|'Cora' - impasto acrylic 50cm x 40cm box canvas|
So, because I had a limited amount of time to produce 5+ paintings for the Committed to Art Exhibition I decided to give some older paintings a do-over rather than try to start and finish 5 brand new paintings. Last year I painted a highland cow - it was my first attempt at impasto acrylic and I was quite pleased with the result at the time although there was always something about the background that I felt needed improvement. Lo and behold, it turns out that all it needed was a splash of vibrant colour!
This is what it used to look like:
|This was the original painting before the do-over|
As you can see, the original had a duller sky and the edges were painted black and I decided I didn't like that.
|Close up of colour wrapped edges|
So, I changed it so that the bright colours of the sky and meadow now wrap right around the canvas. Although in the reference photo the cow really was on the slope of a hill, the background always just looked wonky to me so I levelled that out as well.
|Close up of texture of cow's nose|
I didn't want to change too much about the cow so I just added a bit more colour to her nose and horns and one or two brighter streaks in her hair (fur? I'm not entirely sure what the correct term is for a cow!)
|Close up of impasto texture of grass|
In other news, I've been invited to take part in two different exhibitions; one in April in a new gallery called The Blue Tree Gallery in Wick, a town about 45 minutes drive from our village. The owner is also an artist who creates stunning landscapes and wildlife paintings and shares my love of texture and colour. He is planning to have a few exhibitions throughout the year with various local artists taking part. After receiving the invitation, I visited on Saturday to meet Kevin, the artist/gallery owner and took a few small paintings which are now available to purchase from the gallery and then I'll drop some more in for the exhibition in April.
|Close up of texture of grass (still not just green!)|
The second exhibition is an annual art fair in November in a place called Strathpeffer Pavilion which is a bit further away, being down near Inverness. I was advised that this is a very popular exhibition and they usually have more artists than they can accommodate so it is by invitation only and they try to rotate the artists each year so the exhibitions remains fresh. As it is by invitation only, I feel very pleased to have been asked to take part. Looks like I'll be kept busy working towards getting enough pieces together for these upcoming exhibitions. It's quite nice to have different outlets to exhibit at and it's good exposure for me to show at different locations in the Highlands of Scotland.
|Close up of cow's horns|
Coming up next weekend, I'm going to be getting creative in a cabin in the woods! My friend, Angela is a very talented artist and is running a series of workshops on different arty subjects, one of which is pastel. There were pastels and pastel paper included in the art supplies I won last year and I would really like to learn how to use them properly (and get over the horrible chalky feeling on my fingers!). I have two different types of pastel paper - velour and a type that feels like sandpaper (which I've no idea how to use) so I'm hoping that Angela can show me how to create my colourful landscapes in pastel on these papers which are currently a mystery to me.
|Vibrant box canvas edges|
I'm looking forward to learning how to use a new medium and given how wonderful Angela's pastel paintings are, I know I'll be in good hands to pick up some great tips.