First in a new series of oil paintings I’m going to produce (hopefully on a weekly basis, if reality will let me) based around poses showing various kinds of stretching, working with a limited palette. Such poses are a real pleasure (and challenge) to capture, especially in a painting. It’s one thing to do a sharp, exaggerated gesture drawing in 30 seconds, quite another to maintain a similar vitality in a painting that took a couple of hours to produce. I’m looking forward to seeing how these paintings progress as the weeks go by, but here’s the first – now up for sale.
Stretch in Ochre (1), 2018 – Oils on canvas board, £60.
Lunch over at the Budongo Trail at Edinburgh Zoo today, the highlight being the littlest chimpanzee (I really should learn their names) twisting a rope before using it to spin like a top, much to its obvious delight. Couldn’t sketch it, but a joy to watch.
One of the benefits of where I currently work is that Edinburgh Zoo is just a few minutes walk away. As a result of that, and buying a year’s membership to said Zoo, there’s going to be a steady stream of animal sketches on this here blog, hopefully leading towards some paintings. That’s a good way off yet, but here’s some sketches to start me off.
Right now my focus is on the chimpanzees, who present a fantastic challenge in both their similarities and differences with the human figure. They can be wonderfully expressive, character coming through in facial expressions and body language. I’d love to capture that someday.
Excellent cover for the latest New Yorker by R. Kikuo Johnson. The background is a masterclass is subtle landscape colouring. Inspiring stuff, and his interview makes me want to dive into the work of Normal Rockwell anew.
via Cover Story: R. Kikuo Johnson’s “Safe Travels” | The New Yorker
Chinagraph on black paper. Drawn from NMA DLDS #2.
A blog? For blogging? Oh, how quaint!
Yes, I’m tapping into the cultural digital zeitgeist of 15 years ago by reviving the ancient artisan craft of amateur blogging. I started back in, god almighty, October 2003 (why hello, Wayback Machine), went on and on for years (gradually becoming less hysterical, thankfully), getting engaged and married along the way, then becoming a dad. I eventually shut Falling Sky down after a decade or so for a theoretically-more-focused artblog that lasted a couple of pretty quiet years before dissipating into nothing, unmourned. Blogposts turned to Facebook statuses, statuses turned to tweets, until I got sick of the latter two and basically became silent online. So why am I going back to the Old Ways?