'Aller au fil de l'eau' means to go with the flow. It is also, appropriately, the name of the café in the small French village where I live. On the terrace, the atmosphere is relaxed, life seems to mosey along no faster than the river that slips lazily by. In spring and early summer, conversations are often accompanied by a chorus of croaking frogs. Creating this blog is some kind of commitment to take brush or pen or pencil in hand every day and make art. As Julia Cameron says: "...creativity is not a marathon event that we must gird ourselves for, whacking off great swaths of life as we know it to make room for it. Creativity is not aberrant, not dramatic, not dangerous. If anything, it is the pent-up energy of not using our creativity that feels that way". Not making art is like trying to stop the flow of the river. I surrender to the flow and watch where it takes me.
Saturday, 27 June 2009
This was painted specially for a friend's birthday. While working on it I was overanxious about capturing the exquisite blue and delicacy of the petals and to my mind this is reflected in a slight woodenness in the flower. My favourite part is the buds against the dark background.
Sunday, 31 May 2009
Shadows cast on French houses are an obsession of mine and this might be the beginning of a series. There are a few technical slip-ups in this painting and it's not as loose as I would have liked, but overall I feel as if I'm making progress in handling the medium and developing my own style.
Friday, 22 May 2009
In my wanderings round the village one afternoon, I came upon this heap of 'junk' - discarded tyres propped up against a wall, ragged bits of doors and shutters, broken canal tiles neatly stacked in front, and the whole thing overgrown with ivy. The perfect outdoor still-life arrangement. Working from a photograph, my aim was to stay loose with both the initial pencil drawing and the paint.
Sunday, 3 May 2009
I'm finding that the commitment I've made to post my artwork on this blog is really a great incentive to keep working. I can feel myself loosening up with each piece of work; not necessarily in my painting style, but in my attitude to making art. It's true what they say, that the way to shift a creative block is to just create something, anything, regularly, preferably every day.
My latest is another plant study: for May Day in France it's traditional to give lily-of-the-valley ('muguet' in French) for good luck. A friend brought us a beautiful specimen in a slim terracotta pot. What prompted me to draw it was the curving forms of the leaves. The final result is basically a watercolour with some pencil drawing on top to emphasise the plant's graceful lines.
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
It was an exciting moment for my daughter and me when we noticed that our two strawberry plants were starting to bear fruit. My eye was caught by their broad, fine-veined leaves shivering in the breeze and the dangling fruits bobbing about like the nodding heads of elves. Line & wash on Canson Montval Torchon watercolour paper.