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Late Summer Shade II

Birmingham is my home town but now I live in a small market town which reminds me of Moseley in the nineteen sixties.

Seeking peace and quiet one afternoon in late summer I went out sketching nearby.  As I sat under the trees a buzzard screeched to her mate.  It's sound reached across the beautiful wooded valley.  That wild sound freed me and all the dramas and events of the day fell away.  I became aware of two deer sitting in the shade.  Their huge ears attentive, they stayed with me as I sketched using pen ink and carbon.  I worked the sketches up first into a small oil painting and then into this larger Late Summer Shade II.  The larger evolved into a different painting using phthalo blue and french ultramarine, cadmium yellows and lemon.  I used knifework on both almost exclusively.


Autumn Bird II

Just into the edge of the four hundred and ninety six hectare wood on a breathtaking autumn day I looked up into the deep blue sky.

I began painting by searching for a deep blue to do it justice.  The colour I found, originally made with lapis lazuli imported from Afghanistan is ultramarine.  I mixed cadmiums, titanium and siennas.

The first painting, smaller and on board was different in character to Autumn Bird II.  Painting larger and on canvas required that I let go with the marks, standing back to ensure I saw the whole canvas at once and allowing movement enough to give expression.  The bird which sat alone above the canopy, in the heart of the blue, helped capture the feeling of the moment.