Spring here is pretty busy but I didnt want to forget to do a few painting exercises! These two sketches were done alla prima which in italian means at ‘first attempt’ while painting with wet paint on top of wet paint and giving myself 40 mins max for each. I tried to catch just the gesture of the subjects using thick paint in some areas and leaving the darker areas with less. It is a fun and fast way to paint and I found it a good exercise in trying to be confident in putting down each brushstroke and then leaving it, a way which will hopefully earn me in the future to be a quicker painter! Using subjects that are constantly moving is another interesting way to work as you need to remember what you see because when you look back up at the subject from putting down a brushstroke it has changed yet again!
A few wonderful facts about the Mimosa:
1. It lights up the winter with its bright yellow flowers
2. It inspires a delicious recipe for an italian cream cake called Torta Mimosa.
3. A champagne cocktail is named after it (one part champagne and one part fruit juice).
However when I came to painting the tree it was almost as frustrating as trying to spread cold butter on an even colder pancake!
With the arrival of Spring I am looking forward again to planting the seeds of these pumpkins, sunflowers and the sweetcorn which were growing in our vegetable patch last Autumn.
Even though some of us are waiting for Spring, in Southern Australia Autumn has only just begun!
Below are a series of still life paintings that I did in the studio during 2008-2013. Those were the days when I could leave things untouched on a table to paint because now I share my ‘studio’ with a hurricane called Two Small Monsters! Although the mess on the ground does make for some inspiring compositions its a matter of time to capture it, you have to be quick.