had been glorious and had given way to a wonderfully still evening.  I woke at what must have been around 3.30am and got up to look out of the window.  I saw a full moon in a pale blue/grey sky reflected in the cobalt blue lake below.  It was so still and so beautiful that I had to photograph it.  The camera doesn't really do it justice.  I felt so privileged to see it - I was lucky.  While we were all sleeping it had appeared and shown itself in all it's serene golden beauty, just hanging there, thinly veiled in the mist like a gauzy garment, casting a benevolent glow on the un-knowing sleepers below. I looked at its reflection in the lake, echoed in the paper lanterns and the topiary and felt inspired.

Moonlight over Cowley
(Acrylic on Board)

All text and images ©2013 Carol Saunderson

Monday, 13 May 2013

Abstract Landscape Painter.  Rural Dweller.  Lover of Modernist Art and Design.


I have finished both of the paintings that I have been working on this week.  I'm more pleased with the one featuring Rosie.  It's an odd juxtaposition to put a 3-D object into an abstract painting, but the loose brushwork seems to make it work as a whole.  It's also brighter and the shapes are simpler, which always appeals more to me.

I've found myself wanting to use much more yellow of late.  I definitely go through different phases with my colour palette, which is also heavily influenced by the time of year and the weather. I feel as if I am surrounded by it at the moment.  For example, I took a photo of rain over the garden at sunset the other evening.  The sky had turned into a liquid gold and golden-yellow light poured through the branches of the trees.

Last night my partner asked me a very interesting question, which was whether I thought that it was possible to tell the time of year by looking at an artist's palette.  You definitely could by looking at mine, because I am constantly absorbing what I see around me.  Apart from this I think that there must also be some psychological reason for choosing different predominant colours at different times.  Margaret Thatcher apparently never trusted anyone that wore yellow.  Why?  What did it say to her?  Too frivolous?  Wouldn't concentrate?  Not in the "real world"?  Who knows?  When I was a small child yellow was my favourite colour.  That was replaced by blue when I became older.  I used to ask my Mum and Dad what their favourites were - Dad's was red, Mum's was blue, so between us we held the primary colours and anything was possible.  I think that even though she now has dementia, my Mum still seems to react to colour.  She will "comment" on it, in her way, if I wear or carry something in a colour that she likes, and she doesn't react to much now.  It seems to be a very primeval thing for us.  I wonder if we have a special relationship with it all our lives?

I suppose, for me at the moment, it represents light and warmth and therefore hope and relaxation and freedom.

All text and images ©2013 Carol Saunderson

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Abstract Landscape Painter.  Rural Dweller.  Lover of Modernist Art and Design.

May Day

May Day - a beautiful blue morning.  Fortunately I don't have to dance around the maypole today.  Fortunate for me and anyone that may have to watch me.  I can see why the Romans celebrated Flora, the goddess of flowers (not margarine) on this day.  Perhaps there isn't as much of a burst of colour as there would be normally be, but there is now a lot of beautiful blossom appearing.

This week I've been working on two square canvasses of differing sizes.  One is 40 square centimetres and the other is 60 square centimetres.  Sometimes it's interesting to work on a different texture and, although I use very fine portrait linen, the surface has slightly more "tooth".  This means that it creates subtly different brush marks.  This is helpful when I am trying to suggest the line of a hedge or light on the surface of a field.  I've been using much brighter colours of late - particularly yellows, but also lilac, warmer greens and browns - while thinking about sunshine and warmer light.  I'm aware too that the leaves are beginning to come out at last, and that soon the views will change and the sunlight will be filtered through the tree canopy.  It has been feeling more positive this week, as seeing the expanse of sky is like having a lid taken off the world.  There is so much more space, more room to think and more hope (a bit like de-cluttering your studio - must do that!)

My other recent activity has been to work with a printer on a series of charity cards.  I wanted to do something positive in memory of Rosie, so I've chosen three of my images to put onto greetings cards.  My intention is to give 50p from the sale of each card to the Scruples Whippet Rescue.  I hope to have them available by the end of the week.

As far as the garden menagerie goes, we have now acquired a pair of red-legged partridges as daily visitors, and both bird boxes have blue tits nesting in them.  We are particularly lucky as one of the boxes is just outside the bay window, so we get a ring-side seat to watch the birds coming and going.

Just thinking about hope again - I must memorise this poem by Adrian Mitchell, which I found in one of the anthologies that I bought while at the Poetry Festival in Much Wenlock.  It makes me laugh every time I think of it.

Celia Celia

"When I am sad and weary
When I think all hope has gone
When I walk along High Holbourn
I think of you with nothing on"

Adrian Mitchell

You can't beat a good poem……!

All text (except poem) and images ©2013 Carol Saunderson