Tuesday 9 November 2010

Lake District

I've been very lucky to have had the opportunity to be on a painting course in the Lake District, England. Though the weather is freezing, the tutors Jenny Wheatley and Mike Chaplin are great - so its lots of laughter and working fast until fingers go numb!

Saturday 6 November 2010

Ten to go plus a small foot!

Bridget Hunter 2010

The ten little paintings were collected from the framer, who wrapped them in cellophane for protection, and I took them earlier today to The Whitehouse Gallery, Kirkcudbright for their Christmas Exhibition of small works.
Grandaughter was, as always, trying to help and I've somehow shown her foot  - but its all part of the fun chaos that is my life. So the foot stays!!!

Friday 29 October 2010

Painting in the attic!

Just thought I'd post photos of my painting place - which is above the kitchen. I call it the attic but its really light with 4 velux windows and a French door at the far end. Its very cluttered - things I can't part with such as old child's high chair and 3 chairs that I like the shape of. The red dress is something I'd like to create paintings of - but that's a future plan!
It also doubles up as a spare bedroom!!!!!

Great news for me is that I sold both paintings at The Macmillan Cancer Charity. So what did I do - bought an ipad from the Apple Store. Now I've got to teach myself how to use it to justify the spending- why do I do these things - the stress of technology!!!!

Monday 25 October 2010

Kitchen Window

Bridget Hunter 2010

This sketch was done because I'd like to try some paintings looking through windows .I've recently come across the work of Jenny Wheatley and am looking to find other artists' work with the same compositional ideas.Perhaps other people could suggest some artists to look at. This would be a new idea for me - still life and landscape combined.

Friday 22 October 2010

Small Pond at Culzean

Oil  8 x 6"
Bridget Hunter 2010

Bright sunlight and greens - reflected in pond which was really quite dark compared to trees. Added some mauves as a contrast. Hopefully it works. I'm still finding these small works challenging -  trying to keep it lively.

Thursday 21 October 2010

Ardnamurchan Light

Acrylic  8 x 6"
Bridget Hunter 2010

Next painting for Whitehouse Gallery's Christmas Show. I'm at last becoming familiar with Acrylics - the fast drying time, the slight colour changes from wet to dry - but I like using it thin then adding thicker sections. And the Arylics I've now got have a fairly buttery consistency. Another 6 works to go!!!

Thursday 14 October 2010

Amaryllis and Friends

Oil on board  12 x 12"
Bridget Hunter  2010

I love Amaryllis , especially the red variety - the hot reds of the petals combined with the cool reds in the shadow areas and the deep darks inside the trumpets. This painting is going to THE MACMILLAN CANCER SUPPORT EXHIBITION at Threave Castle, Castle Douglas tomorrow as well as Rum, Muck and Dark Blue also shown in this post. The exhibition runs from 16th - 31st october.

Oil on board  24 x 20"
Bridget Hunter 2010

Rum,Muck and Dark Blues

Ardnamurchan and Moon

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Farmhouse at Loch Doon.


Oil on Board  8 x 8"
Bridget Hunter 2010

Second small work for gallery. This time back to the wilds of Loch Doon and one of the blackfaced sheep farms. A hard way of life in that part of the world. 
And thankyou to all the people who add such encouraging and perceptive comments to my posts.

Thursday 7 October 2010

Boat at Portpatrick

Acrylic on board  8 x 6"
Bridget Hunter 2010

It's back to acrylic again because I've 10 paintings to be delivered to a gallery by 5th November for a mixed Christmas exhibition of small works. And they have to be framed !! As I've never painted work as small as The daily Painters regularly do its a challenge of a different sort. This is a first effort. One down - 9 to go. So much for retirement !

Thursday 16 September 2010

Acharacle and Blue Sea -on purple.

I didn't think to be painting these views again but when I found a forgotten board which had a purplish ground I wondered how the blues would work on it. It was a bit of an experiment but I'm happy with the way its come together - the ground colour has added a new dimension coming through here and there. I don't usually work on a base colour but its made me want to experiment some more.  I was asked to exhibit two paintings in The Save The Children Charity exhibition and have decided  to submit this as one of my works.

Oil on board 20 x 24"
Bridget Hunter 2010

Friday 3 September 2010

Walking in Twilight. But not really!

Kirkcudbright Exhibition 2010

This week I took part in an exhibition in a small harbour town called Kirkcudbright, which was very popular in the early 20th century with many Scottish artists. It still retains its art connections with a good number of galleries and  I submitted 8 works to show. The photo shows me trying to hang the paintings - not easy to get them in line!!!

Walking in Twilight is one of the works - though photo not good! But, though its a place I often walk, I've actually never seen it in twilight.So its not plein air1  I've tried painting at that time  but found it hard to actually see the colours on my palette as the light faded. So I've used remembered colours to depict the moonlight and how it can "silver" everything. Its different from most of my paintings as its really based on greys and  I'd like to work in these shades again.


Friday 27 August 2010

Our Backyard

Oil on board 10 x 10"
Bridget Hunter 2005

Talking about paintings and emotions again!  This small work is in the present exhibition but isn't for sale. The memories of time and place are too precious,  having been done at my old home at a time of great loss.  Being in our garden on that particular day and recording it in paint was a way of getting through,  though strangely, I don't think this is reflected in the work. I loved the view up towards the back of the house and the slightly chaotic nature of the garden planting. I remember working quickly to get the image down as fast as possible before the clouds changed the tones of the shadows.
I recently saw a painting by Maggie Hambling of her mother on her deathbed and found the image has stayed with me - I find it a painting of great beauty in the way the artist has handled her subject, a tribute almost from daughter to mother. Maybe others would read it differently.

Sunday 22 August 2010

Emotions and a cliff.

I read that emotions play a large part in successful painting - that we need to have some kind of emotional response to the subject. For me it's usually light conditions that have transformed a colour and I feel the need to record it in paint. But can emotions also have a negative effect? There's a place that I've sketched in pencil and watercolour and have tried to use these to make a painting. Its a strong scene,  a place of crashing sea and soaring birds and deep aubergine cliffs. The work in oil started well but I've reached a complete standstill - because my emotional response to the place has changed. Initially it was a happy place for me but now all my emotions are negative because of later negative memories . My brushstrokes reflect this and do not dance. The creative process is blocked. Yet, visiting an exhibition of works by The Glasgow Boys I saw a watercolour showing a horse being gored at a bullfight, by Joseph Crawhill, who abhored the cruelty he believed he was seeing. Its a very strong image and shows his emotional response. So should I persevere at present - or wait until a future time when I hope I can remember my initial response to the colours and strength of the place instead?

The exhibition, The Glasgow Boys, is at The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow - and is breathtaking.  www.glasgowmuseums.com

Thursday 19 August 2010

Les Charrieres with Blue Shutters.

Acrylic on board 12 x 10"  .
Bridget Hunter 2010

This painting was done plein air in Burgundy, using acrylic which, even though I was working in shade, was drying very fast and needed fast working - I much prefer working into wet paint! Les Charriers was a beautiful old house where we stayed for 4 nights run by Florence and her artist husband. Everywhere, inside and outside, there were painting subjects. I've tried to capture the shabby chic Frenchness of the building which I found so appealing. But I have only included part of the front of the house. I've got some photos of the interior and would like to try using them as source material for other paintings.This painting is in the exhibition but I adjusted the angle of the stairs, after this photo was taken and before it was framed, realising it wasn't quite right !!

Saturday 14 August 2010

Exhibition opens!

Our exhibition opened today and it was very well attended. People were really kind and we were all thrilled by the positive comments. Two outcomes for me were that  a gallery owner asked me to take part in a mixed gallery artists' Christmas exhibition and that I sold two large paintings. What a day!

Friday 13 August 2010

Landscape in Burgundy with vines.

Oil on board  30 x 24"
Bridget Hunter 2010

The exhibition opening on Saturday looms closer and I want to take all my works back and try again!
I think of Van Gogh saying  "Just dash something down if you see a blank canvas staring at you with a certain imbecility. You don't know how paralyzing it is, that staring of a blank canvas which says to the painter : you don't know anything." That's what it felt like knowing I needed all these paintings by a certain date- dashing it down. This work was framed while still damp ! But luckily its a Scottish habit to frame under glass .

Tuesday 10 August 2010

The Loire in July

Oil on board  28 x 24"
Bridget Hunter  2010

The exhibition - Six Ayrshire Artists - starts this Saturday in The McLaurin Galleries, Ayr. We six were asked to illustrate a business calendar 3 years ago with  paintings. This led to great friendships, which has, in turn,  led to a joint exhibition featuring 10/12  paintings each. Having just recently returned from a trip to France the whole thing has been a frantic painting and framing experience. The others have been far better organised! But I always put myself under this kind of pressure. Will I never learn? However, France has given me new source material and the painting above is going into the exhibition. The Loire valley was vast and parts of it had grain fields which stretched way into the horizon. The impression was a deep yellow under a bright blue sky. I was able to do some watercolour sketching and used these as references. Tomorrow the paintings go to the gallery where we'll meet, try to instill each other with confidence and then have much wine for lunch. Its a scary business, exhibiting!

Wednesday 4 August 2010


Did it! Drove 3168 miles round France. Memories - good wine, great coffee, picking and eating fruit from trees, sunflowers, painting in the shade, being made welcome, long lazy meals with great conversations, being lost, finding wonderful shabby chic small hotels, glad of having a car with airconditioning, diverse landscapes.

Sunday 4 July 2010

All change!

The Table Top in Spring painting in previous post is no more - once I'd seen it here 'blogged' I knew it wasn't how I'd wanted it. I'd overdone everything. I got too involved in applying paint and lost the initial inspiration. So paint has been scraped off, sand papered away, and will try again another day. But not giving up - just want it to be less defined and more about impressions.

The two paintings above are the same subject - left is study done in gouache while in Spain last year, right is 10 x 12 oil painting done at home. Heading for France and decided to take acrylics but also a retarder to slow drying time. I hope to begin another Blog about sketching as I find it a good way to get to know about a subject before painting - and I just like drawing. And I'm learning that sketches are pieces of artwork in themselves.

Sunday 20 June 2010

The Art of the Landscape: British Council - Landscape Art Collection

The Art of the Landscape: British Council - Landscape Art Collection

Acharachle with Blue Skies

Oil on board   28 x 24"  
Bridget Hunter  2010

This may be the last painting from my week in Ardnamurchan - Acharachle being the name of the furthermost part of the peninsula. I have other sketches and ideas but I'd like to do some more small still life work just now - bit like sketching in paint and practising looking closely. I enjoyed painting this, at least applying the paint, which meant it took on its own life as it progressed and ended up a recollection of  remembered colours. But I think that's my problem  - the application of paint is like a kind of dance and it can become almost heady - and its nothing to do with the turpentine vapours. But then so many end up disasters and in the bin. Am I alone in feeling like this I wonder?


Monday 14 June 2010

Dark sea at Sana

Oil on board  24 x 20                  
Bridget Hunter  2010

The vagaries of a Scottish May! It was either sharp showers or patches of strong sunshine all day. I started blocking in the main shapes and colours in Acrylic but despite hiding under a plastic sheet the rain made the paint run. The plastic sheet caused the shore sheep alarm too. But got some more work done later in the day though I had to finish it at home, again using oils which I much prefer. The sky and sea were very dark which made the sands even whiter. It was such a painterly subject - the colours and the contrasts. Sana is a tiny village across the bay from our holiday cottage - no cars are allowed into the village itself. It's a mixture of a few new homes and one or two old crofts. One day I hope to go back.



Monday 7 June 2010

Blue sea at Portuairk

Oil on board  24 x 20
Bridget Hunter 2010

This work was blocked in at the location in acrylic then finished at home using oils. There's just something about the buttery consistency of oils, the way it can be manipulated that I find I don't experience with faster drying acrylics. However, that may change when I try the acrylic retarder gel - which I'm still trying to source. I hope I haven't lost anything by completing it later but admit I may have intensified the 'blues'. Its my memories of the place though - how I saw it - turquoise and creams.


Saturday 5 June 2010

Rosie's Choice

Oil on board  10 x 12
Bridget Hunter 2009

" It takes two to paint. One to paint, the other to stand by with an axe to kill him before he spoils it."     William Merrit Chase

I've been working on paintings from recent holiday as I need 20 paintings for two exhibitions in August. But when the pressure's on nothing seems to work out. And then I labour too much and end up scraping more paint off than I put on. I'm almost scared to look at paintings the next day knowing I'll be disappointed and it'll be all start again! The quote above seems to fit my situation perfectly!!!
So posting this small work from a wee while ago. Rosie insisted on having red boots and I couldn't resist painting the colour.

Friday 28 May 2010

Rum, Muck and White Sands.

Acrylic on board  20 x 16
Bridget Hunter 2010

This is the painting in the photo - finished at at home ! There were a few marks I always feel the need to add and lost my small brush somewhere whilst clambering over the rocks. But that's the way it always is with me - think I'm organised but never am! I once used Ribena as medium when sketching as I'd forgotten the water. But the watercolour sketches had a nice rosy glow even though the sugar attracted a fair amount of insects. Life plein air !


Wednesday 26 May 2010

Eigg, Rum and shore sheep.

Acrylic on board   10 x 12"
Bridget Hunter 2010

This small oil painting was done outside working quickly as the weather was sun and showers! There was a flock of hardy sheep which grazed on the grassy patches along the shore and this will be an abiding memory of our holiday at Ardnamuchan. When the tide came in they wandered in and out of gardens or sat on the single track road claiming it as their own. This was the view from the cottage window with the islands of Rum and Eigg across the water- hence the title. I'd taken acrylics as I thought it would make cleaning up easier and the works would be dry for taking home- my Mini car has a very small boot! However, I like working with wet paint and wished I had taken a gel retarder to slow down the drying time. I was told about this useful medium there. I live and learn !!! .
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