Thursday, 22 September 2011

Ian Sidaway RI

Richmond Park Kidney Wood - Watercolour

I came to watercolour through my illustration work after years of using both oils and acrylics. I found it enabled me to work and complete images relatively quickly and having been trained as a designer I found it sympathetic to those graphic qualities that where inevitably inherent in my work. Gradually I came to realize that it was a material that had the potential for creating images that could easily compete with those made using both oil and acrylic. I love the stuff of traditional transparent watercolour and find perverse pleasure in the struggle to seamlessly integrate the many techniques that can be called on to shape the image as the paint is applied, settles and dries. As an artist I enjoy reading the creative process and technique used in the work of others and learning from it. The challenge is in manipulating the paint to form the image whilst trying to maintain that clarity, spontaneity and freshness found in only the best watercolour work, not easy at all!

Scotland Oil Rigs Early AM - Watercolour

I collect and collate source material, linear sketchbook drawings and watercolour paintings made on location together with photographs, and piece together the image to be painted, usually from several different items of reference material, in the studio. My intention is not to recreate a photographic representation but something that hints at spirit or sense of place. Design and composition are of great importance and I will often move, add or exclude elements to improve both. A synthesis, if you will, of things seen. The paint is applied using transparent and semi transparent washes, with several being applied one over the other in order to build up strength of colour, tone and texture. Paint is applied using brushes, sponges, painting knives, bits of wood and rags, anything I think will achieve the desired effect.

 Wells Next the Sea Allotment 2 - Watercolour

Influences are wide, ranging from Peter Blake, Paul Nash and Andrew Wyeth, Cotman and Mackintosh all masters of the medium and all strong on design. I am also influenced by the strong graphic representations of British towns and countryside seen in the work of commercial artists like Frank Newbold. My subject matter currently deals with the landscape and travels both in the UK and abroad.

Blog: Ian Sidaway Fine Line

Images and text: Copyright © Ian Sidaway 2011

Monday, 5 September 2011

Julia Sorrell RI RBA

Scots Pines of East Wretham I - Watercolour
This summer has been a very inspiring and positive time resulting in a body of new work centred around a particular subject matter - the tumbled down Scot's pines on the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve at East Wretham not far from where we live. What particularly appealed to me were the bleached shapes with a lot of drawing within them. So far I have produced three large water colours, two oil paintings and a pastel drawing, when the weather has allowed me. I only work well drawing directly from the object infront of me, and as a result I have had to battle this summer with rain and wind, and occasionally burning heat. I have not finished there yet!

Scots Pines of East Wretham II - Watercolour

Wood, although a figurative natural form, is the ultimate in abstract shape which I use to express myself in a variety of ways, whether it be my emotions, my exuberance, my love of drawing and above all my love of life with its complexities, strengths and weaknesses.

Scots Pines of East Wretham III - Watercolour

The more I have worked at East Wretham, the more my paintings have become colourful and expressive. For these three pieces shown I have used pen and ink and watercolour, developed on a highly structured drawing. I have loved being out of my studio and have enjoyed the public's reactions which have been very positive, I am glad to say. I know many artists hate being noticed by the public, but I have found it resulted in generating more self-confidence in what I was doing.
Text and images: Copyright © Julia Sorrell 2011