Saturday, March 29, 2008

Prawns After Ando Hiroshige

Watercolour after Ando Hiroshige woodblock print - 18.5 x 14.5 cm

Way too many distractions in my life at present, so art suffers. I've managed to move on to the second page of my folded sketchbook (see previous post). This is just a detail from a larger print by Hiroshige.

Anyone who is inspired to see what a study of Japanese art and artists can do for their own work will be greatly assisted by visiting Katherine Tyrrell's blog Making a Mark. I certainly would enjoy some company on this project. Katherine has conveniently gathered all her posts about Japanese Art in one place here. Thank you Katherine!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Flowers and Fishes Japanese Style

After Ando Hiroshige - 14cmx19cm watercolour sketchbook

I am loving the exploration of Nineteenth Century Japanese art by Katherine Tyrrell on her blog Making a Mark. Katherine is well into this journey while I am still nibbling around the edges of her wonderful links. Yesterday Katherine posted a beautiful coloured pencil study of a trout after Joseph Crawhall, one of the western artists influenced by the Japanese in the Early Twentieth Century.

Yesterday, being Good Friday, was obviously the day for fish because I discovered Ando Hiroshige's Grand Series of Fishes and fell in love with this strange but beautiful combination of flowers and fishes. I imagine these prints also influenced Joseph Crawhall all those years ago.

I have decided to devote the folded watercolour sketchbook I made from instructions posted by Nina Johnannsson to my study of Japonisme.

If I manage to fill the whole book, I can open it out into a single full watercolour sheet of paintings. The paper I used is rather heavy as it is inclined to keep springing open with a mind of its own. Next time I will try a lighter paper. But thank you Nina, I love it!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Resident of Rome

Watercolour HP paper 21 x 28 cm

I thought of calling this post The Unloved, because they largely are, poor pigeons. I'm rather fond of them and have great admiration for their impeccable taste in real estate. They live at all the best addresses: Piazza S. Marco, Piazza Di Spagna and even here, in the tower at Castiglion Fiorentino.

I'm still not quick enough to get a meaningful sketch of a pigeon on the run. I photographed this little fellow in Piazza Farnese in Rome. I painted him in the sketchbook made for me by Marta.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Daffodil Disaster

Watercolour and Oil Pastel

I brought a beautiful bunch of daffodils back from Jean's farm last week, full of anticipation about painting them. Meantime I tried to progress the Botticelli oil portrait I've been working on for weeks. I think I'm in a bit of an End Of Winter Slump where nothing much is going right. Anyway, the day before yesterday I finally sketched my daffodils, then life got in the way again and by the time I got back to them this morning, they were well and truly dead. I made a halfhearted attempt to finish the watercolour but it was a disaster. Tried to rescue it by adding some bold oil pastels. Unfortunately 'the patient' died.

Why am I posting this? I'm hoping I will be motivated to move on and do something else so it doesn't have to sit on my blog too long. Anyone else having an EOWS?

Daffodils blooming under apricot trees at the farm.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Sweet Sixteen

Snowy - aged 16

Snowy celebrates her 16th birthday today.

She's living proof that you're never too old to travel! Or learn a foreign language.
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