Thursday, 18 December 2014

Where it all began. A Cornish Landscape.

I can’t believe we’re at the end of 2014 already. This seems like the quickest year on record but what a year it’s been.

Fowey+Cornwall+Impressionism+Acrylic+Vibrant+Nicola McLean
'Where it all began' - impasto acrylic on canvas 30cm x 20cm

In January I did my Reiki 2nd Degree which saw me qualify as a reiki practitioner should I decide I want to go down that route (I don’t; I'm happy enough using it on myself and my animals and sending distant reiki to friends and family further away).


In March we sadly said goodbye to our 14 year old rescue cat, Purdey, and then in May we added to our furry family with Lily (the world’s most affectionate cat) and again in June with Skye (the world’s most energetic and sweet natured Springer Spaniel) - a hazard of volunteering at an animal shelter is the increased likelihood of adopting cute critters in need of a home!


Close up of big, juicy plabs of paint!

I've spent more time this year casting my virtual net wider and my paintings are now available on several on-line galleries including bGallery, Artists and Illustrators and Scotland’s Artists as well as via on-line directory Shop Scotland and, of course, my own website, and next year I want to work towards getting more of my art into actual galleries as well as virtual ones – that’s the plan anyway.


In August I got the fantastic news that I won the GreatArt Postcard Challenge competition and in September I took an amazing painting holiday in Cornwall with contemporary colourist Ashley Hanson as part of the prize.


The painting illustrating today’s post is one of the paintings I completed during the week of the painting holiday – it’s a view of Fowey looking across the water from Polruan.


This is what it originally looked like:


Photo Credit: Denise Hanson


I wasn't that happy with it at the time as I was still struggling to let go of my need to have things look realistic. However, after I returned from the painting holiday I let what Ashley taught us sink in and just started trying to loosen up and paint more intuitively rather than slavishly trying to replicate exactly what I saw. 

As a result I've become a bit of a colour fiend. A lot of what I learnt on the painting holiday clearly resonated with me and it helped that, even before I won the prize, I’d been feeling the need to move my art on in a different, less rigid, direction and so, I decided to rework this Cornish landscape (which other than the little red and white lighthouse could easily pass for a scene in the far north of Scotland) and took out an entire landmass to give a better sense of space. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out and I hope that Ashley will take pride in knowing that his workshop really did set me on a new colourful path artistically. 



Close up of texture of ocean

If you read my last post you'll know I've been using song lyrics for titles recently but this one I decided to call 'Where it all began' as I see the painting holiday as the start of my journey into a more vibrant and impressionistic way of painting.

The last few months have seen me produce the work I am happiest with so far. I've been lucky enough to have had several pet portrait commissions which has kept me with a toe dipped in the realism waters while I've also been able to cut loose with colour and texture on several landscapes, a few of which have already sold or are currently in exhibitions both locally at Caithness Horizons and further down the Scottish west coast in Dornie on the Kyle of Lochalsh at The Schoolhouse Gallery.

Yes, it’s definitely been the year that has seen me evolve the most artistically and I am extremely grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way and for all the people who have encouraged me, supported me and purchased my paintings.


I've been a sporadic visitor to Paint Party Friday this year but I do try to pop by and visit some of the good friends I've made in the on-line art community when I can. As I'm now officially finished with my Christmas commissions and can take a little bit of a painting holiday (although I won’t really as painting isn't really work, is it?!) I'll be linking up this week and will spend some time catching up with what everyone else is up to over the festive period.

Polruan+Fowey+Cornwall+Impressionism+Landscape+Nicola McLean
'Where it all began' 

By the way, a good friend of mine, suggested I add an option to purchase my art here on my blog so the button below is just there should you find yourself with an overwhelming urge to have a piece of colourful Cornwall up on your wall!

*Update - I had to remove the 'buy now' button as I'm very happy to report that this piece has now been sold!

                                                       
Thank you, as always, for taking the time visit my blog and I wish everyone a very peaceful Christmas and a New Year full of colour and light.

27 comments:

  1. Wow. I had to do a few double takes to check this was the same painting! You'd new version is beautiful and you have used the pastel tones so well to form the water. You have evolved and grown so much as an artist this year.Wishing you a happy Christmas and a prosperous new year. X

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  2. so much going on, some good , some sad, such is life, the painting is absolutely beautiful, I love the color, pow pow, its brilliant! I wish you much success!

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  3. what a roller coaster of a year you have had Nic! How very lucky those animals at the shelter are to have you, and the especially lucky ones who become a member of your family. Your impasto art has literally exploded with color and abandon and passion this year and I couldn't be happier for all your successes. Here's to an amazing new year too-XO!

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  4. It has been quite the year when you see it all laid out like that... Full of change and exploring and your work is just going from strength to strength... It is only the start of amazing things I am sure and I love that you take us along on the journey...xx

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  5. Glad ou had such a wonderful year! Valerie

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  6. Beautiful painting, I like the vibrant colours and the little lighthouse. It's such a beautiful, inspiring landscape and area, I remember well how glad I was arriving at Polruan after a few hours walking on the coast past in the blazing sun, and taking the boat over to Fowey for a stroll around before the bus was due. I like how you changed the composition and opened it up this way, it really has a beautiful feel to it.

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  7. Such colours and beauty! A wonderful piece!

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  8. Certainly a great year Nic and wish the same for you in 2015. Loving the new painting with its fab colours. Happy Christmas my friend, hugs Annette x
    http://nettysartadventures.blogspot.co.uk/

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  9. Well what a fantastic year you have had!!! I am so happy for you and all the progress you have made.I wonder what's in store for you in 2015?? More sales I'd imagine now you have the 'Buy Now' button! xx

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  10. What a wonderful artistic year and with so much more to come. Best wishes for 2015.

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  11. Beautiful art and beautiful year! Inspiring! Thank you for sharing with us. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2015!
    http://agagasiniak.blogspot.co.uk

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  12. Wow, your painting came out beautiful!!!! Congrats on the Reiki and all your artistic achievements and projects, fun, fun, fun!!!

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  13. What a great way to recap your year. It was interesting for sure. :)

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  14. Gorgeous work Nic, although I love love love your pet portraits it is really wonderful to watch you evolve and envelope the colour that seems to emerge from your soul!! Thanks for sharing your year in full and all the best for the New Year and many more artistic adventures!! Wishing you and yours all the best for the holidays! Sorry for your loss of pets...they all hold such a deep place in our hearts!!

    Hugs Giggles

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  15. What a year it has been, Nic. Lots to great accomplishments and the building of a foundation that will take you to the next level with ease. It's been so much fun to watch you blossom in your new style this year. It's wonderful that you find joy in both styles and that you are not totally leaving your realistic side behind. The happy medium will shine through next year for you. Congrats on Reiki Two.

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  16. Love what you did with your landscape, so creative and pretty!

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  17. You have a lovely way with strokes of color, a wonderful free style!!!

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  18. Such a transformation of the painting! I like the second one more hhehehehe :) because of the colors on the water.

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  19. That is a beautiful painting! Wonderful mix of color and texture. Happy PPF!

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  20. Lovely colourful painting Nicola. Enjoyed reading what you were up to in 2014. Hope 2015 will be a busy one for you. Merry Christmas.

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  21. Bright...beautiful...absolutely awesome !! i love all the textures and the colours make me smile :)

    http://beneathmyheartart.blogspot.ae/2014/12/year-of-me.html

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  22. I did go to Scotland's Artists. . .you seascapes are breathtaking . . they are so alive. I look forward in the future seeing Scotland (my ancestor Buchanan Castle). I feel it is my 'homeland' and I have a map by my front door to constantly remind me. . I'm going one day. Thanks for visiting. . .I would love to see pictures of your 'country' place. Blessings, Janet PPF

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  23. The colours are fantastic! It's like a tasty hill of candy but it looks like a wonderful seascape. It's gorgeous!

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  24. I absolutely love the transformation of this piece! Wow, Nicola! It's smashing!!! :)

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  25. Happy New Year to you and yours, Nicola. I love your sense of color and the boldness of your approach. Looking forward to seeing more in 2015!

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  26. so beautiful. i love all the colors...and the texture! wow!

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  27. Hi Nic, sorry I've been swamped and haven't been able to pop by as often as I'd like. Your painting of "where it all began" underwent a dramatic change! For the better, I think. You've been very busy as well. I like this new use of color.

    Merry Christmas to you and S!

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Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.

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