We're all drawn to the wide open spaces and fresh beauty of the coast. Somehow it brings us a feeling of peace and freedom. I've been really inspired by sunsets and sunrises at the coast where the luminous colours reflect off calm waters. Do you have a favourite beach you visit for a top up of tranquilty?
I often go to Druridge Bay on the Northumberland coast with my family. We marvel at the ridgy patterns in the sand that are surprisingly firm under bare feet. Every day new ones are made by the retreating tide with infinite variations. "Radiance" (above) took a lot of thought for how to achieve the reflections from the pools of water in between the sand-bars. I was pleased when I found some textured paper with a ripple pattern that I could print with. I used it sparingly so it didn't overwhelm the other more delicate marks and textures. Click on the picture to view size and price details.
"Reaching Out" has rocky projections into the sea which would look simply black in the middle of the day. But in the slanting evening light, they reveal a range of reflected colours and their textures are revealed. This view is loosely based on Lulworth Cove with Portland in the distance. Click on the picture to view size and price details.
You'll remember from a previous article that I was starting work on a series of British Birds in natural landscape environments. Well, here's a progress report with some video footage to show a small part of what's turning into a huge project!
In the first video, I'm working on the patchwork of fields that will be in the distance of the Heron picture. I make no apologies for repeating this subject as my previous "Beyond the Bulrushes" picture was the catalyst for the project. With a square composition, I think this pond habitat will be quite distinctive.
In the video below, I'm printing the final layer for the Song Thrush habitat. The thrush will be bashing away at a snail on a stone in a garden or woodland glade. I've still to make the bird and snail which will be collaged pieces.
Do you remember my sketch of Goldfinches on Teasels? This was the one I was most excited about but I'm sorry to report that the teasels background hasn't come out well and I will have to start again from scratch. Monotype is a very unforgiving medium and not easily controlled or predicted but I persist because I can make a unique, rich, textured composition unlike any other rendition of this familiar theme.
The other birds in the series are:
Greater Spotted Woodpecker in a woodland environment, as you might imagine
Gannets: these weren't on my initial hit list but when I thought of the lovely geological patterns I could incorporate into their rocky, cliff environment, I knew I'd have to give them a go.
Kingfisher: last but not least, the much loved king of the birds. This has been the most complex composition with several levels of texture around a river. The challenge has been to keep the colours quite muted so that the plumage of the bird can take centre stage.
So these compositions are close to completion (apart from the goldfinches) and I've cut out all the pieces for the birds. To tell you the truth, I'm a bit scared of doing them as they will be very fiddly and the medium isn't at all suitable! It's a bit like applying eye-make-up with a spray gun! The chances of it looking lovely are small!
Hopefully, next month, I'll be able to unveil the finished results. If you haven't already, please join my email list to be among the first to see them and have the opportunity to purchase these unique original works.
Do you have any favourite birds you'd like me to have a go at? You can leave your ideas and responses in the comments below.