Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Waiting for paint to day

When you're an Oil painter, waiting for paint to dry is the norm.  I found that a bit frustrating years ago, as I wanted to get on and complete a piece of art, but nowadays I go with the flow as they say.  In fact, in many ways, it works in my favour by giving me time away from the painting, I then look at it again some weeks later and 'see it with fresh eyes', this enables me to know if anything needs more work.  

This is exactly what happened with this one...

"Break in the Clouds" had been set aside for some weeks, so when I put it back on the easel again, I could see where to add extra detail/s.  The danger is you can keep going, changing this, changing that, and get nowhere - in the end you have to say 'That's it done".... as with this one.  It has the atmosphere I was after.  

'Where is this scene'  I hear you ask.  It isn't far from home and sums up so many views across Exmoor.  When we go for a drive to Lynton and the Valley of Rocks, I catch glimpses of painting opportunities and have tried to capture some of them in memory but also some quick photos from the car.... as here  ⤵︎ 

Admittedly they aren't particularly great photos ... but they're certainly enough to jog my memory and even, as with the last picture, the clouds give me ideas for paintings.

As an artist, I'm very inspired by other artists.  Oh the list is endless.  Artists copy other Artists, it's a given and I love watching artists work, in person and also through Youtube.  Some of you may remember that I have taken various 1 or up to 5 day Workshops...mainly those have been in Watercolour.  They have served me well and I've taken away (even a very small part) some gem or idea that has gone into my work. 

The same goes for Youtube and various artists including Stuart Davies (I've mentioned him before on this blog).  His Channel is full of inspiration, although he works his landscapes the same every time.  Not a bad thing, it has to be said, and one thing he points out is getting artists to 'relax and not worry about applying paint to canvas' - just go for it and not avoid going back over an old painting.  The old Masters used to do that a lot.  X-Ray's of their works have shown they painted over and changed their artwork several times.  Lets face it, they made mistakes or weren't happy with their art, like the rest of us.

I had a 12x12 inch canvas painting which wasn't working, so I gessoed over it.  And there it sat waiting for 'Something'.  Then the other day I had that "eureka moment" - or at least a moment of "Oh just get on with it".  That was enough for me to put lots of lovely juicy paint on my freshly cleaned palette (nothing like a clean palette to start me off) and within 30 minutes I had painted this one ↴

~ ann ~


Sunday, 27 June 2021

Plein air @ Arlington Court

As often as possible I go to Arlington Court to do some plein air painting...(you know that right, I go on about it enough).  Of course the weather does change my plans - early in the week the forecast looks good for a specific day I've chosen, and then on the day it is terrible!   Okay, I have to be flexible with my days, but generally I do find the day I have in mind works out.  Last week was such an occasion and although the sun didn't show itself, the rain stayed away...bonus Yes.

Having recently completed a view of the House itself, I moved slightly further down the path and turned around to face the church.  It appears between the trees in one particular spot and that's where I set up my easel.

Not all my efforts of setting up/easel/folding table/paint/brushes etc etc... were put into just this little postcard sized study, I did a couple of 8"x8" canvases, but didn't get around to taking photos of those in situ.  All the paintings will have to wait for the layer of paint to dry, then I can get them completed on my return visit - When... I WILL TRY TO REMEMBER TO TAKE A VIDEO AS WELL.  📽

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

On the easel

Waiting for this Oil painting to dry sufficiently to then go back and add some detail.  I don't think there will be too much to add, I don't want to overwork it.  At least leaving it for a week or two will enable me to look at it again with fresh eyes....that's when I'll know how and what to add.

Measures 8" x 16" inches (that's 20 x 40cm in foreign money). 

I've done a very short clip of this whilst it's drying on the easel and added it to my youtube here

Now to get on with some other paintings

 - be back soon -

Friday, 18 June 2021

It was a Giveaway

Last weeks painting session at Arlington Court had a change of plan.  The weather forecast was a bit grim towards the tail end of the week, so I opted to do my plein air painting session earlier in the week - thus beating the storm (which unsurprisingly didn't come to anything - the forecasters seem to have got it wrong, I wonder how that happened)!

But anyway, back to my painting session there.  Turned out to be a good day,  I had chosen a shaded area, which meant I didn't burn in the sun - Plus the painting I had started the other week, was completed...(I'll do a separate blogpost about it soon).   Added to all this, I gave away 3 paintings to some lovely visitors. These are the paintings, only small ones but there were reasons I didn't want to add them to my online shop...

Painting No. 1....  This measured 4x6inches on panel - 'The Lake at Arlington Court'  -  I had used it as a demo painting on my Youtube channel a while back - very quickly painted with no refined detailing, so felt it would make a good one to Giveaway.

Painting No. 2 ... again approx. 4x6inches but painted on cardboard (primed of course). A view across Exmoor - basically because it was on cardboard, I felt it would make a nice little Giveaway.

and finally

Painting No. 3 ... 5x7inches on panel.  This one was a piece copied from the American artist Turner Vinson (with his permission) of the Bitterroot River in Montana.  At the time I wanted to try out a completely different style, also out of my comfort zone, so what better than to try out an impressionist piece with very gestural marks and thick paint.  I enjoyed painting it, but felt I couldn't add it to my online shop, since it was a work from someone elses.  I did add the details on the reverse of this, so that the people who received this Giveaway, were fully informed (and I told them too).

During the painting session at Arlington, a lot of people stopped to chat.   No idea how, but you just get a feeling that some people would love to go home with a painting - for those, I delve into my art bag, and show them a painting, then say "here you are, it's yours".    If I said they are astonished and delighted, it would be an underestimate.   I seemed to have made their day, and hopefully they will always remember their Arlington visit.

Saturday, 12 June 2021

Commission artwork

Along with my regular plein air painting sessions at Arlington Court,  I have been doing some painting in my home study for them.  

They asked if I would be able to do a painting from a photograph.  This one is displayed in the Old Kitchen Tea Rooms, and depicts the scene from years ago before the Arlington estate went to the National Trust.   Here's the photo...

I like a challenge and set to scaling this image up from my reference photo of 4x6 inches to 16x24 inches - on canvas.

- Initial outlines and I added the darkest areas to start -

- Then the addition of some detail -

I think this is where I started to feel the painting was becoming something.

- Subtle additions where I add items to the table -
Some of the reference photo was blurry, so difficult to decide what was there. This is where artistic license came into play - plus I couldn't bring myself to add the dead pheasant and turned it into a loaf of bread!

 - Finally, when the above layer of paint had dried, I added a final glaze of green from the window -

and the

Completed painting

This had to sit for a couple of weeks to completely dry, (titled and signed on the back), then I took it over to Arlington and hoped they would like it.  As it was, they Loved it....phew what a relief.

It is now displayed in the Tea Rooms, the place where the scene originated.

Sunday, 6 June 2021


Last week saw Volunteers Week at Arlington Court, and in fact for the National Trust generally.  A chance to show people the various roles that Volunteers do for the Trust, and hopefully encourage others to start volunteering too.  So, I guess it was inevitable that whilst I was plein air painting, I got hijacked into doing an interview!  To be honest, I could have said No (and nearly did), but thought it was only going to be a brief moment of total humiliation and I could cope with that.  

So, me the introvert, compromised with only briefly talking and then took the opportunity to face the easel and pretend the camera wasn’t there!   

(Thanks M who filmed this, you were so patient).

And now all I can say is click the image below to see the interview, and I would like to point out that I don’t look like me…why is that!?, and it doesn’t sound like me either…I think they used photoshop, lol.

Saturday, 5 June 2021

A sunny painting day

I've missed a few painting sessions at Arlington Court recently, one main reason was due to the weather...somehow I couldn't see myself trying to hold down the easel in a ferocious gale.  

So, finally I was very pleased to get back there yesterday.  If you click the final image there's a little screenshot video....enjoy!

~ Thought the painting was beginning to blend with the background ~

~ click ⤵︎ ~

My Youtube channel:   Ann Hyde - Painting Diaries