Monthly Archives: June 2015

Working with music

The brief for this exercise is to listen to several pieces of instrumental music, at least 10 minutes long, each different in mood, instrumentation and style; and paint what the music evokes.

Watercolour exercises 32 (9)

J S Bach (1685-1750)_ Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV 565 in watercolour_ 21 June 2015

56 x 38 cm 



Watercolour exercises 32 (10)

W A Mozart (1756-1791)_ Symphony No 41 in C major KV 551, 1. Allegro vivace in watercolour_ 21 June 2015

56 x 38 cm



Watercolour exercises 32 (11)


N Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)_ Sheherazade 1. The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship in watercolour_ 22 June 2015

56 x 38 cm



Watercolour exercises 32 (12)


J Rodrigo (1901-1999)_ Concierto de Aranjuez  2. Adagio  in watercolour_ 22 June 2015

56 x 38 cm



I was quite methodical in this, listening to the music to let it inspire my choice of colours and shapes; first making notes while listening and with a vague notion of form and colour painting while the piece was playing.


it’s not about me

I’m having a little bit of trouble with magnification so I will try to reset my focus and dwell a moment on what Art means to me, what I am trying to say by painting, which to me is like another language, as are words, or music for instance. I am trying to give life its fullest expression, not me, but life!

What does life mean to me: it is both everything and a separate force that decides everything and makes everything. It does not belong to me, it belongs to everyone and everything and it really wants us to engage with it. That is the most important and that is what I need to be in touch with in order to make sense to myself.  Life is in everything, all creatures all rocks and plants, the weather and time, but it also exists as a separate force which helps us all the time to shape this planet and ourselves. This is what I try to listen to. It is not good or bad or hot or cold or up or down, it is all those things depending on need.

Each and every one of us, everything, has a separate relationship with life, but we can choose to listen to it, or not. Not ask it what we want, but listen to it. Like every relationship it has to be individual. There are no tricks, just keeping your ears, eyes and all your senses open.


Free Expression

The course now offers the opportunity to experiment, drawing on thoughts, memories and associations. We are reminded of Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee in particular, who were probably the least formulaic in their search for authentic artistic expression. Both had strong associations with music; we are given some titles or we can choose our own.

Watercolour exercises 32 (3)Peacock and Bird_ 8 June 2015_

56 x 38 cm 

this was an image that made me think of a peacock, it turned out quite different from what I expected and the Bird only ‘appeared’ later

Watercolour exercises 32 (4)

Tree-lined Path_ 10 June 2015_

50 x 35 cm

a photograph I took of Dollis Brook looked to me like a tree-lined path from a different angle

Watercolour exercises 32 (8)

Sky-painted Sky_ 19 June 2015

56 x 38 cm

while I was trying to think of how to paint abstract, the sky painted something like this


Watercolour exercises 32 (2)Watercolour _ 5 June 2015 _

56 x 38 cm

For this I zoomed in to one of the photographs I took for the previous exercise. I wanted to remove the masking fluid but find it adds to the picture so I will leave it.

N.B. : I misread the instructions, magnification is meant to be about one image. So I will call the other two paintings “Free Expression” which is the next exercise and probably describes them better anyway. And I will continue with the image of the rose under magnification.

Watercolour exercises 32 (5)

Watercolour_ 13 June 2015_

56 x 38 cm

I tried to change light to dark and dark to light, using green, yellow and grey as a colour palette.



Watercolour exercises 32 (6)Watercolour_ 16 June 2015_

56 x 38 cm

Same image. Darkened midtones and printed both image and reverse, then cut them in half and collaged them, selecting an area to paint. I started with a small drawing to get used to the shapes.

                                                            Watercolour exercises 32 (6a) - Copy

                                                              Drawing_ 14 June 2015_ 12 X 8 cm



Watercolour exercises 32 (7)


Watercolour_ 18 June 2015_

56 x 38 cm

in monochrome

Research Point – making marks

Watercolour exercises 32 (1)

Rose painted with feather_ 4 June 2015_

14.8 x 21 cm






Looking for ways to paint abstract; in THE ART OF WATERCOLOUR magazine (#18)  is an interview with EBAN, a painter who lives in France and whose work can be seen on his website I find his abstract paintings really appealing and he says he sometimes paints with a feather! One of his paintings is in the gallery.

Themed collage and painting

Combining elements from different views into a single composition.

Watercolour exercises 31 (6)

Photocopies made into collage_ 1 June 2015_

29.7 x 42 cm.  




Watercolour exercises 31 (7)


Pencil and watercolour_ 1 June 2015_ 1

9 x 29.7 cm


Watercolour exercises 31 (8)



Watercolour and pencil _ 3 June 2015_

29.7 x 42 cm