Upcoming Exhibition at Logie Steading Gallery
Starting on the 3rd of May 2019 I will be having an exhibition in the Square Room of the Art Gallery at Logie Steading near Forres (Logie Steading website). I will have some of my paintings on silk available to buy as well as watercolurs and acrylics. The exhibition will run until the 27th of May.
For those artists that like to paint outside, winter might not seem the most promising time to paint, but it can actually be a great time to take some tuition, look at the world differently, and to think for example about how light intensity and angle both affect landscapes.
With snow on the ground or in the trees it does not take much sunshine to transform how light is bounced around and thus enable shadows to take on many colours (and directions) that you just do not see in summer. Winter skies, especially with storm clouds set against a low sun, can radically change a scene. Trees without leaves can present a complex overlay of branches and trunks that offer not just a challenge to capture effectively, but a much broader colour palette to work with than you might think.
Because winter conditions and light can change very quickly it is also a great time to be out and about with your camera (or just your smartphone) to capture source material images that you can then take back into the warmth of the studio to work on.
If you are determined to work ‘en plein air’ despite the risk of freezing watercolours and numb fingers, then you might want to think about how you can work quickly and combine media to make the most of the time and light available.
One exercise I use in tuition is to ask students to capture the same subject in several different media in a short period of time. Each medium tends to make you look at different aspects of the subject in different ways. The time pressure helps to make you more expert at seeing the essential elements, those things that support good composition and convey the real emotion of the scene.
Winter tuition is also an excellent way to explore how different types of artificial light affect what you see on the paper or canvas as you paint. It may sound strange, but if you are painting something to hang in a particular place in your home or gallery, a space that is illuminated with a particular kind of light (especially artificial light from some “energy efficient” bulbs), it can be a bit of a shock to find that what looked great in summer sunlight when you painted it is killed by the lighting it is hung in!