Although Spring has sprung I am still painting in my attic studio, too cold to be in the outside cabin studio.
My skylight is north facing which is the best light for painting as one gets a good constant light all day. In the evening I supplant whatever existing day light there is by switching on the “day lights” seen in this photo so that I can get a few more hours work in the evening.
I do however prefer to paint in the day and usually use evening for prep work or to outline the painting to be painted the next day. I like to leave a painting primed for painting the next day as I am a morning person and like to get stuck in early as possible in the morning, usually around 6.30am.
This oil painting is of two sun-bathed Gower ponies which roam the common land of Gower Pensinsula near Swansea in Wales, UK. It is great having ponies, horses, sheep and cows (even young bulls!) roaming this diverse countryside, walking pretty much wherever they fancy or so it seems. I am blessed to live near it all. I have tried try to catch the beauty, calm and peacefulness of these beautiful animals.
In a meditative manner, to the music of Eric Satie’s gorgeous “Trois Gymnopedies”, I attempt to describe how working close to nature but in the city is a major influence on my painting, blending with my technique to create my artwork. In fact, place and painting are inseparable. I am greatly influenced by the light and beauty in Wales and around the Swansea area in particular. Most of my paintings inspired by the bountiful beauty that surrounds me, the sounds as well as the images. You might even notice the odd inspiration that made it to be a painting too (as well as the odd painting of my inspirational Swansea). Welcome to my Attic Art Studio and the place that inspires much of my artwork. https://vimeo.com/104913701
This painting “A Summered Garden” is one of my favourite paintings, recently painted a few weeks ago. As such, it takes “pride of place” above the living room mantelpiece, beside my recent portrait of my husband and a small photo of our wedding, although Hattie, one of my cats seems unimpressed.
I like to show my paintings in lived in environments so that artlovers can see how they may look on their walls too!
I painted this post fauvist portrait of my husband, Seamas, as a birthday present. The strange thing is that the further the way one steps from the painting, the more it resembles him!? I called it the “Image of Him” because some have said I have also “caught” his resemblance to his father in this portrait also. Hence ,as they say back in N Ireland where Seamas hails from, he is the “image of him!”
I love painting snow, whether brillant midday sun, blue-tinged, snow or pinky sunset snow. I love how blues and pinks hover above the snowy white. I love the snow’s power to transform, to turn a plain town into a lovely town, and a lovely town in something quite majestic. In “Crick and Surrounds” the lovely village of Crickhowell is transformed into a picture-postcard beauty by the snow and the dramatic background of the snow glistering hills. It is hugged by the hills behind or cwtched as they say in Wales. This closeness to nature is heightened by how I have bunched up the buildings and how I have tried to drape bright invigorating winter light and reassuring black velvet shadows across the roof tops. The fluffy clouds and soft blanketed snow lying sturdily across the roof tops are in contrast the cool blue streaks of paint and there is something almost edible in this effect, it almost contains a child like yearning in it’s invitation to explore this crisp wintry ice creamy joy.
Oil painting on linen canvas – I use a linen canvas with a white covering for certain types of painting such as landscapes set in Wales as there is a particular type of “Welsh light” that can be captured accurately on this type of canvas. It is extraordinary how a canvas is so conducive to a certain “national light” but all light is different depending on where one is located in the world. My husband hails for the north of Ireland where the light is brighter and more shrill, high pitched, more crisply blue white, whereas in Wales, it is often slightly or noticeably softer and in certain places tinged with warmer yellowy white. Although in this painting which is heading towards West Wales, and towards the Irish Sea the light has become more crisp and slightly tinged with blue. One can almost feel the lung filling fresh air in the blowing clouds and nasal tinging blue sky.
This is another refractionist painting – I was drawn to this painting because I love the colours that come alive not only in misty backgrounds but in backgrounds in the sun, viewed from the more darkened interiors of the wood as in this painting. I love the cool blue of the distance trees and the purple mingling with the ground and the purples there sliding across the ground, following the sun’s light into the dark of the wood. I love the spectrum of colours in the light and how the light is refracted by the tips of the trees, the last burnished leaves and the spindly branches. It produces a kaleidoscopic effect of colour.
“This is another ‘refractionist’ painting and is almost an inverse of ‘Up Cwmdonkin’. Instead of the refracted light creating a stain glass effect falling on the outside fringes of a wood, here it illuminates within the hidden chamber of a forest, which gives it a heightened, magical or enchanted feel. It feels like a secret wood of childhood fantasy and imagination. I like how the brilliant rainbow colours contrast with the jet black and how the inner sanctum of light is framed naturally by the surrounding trees, inviting one into the shower of light and colour.
But is this scene too good to be true? Is there a Brothers Grimm malevolence here, in this painting? Do the black trees signal a menace, a foreboding or do these encircling trees call one into a place of wonder and a child-like joy, where the light and colour, silence and peace rain down and let the soul rejoice? Or is it a broody chimera? Depends on your own imagination, I suppose!”