Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Busy, busy, Treasure Tree, busy.

Well I've been so busy with animations on The Treasure Tree that I haven't had time to paint with the real stuff. I'm getting a bit crabby so I must do so soon!

This is the end of a scene from Daniel in the Lion's Den. King Darius can't sleep because Daniel is in with the lions and he thinks he's being eaten.

The scene starts in the dark with the king tossing and turning, losing his pillow, etc until morning. All the odd shapes (round the edges) don't show on the animation stage just on this image.

I do some illustrations in Adobe Illustrator CS3 and bring them into Flash CS3. It's CS4 now.
The remainder are done in Flash and animated there too.

Do you get grumpy when you can't paint? I'd love to know that I'm not the only one. Perhaps you have ways  and means of dealing with it? Please do tell.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Sir Cedric Morris Iris's

 Iris 'Benton Dierdre' (watercolour 12"x11")
I did a quick watercolour to illustrate this post. It's nice to go between different media. I used 140lb rough paper for this but had tried out colours on a cheaper 90lb paper watercolour pad. I tend to keep the pad for my for 'fiddling' as I call it. Somewhere where I can just paint and play about, test colours and generally get to know better how watercolour reacts, without the pressure of producing a painting as such.

This is one of the irises I bought last Sunday at the NCCPG  (National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens) plant sale at Helmingham Hall from Sarah Cook. Sarah was head gardener of the beautiful National Trust owned gardens at  Sissinghurst  in Kent  for 14yrs. After finding one of Sir Cedric Morris's iris seedlings in a border her passion began. Sarah, upon early retirement, decided to search high and low for lost Sir Cedric Morris irises. Many iris seedlings were bought at Benton End where Sir Cedric Morris opened the East Anglian School of Painting in 1937 and held annual sales of the irises he had bred. You never know you may have one in your garden! I'm sure Sarah Cook would like an email if you do as she holds the national collection of Sir Cedric Morris iris introductions.

The irises I bought are pretty much just rhizomes at the moment but I'll be painting them in oils, in situ, when they are in all their glory next spring  (as ever in gardening though, hopefully!).

Monday, 21 September 2009

My Easy Clean Palette

I thought I'd share an idea I had which seems to work well. I use a piece of perspex (clear acrylic sheeting) as a palette. The trouble was that I had to scrape all the dried oil paint off, far too often for my liking so now I just cover it in cling film (food wrap). Wrap it right round, that's easiest.  When it gets too messy I just cut down a couple of sides with a craft knife and throw it away. The sheet is then ready for some more wrap.

Don't forget to save any spare workable paint first on scrap of paper or something.

I spent a beautiful afternoon at Helmingham Hall Gardens in Suffolk yesterday at a plant sale but I'm going to tell you about that later this week. It has a lot to do with Sir Cedric Morris and tall bearded irises.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Sticky Fingers

Remember when you were a child and you thought nothing of sticking your fingers or hands into the wet, sticky paint and splattering, smoothing or streaking it across whatever surface was available?

Well there comes a time, in the process of making art, when there is nothing for it but to stick your fingers in the paint and apply with great and wonderful abandon!

I do it all the time. Go on I dare you. Could you?  

Monday, 14 September 2009

The Artist's Cat in the Artist's Garden

                                                        The Artist's Cat in the Artist's Garden 
                                                                  Oil on board  28"x 24"
It's not a matter of changing one thing for as soon as you make a mark you have to make another somewhere else to balance the first one.That's why painting isn't as simple as some people think!

I worked on the painting as a whole rather than just the seat and ground underneath.
Our cat is actually white (mostly) but because here he is in the shade with only little patches of light on him he actually looks far from white.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


Quote by Andrew Wyeth "Artists today think of everything they do as a work of art. It is important to forget about what you are doing – then a work of art may happen."

Don't be precious about your work. If you have worked on a painting, it's not good and you know it, throw it away or paint over it.

The next one will be all the better for having worked that one.

If you think it's good keep it for 6 months. If it's still good frame it. You may find your idea of good has changed though. Then throw it!

Friday, 4 September 2009

Right For Now

Here I've used the painting knife so the whole is unified. I like the reflected light (I'll talk about that another time) under the seat and patches of light on the cat. I'll leave it a while and see.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

My Father

15 years ago today my artist father, Cyril Hamersma, died. He was an amazing, encouraging, innovative and complex character. http://hamersma-uk.blogspot.com/ This site created by my sister Bern Ross http://artontheburn.blogspot.com/ shows much of that. . . Miss him.

September Art Tips

* Always look at your painting in a mirror. Any mistakes will show up more easily.
* Squint at your painting. You'll see tones better. Always light against dark, dark against light.
* Use baby wipes to clean oil paint from your hands. It's much kinder :-)

Still Putting it Right

I've almost finished 'The Artist's Cat in the Artist's Garden' but the photo was blurry so I'll take another one tomorrow. I expect I'll have to leave it a while to 'cook' where I can't see it and then when I look at it again with fresh eyes, anything that jarrs will stand out.