Coastline views

This was an experiment: painting on canvas with watercolours. I read somewhere that one can use a special primer to do just that, and thought it might be interesting to try this out for a change. I have a few unused canvasses and do not feel like painting on them with acryllic colours or using them for collages or such…. It worked out all right, I like that one can see the texture of the canvas and enjoyed the colour palette. The painting shows the Kaikoura coastal walkway (New Zealand). The area is well known for whale watching, which I did not do – I sticked to the mighty albatrosses. I have some fond memories of that place.

Kaikoura, NZ – look on the coastal walkway

Victor, the tenth (of my wooden “gnarlies”)

So I´ve been relatively productive with my carving, it seems the right antidote to my “everyday life” at present. This piece was really fun to make, because he “revealed himself” quite early in the carving process. I like it a lot when I can let myself be guided completely by the material which can also be tricky, too, of course. In the end, I smoothed it/him over a bit with my Dremel device.

The head is about 9 cm high, and fits so well into my gnarly family …which grows continually and lightens up my mood everytime I look at them 🙂

Another wooden head finished – Surfer-Dude “Steve”

So I finally finished this small piece of carving, and I think it is firwood although i am not sure. The head is about 8 cm high. It was quite a struggle as the wood was extremely unpredictable in its response to working on it. Ah well, so it goes. I am already working on a new piece…same sort of wood, let’s see how that will turn out.

Colourful view

So this is the view from my kitchen window. I live in the city so under these circumstances, the view onto a little pond and trees is highly appreciated (and seeing people walking their dogs, too), even though through the foliage now in winter one can see the houses opposite this building more clearly. I just ignored them when painting this. Today, its really dreary weather, windy and grey, and not easy to get going. Ah well. Spring is not all that far away. And I already picked out some pictures for the upcoming paintings, indulging in my love for idyllic English country houses and landscapes. I´ll be starting with Avebury in Wiltshire which I visited almost 20 years ago and where I took some nice photos. I already painted one pretty red brick house some time ago, and now will add some buildings & houses that caught my eye, again trying to soothe some very very hurtful wanderlust by “traveling on paper”.

But for now: local views to enjoy.

Riders on the Storm

I needed some fresh air today, and despite the stormy weather I rode my bike along the river (well actually the two rivers) nearby to get some good pics of dramatic skies and unruly waves. So these are some of the photos I took while trying not to get swept away by the gusts of wind. It was a nice little excursion, though – sometimes it´s good to get outside, no matter what. And I am sure, some of these moody scenes will find their way into my sketchbook – the one with the grey-toned paper.

Wanderlust – Travelling on Paper

Some days are a bit bleak when it comes to the weather outside lately. Although there are some stunning winter sky moments with strong sun showing itself for a moment between darkish clouds and seagulls streaking through the scene, a really dramatic atmosphere I enjoyed yesterday morning while having my cuppa to wake up. But I do have a strong yearning to sail away to some greener shores right now… So to somehow acknowledge this feeling I am picking up where I left with my ongoing series “travelling on paper” in watercolour, this time using my larger sketchbook for a painting based on my own reference pic which I took in New Zealand some years ago, in the absolutely amazing, memorable, wonderfully remote Marlborough Sounds.

Glorious New Zealand
my reference pic

Painting nature near home

A rather quick one – a nd really a lot of fun, based on a photo I took yesterday whilst cycling near our river. My eye got attracted to the structure of this field with its chopped off stalks and the big puddle. I painted this on my gray toned paper again – quite fitting material for the bleak midwinter weather we have at the moment. My bike-ride was wonderful, though and the sun was out at least a few times. The area where I was has some really nice views and I am glad I finally got to paint some of it, somehow it did not really work out before. There are also some very lovely houses to consider drawing/painting.

just a field with a puddle
the reference pic

A touch of Red

This new one is – again – based on one of my own photos, which I find really nice to experience. Photography and painting do tick different creative boxes for me, both of them highly appreciated and an ongoing passion. Although I did start again with another passion of mine after quite a lenghty break – woodcarving…Another quirky head in the making.

The painting is done in watercolour on grey toned paper in my new wee sketchbook. The area featured is around the corner from where I live, which is really a blessing for me not having a car but needing to get regular exposure to nature to walk/run/indulge in inspiring views/taking advantage of satisfying photo ops with little trouble… Even though I am a HUGE fan of such dramatic and various landscapes offered in one of my favourite countries, New Zealand, I´ve come to appreciate the “little things in life” when it comes to such creative wells as mentioned above. It is a learning process. Comes with age 😀

winter walk
reference pic

Painting Frosty Scenes

This is a new painting I finished, using watercolour and watercolour pencils in my NEW sketchbook with grey toned paper. I used one of my recent photos from our winterwonderland here around the corner. That really was a nice photo walk, I enjoyed it hugely. I cannot remember when last I saw such an impressive liquid sun. Photography sure is another great pleasure of mine I must say.

Now I am getting acquainted with the possibilities this sketchbook offers with the slight grey that adds to a painting. For sure, it is perfect for moody skies. And – I am always very keen on finding interesting sketching motifs for some pure black-ink-sketches (and maybe something different from trees…although they are fantastic subjects to sketch, a variety sure is nice, too) and they are very hard to come by. I guess I have to browse through my own photo archives (again) for something that catches my eye for that purpose…

the reference pic

Wintermorning Blues & Winterwonderland

So this is a painting in watercolour and ink I finished quite quickly, adorning the very last page of my beloved wee sketchbook. It is based on a brilliant pic by my friend @mikoschgroen aka Mike Groenefeld, who gratiously encouraged me to try this out. It was very challenging, getting the blue tones right and I must admit I am not alltogether content with it. But that is okay as I had a fantastic photo-op-day myself with sunny winterskies and plenty of pretty frosty nature to capture.