Rather a windy and cold Easter but I have been out painting most of the time. The River Nene at Wadenhoe provides many subjects and I have come away with a dozen or so virtually completed paintings. Painting in dull weather forces a concentration on tones which is rewarding but surprisingly difficult. Getting distant trees dark enough to sit upright but not too dark that they jump forward is the challenge for me. Adding even darker darks in the foreground helps – a tip I got from Michael Richardson at one of his workshops in Margate over a year ago now. Where did that time go?
Pleased with my plein-air painting set-up having “shaken it down” over the winter. I have narrowed down the range of paints, brushes and extras that I take. This means I can take my gear every time I leave the house, including commuting to work.
On Sunday I went off to the Ely to have a go at some large skies featuring the cathedral. Big mistake as the wind was bitter so I wimped out and painted a few sitting in the car as it slowly filled up with fumes from the oil paints.
The other excuse to venture that way was to visit a local professional artist Stuart Green. I really enjoyed seeing the wide range of paintings that he creates and in particular interested to see how he uses oil pastels and oil bars to such creative ways. I was intrigued to see how he developed a number of very different paintings for a single sketch. This has got me thinking of new ways I could work from the dozens of sketch books I have filled over the years. I really appreciated the time Stuart spent talking to me and showing me round his studio, and I would encourage others to visit him when he takes part in July’s Cambridge Open Studios.