Sunday, 11 December 2011

November Postcard

This is my November Postcard to Martin - How to draw a tree .

"Bridget Hunter sent me a nice card with a tree grove in typical Scottish colors. She critically reflects her latest ambitions in playing golf which at present mainly seems to be an excuse to have coffee and a giggle at the club house after a couple of golf balls have been buried between the tree trunks. She calls that exercise.

I think that it is this tabooless exchange of international customs that contributes a lot to the excitement in this postcard exchange. I am impressed by the quality of the gouache which arrived here in perfect condition. Thanks Bridget and good luck with golfing :)."

This was sent as part of the postcard exchange featured on the Blog - Postcard from my Walk.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Sketching in a train

View from a Train
Gouache on paper  2011

I travelled by train to London in September and spent some of the journey trying to sketch landscapes seen through the window. It was a bit frantic I suppose - trying to remember what I'd just seen and getting it down as quickly as possible in either pencil or watercolour. Luckily I was beside an empty seat!
I've now been working with the sketches as a resource, using gouache on paper, to see if one of them might work as an oil painting.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Alloway Auld Kirk

Spent an Autumn afternoon hunkered down beside the gravestones at Alloway Auld Kirk to sketch this card in Acrylic for Liz in Australia - Liz and Borromini  So glad it arrived safely as a previous card disappeared into the pit of the lost post.

From Postcard from my Walk

"Today I received this amazing postcard from Bridget.

It is of the church in the village of Alloway – the setting for Robert Burn's poem Tam O’Shanter. Although I am in love with Scotland and been there 9 times in the past 12 years, I have only had limited exposure to Burns and did not know this poem at all. Of course I have looked it up now

She prophesied that late or soon,Thou wad be found, deep drown'd in Doon,Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk,By Alloway's auld, haunted kirk.
Just wish I had someone with a lovely thick Scottish accent to read me the whole poem!"
  Liz and Borromini

Sunday, 20 November 2011

A lesson learned - hopefully.

Its been all change - rearranged, repainted, trying to get back to why I wanted to paint this. What was the initial inspiration? It was the cloth - the lovely red scattered with the pattern of flowers. 
So that's what I've tried to recapture, taking away the green pattern and lessening the number of colours and simplifyig the objects so hopefully the red will be the main impact.

I've learned one big lesson - try to discipline myself to plan out arrangements, to make a good composition before I even think about lifting a paintbrush.
And also not to blog until I've actually got a painting that's finished and works!!!!

But thankyou for all the helpful comments along the way which have spurred me on rather than to abandon it as a hopeless case.

Friday, 18 November 2011

The rise and fall of a still life!

Lots of changes - replaced the jug for a white one, defined the shadows, raised the horizon and added a knife -felt it needed something different from all those circular elements. And added a half lemon. But  I think its lost the initial rush of excitement, its getting overworked and lost are those first brushstrokes defining the folds in the cloth. I want to go back into it and scruff it up a bit and try to get that feeling back visually of the first bold strokes when all things felt possible. 

David Donalson  "Rosie" 1985

One of the most inspiring exhibitions I've seen recently was "Celebration of a Painter" showing the works of David Donaldson RSA RA RGI LLD  1916 - 1996. This was one of my favourite paintings there. I love how he used reds.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Anne Redpath using red

The Red Cloth in progress

Decisions, descisions. Put paint on, scrape paint off. Gone are the white begonias and in are a few poppies which are miraculously blooming in the garden again - in November! I've kept the plums, now in a white dish, added a grapefruit and some lemons and a couple of favourite things belonging to my grandmother - the tiny coffee cup, because its white, and a toby jug, because it has the same plum colour. The poppies too are descendents of my grandmother's plant. So a bit of a hotchpot still. And its a bit daunting now I've started to blog this but its also keeping me thinking instead of rashly having fun with paint!

But I'm looking at how others used red and found again these two paintings by Scottish painter Anne Redpath 1895 - 1965.

Anne Redpath Spanish Candlestick  1953

Anne Redpath  The Portuguese Cockerel  1962

And maybe I'll be less concerned about what to include after reading Anne's words in Patrick Bourne's book "Redpath"

"They are a mixture, but have all been chosen by me, and therefore they live together, I think, quite happily and, well, they all have memories, too, you see."

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Red material in a still life.

Red material circa 1967

Found a piece of red material bought in the 60s when, as a student, I'd made lots of clothes on an old treadle machine! My thoughts now were that it would be wonderful to paint rather than wear, and the only way to do that was to use it in a still life. But arranging a still life is one of those things that drives me to distraction - I'm never happy- and spend ages changing and rearranging, searching through art books hoping the magic of Cezanne and Matisse will somehow transfer to me. Anyway above was my first try. I liked the purple plums against the red, and the white begonias which were similar to the pattern on the cloth.

Oil paints ready.

Cadmium Red, Permanent Rose, Chrome Yellow,Yellow Ochre,Ultramarine Blue, Ceruleum, White.

Making a start

At this initial lay in I'm working very fast and trying out lots of ideas. I'm loving painting the cloth but everything else is a hotchpotch of objects. I mean, just where did the green teapot come from and will it stay?

But tomorrow is another day and for now the paint is too wet to do any more..

Monday, 7 November 2011

November sketch.

November Trees
Bridget Hunter 2011

The sun is shining, the first light frosts are here and the Autumn colours are glorious. So packed my sketching kit, met Dorothy ( and went to Rozelle pond. This is an attempt to capture a small part of the scene in watercolour.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Another of the ten

Still Life with Cherries
Oil on board  8 x 6"
Bridget Hunter 2011


Another of the ten small paintings for The Whitehouse Gallery.  I used an old painting - posted on blog previously - as the resource for this wee work. I wanted to see what happened if I painted it again on a smaller scale and using the softer brushes once more. The one obvious change is the bowl which went its own road to become white and a different shape entirely. I think there was a bit of "the devil may care" attitude going on here !!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

A Small Painting.

Red for Summer
 Oil on board  8 x 6"
Bridget Hunter 2011

I've almost finished 10 small paintings for the Christmas Show " Little Wonderland" at The Whitehouse Gallery, Kirkcudbright. I used watercolour brushes with thinner oil paint this time and enjoyed the way the paint could be applied more fluidly and which allowed more direct drawing with the brush. This is not the usual way for me as I normally love the thick butteriness of the medium. 

Friday, 14 October 2011

A postcard to Katherine

This is the postcard I sent to Katherine 
 (MAKING A MARK) in London. It shows part of the Topiary garden at Chateau Dumas where I recently spent a week with Joan Lawson and her painting school.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Sketching in France.

Have just returned from a painting trip with friends at the Chateau Dumas in south west France. The weather was glorious, the food amazing, the Chateau beautiful, the company wonderful. Here are some pages from my sketchbook done in and around the Chateau.

The Chateau

Hopefully some may end up as painting subjects.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Going by the Arran Ferry.

Victoria's Shoes.

Oil on board  10 x 12"
Bridget Hunter 2011

A painting being collected tomorrow by Lesley, the manager of Arran Art Gallery, to hang in the lovely island gallery there. Its based on some gouache sketches I did recently. Hope, for Lesley's sake,  the Arran ferry's back on schedule after the gales we've been having.

Friday, 9 September 2011

A Painting for the Raffle Prize.

Ballet Shoes
Oil on canvas  
Bridget Hunter 2011

A painting done for the raffle prize at the Save the Children 2011 Exhibition.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

The first ever oil.

Just a bowl of Cherries

Oil on board 10x12'
Bridget Hunter  1996

I'm needing a 10 x 12" frame for a new painting and hoped to reuse one. I'd forgotten this painting hanging on the stair wall and the frame was just the thing. I then realised that it was probably one of the first ever oil paintings I did way back in 1996. Looking at it now I think there are too many hard edges and why did I make that diagonal of blue? I remember trying so hard to get the ellipse right - I hate painting ellipses. And there's a rash of blue highlights going on!
Its been interesting to see how my work has changed, though obviously I've always been inspired by colour!  I think people are right when they advise us to keep old work and sometimes look back to see the changes. 

Sunday, 7 August 2011

A Postcard for August

This was the August postcard I sent to Desiree     in California. It"s done in acrylic on watercolour paper and shows a cornfield at Culzean Castle. It's one of my favourite places to sketch and paint and also to take the grandchildren for an outing.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

A sketching place

 One of my favourite sketching places is the nearby fishing village of Dunure.

There's a great little icecream shop there too.

But amongst the stories of Dunure castle there's the gruesome tale of the Abbot of Crossraguel Abbey who was roasted alive in the castle dungeons in an attempt to procure Abbey lands. Happily he was rescued and seemingly lived well into his 80's !

Dunure Castle & Mary, Queen of Scots

Friday, 22 July 2011

Pictures for an Exhibition.

Winter Grasses Loch Doon

Coffee at Cluny

The Sheep Track Loch Doon


Ayr Sketch Club Annual Exhibition 2011

The annual exhibition in the Maclaurin Galleries is from 24 July till 21 Aug 2011
See you there if you can manage. 
The gallery can be found at the following address.
The Maclaurin Galleries
Rozelle Park
Monument Road

I have the 3 paintings above in the Ayr Sketch Club 110th Annual Exhibition.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A Postcard for July

A bit of my Garden

Acrylic on Watercolour Paper   5 x 7"
Bridget Hunter 2011

Our Sketchercise group continue to send postcards from around the world.  I've a lovely collection so far and all so varied. This month my postcard to Ronelle Africantapestry in France shows part of my garden.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Painting over a painting!

The Sheep Track, Loch Doon
Bridget Hunter 2011
Oil on canvas 24 x 20"

I had a painting in an exhibition in February and from the moment it was on the Gallery wall I was desperate to scrape off areas and try again to get my initial response to the place back. I've quoted Richard Diebenken 's words on my Blog - about being terribly disappointed with a painting and struggling to the point of "destroying it partially or wholly".

So now the painting's back home that's what I've done. It's out of the frame and paint's been wiped off, scraped off, sanded even and new paint's been added with fingers, rags, brushes, knife. I think this is more like the place - or at least how I saw it. Think, though,  I'd best turn it to the wall before I touch another thing and I'll away and hit a golf ball !

The first version.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Out with the bling.

Bling is the right word - being ostentatious, flashy, flamboyant. At least that's how I describe my animal print shoes. I like to do a bit of bling now and again - a sort of minor rebellion against being this age and seeing me turning into mother in the mirror- and my way is with shoes. I must add that my wee mum was the most delightful of women who "blinged" in her own quiet way.
 But sometimes bling can be painful and that's the way with these stiletto heel shoes. So they're off to the charity shop. But I had to draw them before I bid them goodbye as a reminder that I once owned such a pair.

So they've been sketched in pencil and painted in gouache and maybe they'll appear in oil one day.
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