Neocolour II on paper, A4: "Crocosmia"; Without preliminaries I dive straight in with these water-soluable pastels dancing my way across the paper trying to capture the flowers orange and scarlet exhuberance with the long green spearlike leaves pointing towards them as though they might have been missed! With some touches of water to blend the colours a bit smoother I am finished with the sketch and looking to move on to a larger painting. I feel a surge of confidence and decide I will paint with acrylics to keep it clean and fresh:
Mixed Media on board, 46x61cm: "Crocosmia Clump"; After making initial marks to place the flower racemes with yellow, orange and scarlet Neocolour pastels on the primed hardboard I work in and around them with cerulean mixed with white very fluidly to try to make the image lively. Where the wet acrylics touches the Neocolours they blend and run into each other blurring the edges and running in a way that satisfies a sense of playfulness. So much so I start another one to see if I can do it again:
Mixed Media on plywood, 39x61cm: "Crocosmia Again"; Now I'm having fun! I recently bought some thin sheets of plywood (6mm) cut them to various sizes and primed them with gesso. They have been lying around the studio waiting for a moment like this. And I love the open texture of the plywood surface as the acrylic paint soaks right into it. Repeating the process as the first one I am enjoying the action as I stand in the warm sunshine painting 'en plein air'. In fact here's the garden set up:
You will notice how large the clump of Crocosmia is, and there are a few others like this in different parts of the garden. Next you will notice the great lump of concrete holding my easle in place. Strong gusts of wind were just about lifting it (and me) off the ground with the painting acting like a sail! The strong sunlight is bouncing off my two tin plate palettes which is a pity because they are works of art in their own right with all that brightly coloured acrylic paint. Finally you might just notice the glazed door to my studio top right. I put that door in especially so I could look out on cold winter days and dream of painting outside in the summer. And here I am doing it!