23 December 2007

industrial dawn

a large version of an earlier painting
this one measures 35 x 35"

...city for the trees

stitched quite awhile ago, and gradually worked on in fits & starts until yesterday it got to here:

not finished yet, but I am liking it at this stage.... thinking I will next add translucent glazes of colour over some areas, then maybe draw back into it.

when I first started making these canvasses I was doing the paint-by-numbers staying within the stitched lines kinda thing - but this approach has been gradually abandoned, and lately I have been entirely ignoring the stitching and just painting freely on top, and liking the effects very much!

I was going to call this one "can't see the city for the trees" but so far it's the other way around - can't really see the "trees" because of all the buildings painted on top...

A Tree For Mother

hey mom check it out, I believe they're very close to being finished!
... perhaps a touch more contrast in the branches?

well, yes, they do look rather more like flowers than trees, but that's ok - mom likes flowers too.

and for the record:
oil on 2 stitched canvasses
40"w x 20"h

"pattern recognition" continued...

from there to here:

difficult to photograph because it is so big!

worked on the lower part & also clear-coated the sky bit with alkyd medium, because the difference in texture of the gel was noticeable under a light - damn!
explanation: the seams are sealed with gel medium before gessoing, and usually I paint with many layers of oil colour glazes, but in this case the sky was done in one layer, and where the sealing was done you can see these kind of ghostly edges & they are not a "happy" accident, in fact they look rather crappy.
The coat of alkyd helped a bit, and I hope several more coats will work even better...

really liking that pale blue bit in the almost-center, it sort of floats on top of the other colours

07 December 2007

another new beginning

so far just stitched & stretched
and tonight, instead of sealing & gesso'ing & generally getting in gear with it, here I sit blogging...
ah well, tomorrow!

a broken-up day in the city

A few posts back there is a record of the way this one began: 7 canvasses all in a horzontal row, colours running the spectrum. It is not very interesting to me any more, so I am trying to see how it might otherwise be presented...

Still working on this.

pattern recognition

oil on stitched canvas
66 x 66"

Did this in one 7 hour marathon all-night painting session - and I was so determined not to pull any more all-nighters! 'Cause it screws up my bodyclock and I sometimes have this day job, y'know?

This is my artist-ego painting - so big I can't get my hands quite onto either side to move it around because my arms are about 3 inches too short. Ha.

Liking the drawing-type stuff going on here, but it's not yet finished, I think...
Used only a little linseed oil for flow, so it's gonna take awhile to dry!

o photoshop

Here is a 'real' portrait (a.k.a. the manipulated photograph - as opposed to the painted portrait). So you can see that my painted self portraits are rather, um, idealized.

30 November 2007

another self

Made this one about 5.30am, after a very productive all-nighter in the studio.

Leftover paint from my night's work + someone's discarded canvas (a landscape) found in the trash bin next to the communal studio sink. Great way to recycle materials...!

these eyes

were cropped out of several self-portraits & pasted into one picture in photoshop - my favourite computer program!

22 November 2007

a tree for mother

...well, several trees, really.
& not finished either!
they had become very ugly & uninspired, so I painted over all with pale blue & began again.
a good start, I think, and I will be more careful this time round!

variations on a theme

autumn on the hill:

3 green trees:

2 yellow trees:

none of them great photographs, and perhaps only the 3 green trees finished - but what the hell, I feel like posting them anyway tonight!


...from there to here:

oil on stitched canvas
27 x 27cm

16 November 2007

xmas cards already!

So, tonight I have begun making this year's xmas cards. Coloured paper, scissors, glue stick, bits of satin ribbon, coloured & metallic pens...
It's a fun break from studio work - still creating visual images but with very different materials from the usual alchemy of oil paints, and with no thought whatsoever as to the archival quality of the end product!

07 November 2007


rather an out-of-focus photograph of a very small canvas, still in progress, which has hit the point of
"ahhh! now I see it!"

06 November 2007


oil on stitched canvas
71 x 33"
180 x 85cm

building the skyline

The first colour glazes:

Really liking the basic shapes laid down here.

Then, adding red shapes & thinking "oh no, way too bright!"

ok, some purples & other colours...

then a bit more detail, yeah, like I need more detail on all those seams, right

Opaline II

oil on stitched canvas
68 x 38"
175 x 95cm

25 October 2007

sunset city

oil on stitched canvas
40 x 61.5"


oil on 2 stitched canvasses
13 x 46" total


Had some leftover paint after working on other things in the studio today, so used it for this portrait. Not entirely sure I like it, but portraits are always good practice - so what the heck, the leftover paint was not just wasted!

12 October 2007


Sometimes - often, in fact - playing around with images of the paintings in Photoshop is very helpful. Seeing the work in a different medium, different scale, different context, helps to keep things objective.
And, in some cases, gives me an idea of where to take the next step!

11 October 2007

A Tree for Mother

So, mom wants a painting, but doesn't really jive with the city/abstract stuff.
Therefore I am trying to make her a little landscape of sorts.
Here is the stitched, stretched canvas:

I am pleasantly surprised to find that the stitching lends itself very well to organic shapes. This idea seems self-evident now - all those little threads and uneven bits of the canvas cut & torn, of course! - but sometimes the eyes of the painter are blind to concepts right under the nose.

Funny, because I have tried landscapes from time to time over the years & have never felt that any of them were very successful, but now suddenly with this sewing technique, I am feeling excited about perhaps having finally found a way to do it well!

The painting has begun, and this is where they are at so far:

Haha - don't worry, mom, the colours will be toned down a bit in the end. Getting some bright hues underneath it all helps the colour to glow in the finished painting...


Struggling with colour here:

Seems too many different things going on.

Desaturated the image in Photoshop, and liking it much better this way:

Funny how much more depth can be felt in this simple black & white.
So, how to get these broad light & dark effects, depth of field, without muddying the colours?
Some ideas swirling round the ole brain here, going to try some things out...

industrial dawn

Some time ago I made this little painting:

it measures just 27 x 27cm

Then I decided to make a larger version. It measures 90 x 90cm.
Here is the first layer of paint - red acrylic, watered down a lot so it will settle into the textures of the stitched surface:

By now it looks like this:

life in the aquarium...

from here:

to here:

Figuring it's about 2/3rds finished now.

07 October 2007

the fence

oil on 8 canvasses
each canvas measures 38 x 43cm
total work measures 152 x 86cm

There is a spot on my camera lens, visible in the upper 4 canvasses.
Have to get that cleaned, if possible.

27 September 2007

a day in the city

an idea

which is taking shape

a little more work, a few tweaks, and these may wind up looking quite interesting!

sunset city

Further progression on this one...

An out-of-focus photo taken in bad light, but still, the idea is evident.

This has been the most difficult stitched canvas I've ever worked with. Experimenting with just how many pieces of canvas I could stitch together & still make a painting that works, is proving to be quite the challenge!

151 pieces. 84 main pieces + 67 small bits sewn on top.

Today I almost gave up. But I had a bit of blue paint left over from working on "a day in the city" and decided what the hell, may as well not waste paint, and this canvas certainly can't get any worse.
Now I think I'm glad I did that.
I think...

26 September 2007





and begun painting

... and then I took the "stretched" photo and played round with it in photoshop:

looks a bit like under a streetlamp, doesn't it?