Sunday, July 31, 2011

Some paintings from London: tourist painting

The Houses of Parliament, Westminster, oil on card, about 10 x 12 cm

Saint Paul's, London, oil on card, about 10 x 12 cm

Tower Bridge, London, oil on card, about 12 x 10 cm

Three paintings done in London, which satistisfy the definition of "tourist painting" to me, in that they are very much set-piece views, immediately recognisable. I don't mean the term pejoratively

It is excellent to work from the south side of the Thames. As one goes east the tourists thin out, and it's easy enough to find a peaceful spot. The north side of the river is almost a showcase of London history, with views of the Tower, St Pauls, Parliament and so forth. 

I worried that because these scenes are so well known it would be hard for me to find my own angle, and that the paintings would become twee, and had speculated that it might be better to oncentrate on more obscure, perhaps more readily "personalisable" views in the suburbs (some of which I shall post tomorrow).

However, I feel that I have managed- what matters, as ever in painting, is to be attentive to what really is there, as oposed to what one supposes should be there. And the skies of London are extraordinary for the capacity to change mood rapidly- a vital subject in itself.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Three Scottish still lives

Still life with the black cat, oil on card, about 10 x 9 cm

Still life with yellow flowers, oil on card, about 10 x 9 cm

Still life with red flowers and the Chinese rider, oil on card, about 10 x 9 cm

These pictures were painted in Aberdeen: it was too cold to go outside.

I've tried to paint still lives in Brasil but they don't work out- the sort of introverted "gothic" still life, with it's Redonesque aspects is so much a product of an introversion, sometimes an unhappiness, that seems particular to cold Northern Europe. There seems something very peculiar about staying in to paint cut flowers when the sun outside is so welcoming, and there are flowers covering the hillsides!

The third photo in particular leaves something to be desired: I have left these paintings in the UK in Scotland and was unable to properly check their quality before leaving (I was also foolish enough not to record their sizes so the sizes given are approxomate). But such shiny dark painted surfaces are always hard to capture well.

Back to base

 Paintings from the Spey Valley leg of my trip: there are also som pictures from London, Brasil, and two still lives painted in Aberdeen.


Many pictures later, a good run of experiences and good news.

The trip had three stages: Taubate, Brasil,  London, The Spey Valley, Scotland and then London again.

I shall be posting the best of these in three postings. I also painted some little still lives.

I had some good news: the Union Gallery in Broughton Street, Edinburgh has taken my work, and will be dealing with it. This is excellent as it is a good Gallery with an interesting profile. I have raised the prices of paintings to 100 pounds sterling each. This is necessary to cover travel costs, which can be very high.


Many thanks to those who hosted me: Larry, Chris, my parents, my sister Anna and her husband Kenneth, and Lise and her son Felix. I simply could not do such a long trip without your help and support.