Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Oilbar Monoprints.

Hello World.

As usual, my latest post to this blog is a lot later than I hoped. Life sometimes throws things at you, stopping you having fun. Ah well, here is my first set of experiments in Oilbar monoprints. I shall be doing a lot more of them, now all the building work in our house has finished.

Over 50 years ago,  when I was at art school, they started me with oil paints. After a few weeks, I became dissatisfied with the long drying times involved with oils. It was suggested that I tried using acrylic paints. They dry a lot faster, almost immediately in fact. I loved them and used them for a long time, until other things such as playing music and holding down a, "proper job" got in the way. I gave up painting many years ago.

Last year, on YouTube, I discovered a growing number of art tutorials by the wonderful UK artist and sculptor, Dan Tirels. His videos inspired me to start painting again, using oil paint in a stick form. Actually, although it is painting, the technique is called Monoprinting. I started to work with Oilbars at the beginning of this year. There are eighteen monoprints of mine below.

On Dan's web page, he invites people who have been inspired by his tutorials to send examples of their work to him and he will put them in his web page gallery. I was very flattered that he took six of my pieces for display there.

Please take a look at Dan's videos on YouTube and visit his web page. Have a good look round and tell your friends about him. Click the URL link below to be taken to his page. There is also a link on the right-hand side of this blog.

I'm thinking of making 40 prints to bind in a book. They'll be varnished with matt varnish to protect them. Once I've designed the cover for it, I can begin assembling the project. Each image will have a sheet of tracing paper between it and the next one.

I'm not going to make any comments on the works below, they should be able to speak for themselves.

Curtains, lights, on with the show!

Anarchy #2


 Bonfire Night
 Fire Dance
Fuge #1

 Man With Scarfe

 Orchestra Conductor
Jungle Dawn

 Rock Study #1
 Tree Spirit

Sea Storm


Until next time, look after each other.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Missing posts in this blog.


Regular readers of this blog may notice that several of my past posts have disappeared from my blog. These are mainly natural history ones. The short explanation is that it was caused by me not understanding the finer parts of changing from Google+, to the one Google uses now.  Sorry to any disappointed readers.

Ah well, one learns by one's mistakes. Or so I'm informed. I hope I start learning soon, I have a lot of catching up to do. Below are four images, just so your visit to this page wasn't wasted. *smile*

Peacock Butterfly.

Hebrew Character moth.

Common Striped Woodlouse.

 Painted Woodlouse.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

New Post. Photomontage.

Hello World.
At the end of my last post, I said I did not want to let the gap between posts be as long as the last one had been. I regret making such a hasty statement now. I'm not going into all the strange, tedious or unpleasant things that have gone on.

I will just mention one GOOD thing. A few weeks ago, I started to paint again, after a gap of about 30 years. I'm currently exploring oil paint sticks and loving them. I've also started to use "Brusho" (Trademark) powdered pigments, these are water soluble and absolutely wonderful. They are highly concentrated pigments, they can be diluted to very light shades for pen and wash work. (See demos of them on YouTube). Search for "Basic Brusho techniques". If you can already paint, I recommend the Cally Lawson tutorials on Brusho.

I do have two or three other art projects I'm wanting to get involved with as well. I don't think it would be good for me to get working on too many new techniques at once. So the other things will have to wait a while.

However, my next post after this one, (carefully avoiding remarks about how long that will be) is going to be some examples of my oil paint work.

Anyway, now to this post, they are all photomontages. I've been working on this technique for some years, in a casual way. A little while ago, I decided to see just what I could do with it, if I really applied myself.

As always, I will only comment on an image if it seems to need it. Off we go...

Bamboo Sunset.

The next two images are from a photo I took a few years ago, at Heacham in Norfolk. Anne and I have stayed there several times. It's a lovely area by the coast. The skies are simply incredible and a boon to artists and photographers.  The images show two interpretations of St Mary's Church Bell tower. They were taken from the nearby, famous, Norfolk Lavender farm and gardens, with my trusty 1200mm lens.

St. Marys Bell Tower 1.

St. Marys Bell Tower 2.

Drowning City.

The image below is one of my favourites.

Ghost Horse.

Light Show.

The next image was originally taken with the 1200mm telephoto lens.


Hymns Ancient & Modern.

Pagan Temple.


Quantum Portal .

Now something for all you Superman fans out there in Cyberspace.


I'm sure some readers of this blog will remember the Marvel Comic superhero Doctor Strange. He was always my personal favourite. In fact he still is, I recently bought two hardback collections of Dr Strange on eBay. One of the god-like characters was called, "The Watcher" as far as I remember. I've not found him in my new books yet. The image below, has a yellow face looking on impassively, on the right hand side of the picture. It's my interpretation of The Watcher.

 The Watcher.

Ice Storm on Pluto.

Landscape Sculptures.

I indulged myself in a little bit of whimsy with the title of the next image. When it was finished, it reminded me of an acrylic painting. Thus, the title was born. Ho, ho, ho. How terribly jocular. *Sigh*

The Church of St. Acrylic.

The following work was the first of my new photomontage works. At the time, I was genuinely surprised that it turned out so well.

Silent Dragon.

This next one started out as a photo that Anne took in Skiathos. I asked if I could use it, of course she said yes. Thank you Anne.

Rainbow Feather.

Summer Ruins.

The Final Magic.

The following, very abstract image, is a combination of four photographs. 
First, they were combined as two sets of two photos, resulting in two images. These were recombined again, resulting in one single image. The colour balance was adjusted, then the levels and contrast, before finally merging them all into the final image. I'm still very much in love with this one.


For the final picture, I decided to indulge in a little silliness.

What Are You Looking At?

I hope you all enjoyed at least some of these images. As I said, the next post in this blog will be examples of my oil stick work.

Be nice to each other.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Macro Natural History photographs.

Hello world.

Here is the promised macro images post I promised. In 17 hours, I shall be in hospital, having a full left knee replacement. Think good thoughts for me please, thank you.

I'm only going to add the minimum of text to these images, due to time constraints on me. If anyone wants to know more about the subject(s) in one, or more of the following insects or plants, try the internet search function. There is a world of info out there on most of these things. In the last blog post, I think I said they would all be ones taken this year. Once I started to sort out the photos, I realised that I hadn't taken many this year, on account of me not being able to walk very well. I decided that I would show things from the last three years, which I thought had some visual merit.

The first is a beautiful moth, the Canary Shouldered Thorn.

Canary Shouldered Thorn.
Canary Shouldered Thorn detail.

Another pretty moth below, I was pleased with this photo.

Small Magpie Moth.

I didn't expect to see the moth below but a neighbour brought a live one to me in his sandwich box. (Thanks Peter). This moth is one of the bigger UK ones, with a wingspan of  65-90 mm
Poplar Hawk Moth.

A lovely butterfly now, the Comma. So called because it has a whitish comma shape on the underside of each wing, (not shown here).


Two shots of a Green Shield bug next. Shield bugs go through several changes before they become adult, even then, the Green Shield bug has a winter and summer colouring. These changes are called "Instars". Bellow are two photos of the Green Shield bug. the first is an adult in the summer, the second and adult in the winter.

Green Shield bug (summer).

Green Shield bug (winter).

For good measure, I thought I'd show a detail of the Hawthorn Shield Bug. Note that the black mark on each side of the red patch, are NOT it's eyes. they are a defence mechanism. It's real eyes are the two small parts at the end of it's "snout".

Hawthorn Shield Bug.

Green Dock Beetles mating.

I was unable to identify the following fly. I need more experience with Diptera (True Flies). There are a huge number of them in the family. I can only identify
a few. Should anyone happen to know this one, please leave me a note in the comments of this blog.

Detail of a fly.

The next is a woodlouse. I did some research into them about two years ago. I became quite fond of them. They are harmless to humans and don't carry diseases. Even better, they eat things like dry rot. This is a nice photo of one type:

Painted Woodlouse.

The next creature is quite a pest. It's larvae killed all our newly bought Heuchera plats last year. They eat the roots off them.

Vine Weevil.

A detail of it's head.

I've tried for some years to get a photo of one of these. Every time I got near one it jumped away. This year, I finally managed. 

Common Field Grasshopper.

I should have put the following photo with the other lepidoptera, I forgot it.

Small Cabbage White Butterfly caterpillar.

Some of you will be pleased to discover that I've finished with insects in this post, it's now all plants.

Scarlet Waxcap fungi.

A Larch Fircone with a
Mycena stipata agg., 
toadstool growing from it. 

Silverleaf Fungus on decaying beech log.

A couple of lichens now. I've been fascinated with them for many years. To me, they look like alien plants. It's a very difficult area of study, I can only recognise and identify a few lichens as yet.

Cladonia floerkeana.

Pixie Cup Lichen.

One of the many mosses now. When my wife saw it, she commented that huge numbers of people will have walked passed these without ever seeing how attractive they are.
Ripe seedheads of the Elegant Bristle Moss.

The last three images are of garden plants.

An Ice Plant or Mesembryanthemum seedpod.

Below is a macro shot of an empty Fritillary seed pod. I counted all the flat seeds which it were in it, it held 99. Nature is amazing at package design.

Empty Fritillary seed pod.

Now for the last image. I though I should end with a big splash of colour.  Isn't nature wonderful?

Detail of a mature Zinnia flower.

I have no idea how long it will take for me to recover from the forth coming operation. I do all my blogging up two flights of stairs on my more powerful graphics PC. Two flights of stairs is a LOT after a knee replacement. I'll try not to let it be as long a gap as it was after the first op. So, don't think I've given up posting, normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Be kind to each other. Gordon.