I thought I might start this blogging thing with a brief note about my artistic beginnings but I don’t intend to continue in any sort of chronological order. I think I will jump around all over the place with short snippets from the lessons I teach, thoughts about recent and older paintings, experiences painting outdoors, bits of collected ‘wisdom’ and, of course lots of photographs.
Perhaps some of this will interest you, help you over a hurdle you have encountered with your own work, inspire you to try something in another way or maybe you’ll want to pass the link on to a painter you know.
So.... to begin.....I didn’t start drawing seriously until about the age of 14 or 15 when I became obsessed with horses. I drew them constantly. Many summer afternoons went by with me in a stack of hay bales drawing the horses in the neighbour’s field. I remember I had trouble with hooves and muzzles so many of the horses in my early drawings were standing in long grass and had grass or hay in their mouths.
I graduated to drawing the vacuum cleaner, running shoes, kitchen utensils, my sister’s ragdolls, my hands and feet - anything and everything. Starting with pencil (I still have the pencil my father gave me; it is held together with layers of masking tape) and then pen and ink using a bottle of ink and a selection of nibs. (Still have those too).
My parents gave me some oil paints and brushes sometime in my late teens. The first thing I painted was a vase of flowers set up in my room and a few portraits from magazine photos. At 17, a school assignment to paint a watercolour landscape introduced me to the medium and I was totally hooked. I loved it and continued with watercolour for 30 years. I still use it at times and I often have students working in watercolour but I now paint predominately in oil. I thoroughly enjoy both mediums.