after making three large paintings in a row I started a new one

but then began a week of caution, working small on paper instead of tackling the canvas.

I produced several paintings of A2 size on 220 gsm paper, a reasonable quality cartridge, bigger than my series made during the winter.

working on the floor with my long handled brush

thinking about shapes on Kinshaldy beach

and generally letting paint flow a bit

also I worked over an old less successful painting. this can often be quite releasing

and after walking in Cairngreen, those four larch trees …

all the ferns are unrolled now

buckler fern in the wood

and the much more upright male fern

this seems to be the scaly male fern, it’s quite shaggy

this speedwell seems to like the low light of the beech woods

and I found this, which turns out to be grass of parnassus, around a sycamore tree in Cairngreen, and also where the wild garlic grows in profusion in Tarvit gardens next to the ice house.

the deciduous parts of Cairngreen have wonderful fern groves

walking up and down the paths there feels a bit like playing snakes and ladders

you are never sure where you are going to pop out, onto a ride, or a deer fence. the mountain bikers build jumps on the steepest trails; coming up them, climbing over all the tree roots is like scaling a ladder.

tree roots or the drifted trees on Kinshaldy beach? I bought some new paints, two greys, several yellows, and this iron oxide red in vast quantities. and pthalo blue, which I always found too strong before.

this has the kissing gates, the ferns, the douglas firs and all that ….

getting looser

meanwhile some of this paint was landing on the big canvas, also I stuck on some tissue paper, pink and gold …

and I was thinking of the shimmering glittery wet sand

and wide pools of shallow water at low tide

so the next move was some of the words from my notebook written on the beach

shilly-shallying in the shallows

shimmer

and kinshaldy and glitter and glimmer

and some pieces from a copy of the Guardian (2012)

Lytton Strachey and Virginia for the glitter

Taliban so it’s not quite so shallow

ditto

but here’s the swinging bit .. and reflecting my career in fashion. just a little bit of autobiography …

and then all this blue, and grey, and white

some details

this very strong blue is pthalo blue. CuPc (copper phthalocyanine) was first prepared in 1927 by the reaction of copper(I) cyanide and o-dibromobenzene, which mainly produces colorless phthalonitrile as well as an intensely blue by product. it certainly is intense, but also quite translucent, so all the underpainting shows through. if I mix it with zinc white the resulting paler blue is also translucent. with graphite grey it’s not too opaque either.

I did this one while trying out the blues and greys, 30 x 30 cm, a much painted over linen canvas with great texture.

gradually doing the shimmer …

and then the deep blues

arriving at this yesterday. it will have to be stretched by a framer and then the cream edges will all be folded back and it will look like this

last night I watched a film about Jean-Michel Basquiat and thought right, it’s finished then. love that man’s paintings.

and also I think I should make much more of my writing and use the words in my paintings.

however I must go back to smaller canvases!