As Autumn takes a firm grasp on the hedgerows and fields of Mid Devon I can see inspiration everywhere. I am a real lover of warm summer days but there aren't the depth of colours that are at this time of year.I walk everyday with my phone in my pocket drinking in the views and snapping things that attract my interest,
yesterday I wanted to encapsulate the colours of the Mid Devon hedges into one painting....
And so began a lovely long couple of days in the studio, firstly as always I plan the painting on paper, using the snaps I've taken ,my imagination and my pencil.
Once I am happy with my composition I tape it onto a board, I then mask out using masking fluid the areas of white I want to preserve
. This painting is 28cm x 38cm and I have decided I want it to fade towards the edges.
I begin on the blackberries. I use a very small brush and paint in all the colours I can see graduating from the lightest light cerulean blue to the darkest indigo
Then a squirt of water with my spray bottle , I want that lovely blackberry juice to ooze all over the paper...
Then the ivy leaves with their shiny surfaces and touches of sky reflected back at me, to achieve the veins in the leaves I take a wet brush clean with water and paint out the lines. I am not striving for botanical accuracy, simply an essence of each plant and insect and a harmony between them.
I splatter paint around and blur edges, until to my eye it looks 'right'.
This is a labour of love and I need to take my time, each element deserves attention and I need to pace myself. I can be an impatient painter so I need to take breaks and go steady. There is no time limit to this piece
I have spent a whole day getting this far time to put down brushes .
Today I was raring to go
Butterfly next nestled in the blackberries, and now I must confess my photo taking lapsed a bit. I was busy concentrating on all the different leaves and berries. Trying never to be static, or use just one colour in a leaf. On and on I go completing and joining the different pieces of the painting, I add elements and take elements away as I adapt and change my piece as I go
I turn the board around and play about with edges , adding and taking away with water and paint. It is the magic that I love
Until finally my picture is done to my satisfaction. I always leave them to dry naturally before rubbing off the masking fluid with a normal eraser. As well as rubbing out any unwanted pencil lines
I like to add insects and butterflies to my work as the hedges buzz as I go past with bees and birds, with all kinds of living things. And so another painting is finished.