Hmmm! Almost

The art-related things I did when I was away on holiday were all quite structured. They were about trying to represent things on paper that I saw or saw and captured in a photograph.

The stuff you’ll see below is a bit more experimental and, although none of it really worked, there are germs of something here that might be worked on a bit more.

The first thing is inspired by cycling past countless trees in central Europe. Looking at the trees carefully one realises that undergrowth can be very dark. So I started this with black acrylic and then layered over it with ever brighter colours of mainly green gouache, and ending with yellow and white. What I was aiming for was depth, an idea that there was vegetation underneath and behind what was in the light. I’m quite pleased with the effect, even though it’s a bit messy.

The next items were inspired by two things from the holiday. The first was a piece of art on a wall of a hotel we stayed in. It was a kind of collage with a bamboo element. The second was an item in a shop in Bratislava, a kind of triptych of three related pictures bound together vertically.

In my efforts below, the gaps between the painted elements are too big. I used masking tape and I didn’t have any that was thinner. The execution, especially of the gold on black ones, is a little careless. The texture of the tree trunks in the bottom panel of the blue and white one has potential. The slightly mottled background to the grey and green one is quite attractive and I did get some quite nice highlights on the bamboo stems and leaves. So, there are things to work on but it certainly wasn’t a waste of time. You can click on them to make them bigger if you want.

Finally, while I was trying to get in contact with the aforementioned shop in Bratislava this morning, I came across the Instagram account of someone who either works in the shop or supplies things to the shop. She was cataloguing her progress in learning how to become a henna tattooist and part of that involved dot work. I never thought that I’d have the patience for dot work but I had a go and did this feather. It’s a very interesting process because it really looks like nothing until you’ve got quite far in the process and then it begins to take on some depth. This isn’t very good but it showed me that I do have the patience, and that the work can be quite subtle.

And that’s it for today.