Tuesday, 29 September 2009

To Play or Not To Play

watercolour, 23 x 31 cm

I started this one about a week ago but wasn't happy with the backgound - it was too plain so made it more interesting today.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Autumn in Richmond

Sunlight buries itself playfully in the soft, pearly cloud cussions, popping out here and there only to dive straight back in. Richmond filled with a golden glow reflects majestically in the broad waters of the Thames, adorned with colourful boats. I walk briskly through the town, hurry to collect my girl from school and the smell of autumn fills my lungs, tickles my deepest memories. They are just shades of feelings too abstract for words even inside my head. They taste bitter-sweet, I want to hug these trees, this padded sky. On the way home we stop by the river. My girl loves looking at the water up-close. We look for stones which the river brought here from the sea. We take our trophies home. When Sasha goes to bed I start a new still life.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

A Pair of Figs

I place two figs on a window sill. They are withered slightly but probably still delicious inside. I study them slowly, squinting. Mild and soft September light is bathing the pair. The contrast between their plump, rich bodies and touching little pointy tops creates in me the familiar longong to paint. When it comes it's urgent. I rush for the paints, roll out the brush case with the jerk. Water. Where all the jars gone? Have to find a new one! The tap spurting tuns of frothy bubbles. Too much pressure.
Finally I'm down on the floor before my tantalising models and everything goes quiet again. The mystery begins. My needle-sharp long-leaded pencil is an extension of my fingers, my eyes and hands become one. I make the first, light, tentative strokes. Soon they grow bolder, more decisive. The firm contours reveal themselves gradually.
Now this it - the thick kolisnky sable is plunged into the clear depths of the former jam jar. Several brisk dabs at the colourful half-pens and a delightful muddy-blue liquid is trickling down the rough, thirsty paper. This feels good.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Plaster cast drawing - female hand from Bargue

I am teaching a class on classical drawing - Academic Art Class. It starts in the end of September in Ham, Richmond-upon-Thames. This is one of the demonstrations I did today in preparation for this class. It is going to be based on the 19th century teaching techniques. I am really excited and looking forward to it because I feel passionately for the cause. I think that the proper fundamental skills teaching has greatly diminished in 20th century and the whole of the art sector is suffering because of that now. Public is disorientaded and many young artists and art students are pushed towards negative, meaningless works artificially inflated by profound commentary.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Magnolia Branch

30 x 30 cm, oil

Just finished this. Had to work as quick as possible because of the peaches. They were so ripe that it didn't take them long to start getting bad.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Heather Path in Isabella Plantation

Went to Isabella plantation today with my mum and daughter. It is a charming enclosure within Richmond Park. There is an area there full of flowering heather bushes. The fragrance is so nice. I found myself a cosy place by the bridge over a tiny brook an dedicated an hour to au plein air painting. Here is the result.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Chiswick House Study

25 x 19 cm

Another gouach sketch from yesterday. I am having a new gouache period at the moment.
This is garden is a little gem of south west London. Built by Earl of Burlington in 18th century this house was one of the first palladian villas in the country. It is built by William Kent following the rational geometrical principles of Classicism. This building was never intended as a home but rather as a showcase of the owners art collection. It's a calm, harmonious place for walks and sketching.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Taking Off

19 x 11 cm

Brisk gouache sketch of a gees taking off the little river running through the beautiful Chiswick House park.