This blog is moving!
At last I have discovered a way to have my website and blog all in one place.
So from now on all new blog posts will be on my new website.
I'm still writing about the same sort of things, and you can still find the old posts on this page.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Something Else I've Learnt.

It never stops amazing, and depressing, me how much I've yet to find out.
This is so simple, and I really ought to have known it.
When I take a photo on my phone and don't want everything to be washed with an even light all I have to do is point the lens at the sky, hold the button down, and then point it at the thing I want to be seen darkly, and release the button.
I'm sure everyone knows this but me.
Here is my latest project, the first taken as it is, the second using the sky pointing method.
Mary Kemp - Ferns
 Looking at them there's still a lot of work to do.
Mary Kemp - Ferns.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Forest Path

I spent a lot of time in the woods last winter, gathering ideas and taking photos.
 It takes a time for ideas to perculate through hence only starting to paint these scenes now. I think in the summer my mind was taken up with sunshine and the beach. I definitely feel a bit darker now. 
I started this painting on a pristine white primed canvas panel 50 x 40 cms, drew in the the v. rough outline with an hb pencil.
Mary Kemp - Forest Path oil on board 50 x 40 cms
 Lots of cadmium red - first of all I used Winton student colours and then found the tube of proper artist's quality oil paint by Windsor and Newton and the difference in intensity of colour was striking.The dark colour I used paynes grey and purple and a bit of cadmium red.
Mary Kemp  - Forest Path , oil on board 50 x 40 cms.
I let it dry, then added some white and grey and purple for the sky, and now I'm off to carry on some more because looking at this image has jolted me into seeing what needs doing. ( See the black and white photo I'm using for reference)

Monday, 23 September 2013

Dark Landscape

Sometimes the day is so heavy that the air seems thick and deadly as custard. I painted this picture after such a Wednesday.
Mary Kemp - Heavy Day
Oil on canvas panel 50 x 40cms

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Is It Finished Yet?

I have no idea whether this painting is complete or not. I'll let it hang about for a while and see what I think. It's beginning to grow on me.
Mary Kemp - Forest Floor -
Oil on canvas panel 50 x 40 cms.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Recipe for a Painting. 2.

Picture 3 - Mary Kemp - Forest Floor
I have spent another morning trying to lick this picture into shape, as well as starting on another painting of the allotment. I have added a lot more cadmium red to the trees and defined the shapes of the foliage more. I also experimented with some cadmium yellow and white on the red of the ferns. I'm in the middle phase of this painting where not an awful lot seems to be happening.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Recipe for a Painting.

Damp forest floor with sun struggling to get through. Should I call it "Struggling Sun" or "Fetid Forest"? There have been several versions of this image, none of which I've been a hundred percent happy with. So I'm trying this for the umpteenth time with a broader approach, in the search for the Nirvana of paintings.
Here's the recipe so far:
Picture One. Mary Kemp . Forest Floor
Picture one; Primed canvas panel with image roughly drawn with HB pencil.
Sky roughly blocked in with a mixture of liquin thick medium, a small amount of spirit and white and Paynes grey oil paint. ( This mixture dries quickly and is quite shiny)
Trees were scumbled in with a mixture of Paynes grey and ivory black  plus a trace of ultramarine violet. Scumbles of cadmium red for the ferns and sap green for the leaves.
Picture Two. Mary Kemp. Forest Floor
Picture two; Most of the work I did at this stage was on the dark passages of the trees and forest floor using Paynes Grey, ultramarine violet and some alizarin crimson. I used a smaller brush and defined the shapes of the leaves and trees.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Autumn Leaves.

Mary Kemp - Autumn Leaves
Oil on canvas panel 30 x 30 cms.
I've just finished painting this picture. Can you see the bit of red paper? one of many that I sprinkled to see where I wanted the leaves in the painting to go.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Oh Dear, Composition, Planning and All That.

Mary Kemp - Houses Through the Trees.
Oil on board 70 x 50 cms. 
In case you haven't guessed I struggle with composition. I usually know what I want to depict, how I want the painting to feel, and then I settle down to planning it. Except I don't plan as well as I should do and dive in before I've resolved essential elements, like where the darks and lights go, where are the points of interest and the thrust of lines.
I have on occassions mapped out a painting meticulously but then it looses something. My best paintings are those where I conceive the idea quickly, do a brief sketch and then get on with it, and all goes well.
I won't ask you to guess how well I thought this one went.
I started with a drawing on a red gessoed board, put in all the darks, and some more, using ivory black mixed with spirit and Liquin, let it dry, and then started adding the clouds with transparent earth red, pink brown and a little bit of black. Later I added the light with white, cad yellow and used Neo Meglip a smoothing agent. Back to the dark bits, and mixed in some green in the foreground. I'm still not 100 per cent happy with it and I think there's more work to be done. However like many things it looks more finished when it's photographed.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Taking a Photograph of an Oil Painting with Lots of Black Shiny Areas.

I like to photograph my work and this particular picture presented me with a lot of problems. For a start it's long so I had to stand well back in order not to have the sides bow in, but most of all it's shiny and black shiny does not come out well in photos, it comes out as speckley grey.
Mary Kemp - Eastfield Allotment - oil on canvas 60 x 30cms
I used a polarising filter and took the photo out of direct sunlight but I'm not sure if I was very successful with this. I did photoshop it a bit too.
The black looks a lot blacker in real life. If the black were matte it would be a better photograph but I suspect not quite such an exciting picture.
It now resides at Art in the Heart in Peterborough.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Into the Dark

I've been experimenting a lot recently with darker paintings. I like light and sunshine and happy days but life is not all about that, at least my life isn't, and I wanted to paint pictures with a more sombre feel to them. It could be something to do with impending winter even though it's still quite roasting outside.
Mary Kemp - Trees at Ferry Meadows Cafe.
Oil on canvas panel 30 x 30