An experiment with painting, part 1.

What a discovery! It’s so much fun! One of those activities in life where you are so absorbed in what you are doing that it’s a completely refreshing activity – almost meditational in the way you can kind of empty your mind. Although I have actually not picked up a brush since I left Jersey in September, at the time I was finding it really quite addictive.

I did all this in Jersey; seeing all the sky and seascapes was pretty inspiring and kept making me wish i could capture it somehow, and photographs, or at least my photographs, seem to somehow not do it justice. I enjoyed a nice day off spent popping into some art galleries contemplating making a ‘Jersey art’ purchase before I left, and was unsure how to choose something to buy. Some of it didn’t look that hard – I don’t know anything about art, I decided I should get some paints and play around a bit, maybe it would help me understand which art was truly amazing?

So I got myself some acrylic paints (I think purely based on the fact that they were cheaper although I may have had some other reasoning) and some flat canvas things and paintbrushes and decided to watch some YouTube videos of how-to-paint! Some were more helpful that others, lots I abandoned part way through. One of the most helpful ones just told me to mess around, get the feel of the paints, experiment with things, don’t worry about painting anything nice just learn by DOing. So I did, I just had fun!

Here was day one:

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Not too bad huh?

The bottom left was from a YouTube video on painting ocean and rocks in an impressionist style, which i enjoyed but didn’t have a palette knife and then never really felt the buzz to go back to it after it had dried so ended up painting over it.

The top right was my most “messing around” experiment, I started with the sun and then went off it, painted over it, thought I’d keep it ‘misty’, did some experimenting with ways doing rocks again, and then splashy water. It progressed to the below painting, which I really hated, and then got completely painted over!

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Top left was another complete messing around with the paints and colours and getting the feel of the brushes, although actually still exists, it turns into the below painting and is only still here as one of my friends actually liked it more than she liked some of the ones that I thought were good, but I think really it is only a matter of time before I paint over the top of it!

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Bottom right was my favourite of these four, and progressed to the below painting, I think I redid the sea, it was after watching lots of videos but not following any in particular, and was supposed to be a Jersey-esque coastline. I also feel it is quite Cornwall-y and I wondered whether my friends that got married in Cornwall would like it as a gift, maybe if I painted a little black and white dog on it somewhere?

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I liked this one so much I decided to try doing a similar one on a bigger canvas – more sea and sky! I added the tower to make it more noticeably ‘Jersey’ even if not a specific view. I did have a view in mind but didn’t stick to it very faithfully so even if familiar to Jersey you wouldn’t recognise it! If you do know Jersey, the idea was the view across St Ouens bay from around the lighthouse(ish) but looking at the cliffs across the other side of the bay rather than looking at the beach. It started like this:

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And even once I had added the flowers to the cliffs I just didn’t like the feel of it – apart from the fact that the sea and sky look much too much like the same colour it just felt wrong. I spent a few weeks with it around on the table and stuff and eventually decided that what it needed was some foreground, so it became this:

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Which I was really pleased with. I think maybe I redid some of the sea (not sure), but essentially it is exactly the same colour as in the first photograph, just with different lighting!

At this point I decided I needed to do some more copying, and as I couldn’t find any YouTube videos that I wanted to copy/do all the way through, I decided to go back to the art galleries for some inspiration. I took a few cheeky photographs (probably not allowed but I wasn’t completely sure?) and bought some postcards of the paintings to copy at home. Here is a well-known Jersey beach, (one of my top 3 beaches!) The original is called ‘A Perfect Day’, L’Ile au Guerdain, Portelet Bay, Jersey, by Robert John Wolfenden.

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I really liked the art by Peter Knight who kind of paints with these block lines – follow the link to check him out, so did the below art in the style of his pieces. I used up 2 rolls of tape trying to do the lines, absolute mission. I do really love it though, maybe when I have restocked my tape I will do a bigger version! This was the first one where I did any sketching underneath to get an idea of what I wanted to paint. I didn’t manage to stick to it though…!

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Here is what I did when I painted over the original weird sun picture, I really wanted to do the boats all leaning on each other, but they are such a small part of it I don’t really love it, it seems to be accidentally cartoon-y and my mum pointed out that there is something wrong with the perspective!

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This next one is one of my favourites but other people don’t seem to love it that much! I did it after watching a variety of sky painting videos, I have no idea which, and I haven’t been able to replicate the sky since! First is the original attempt:

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Though I loved the sky, I wasn’t that pleased with the sea and there wasn’t really anything to particularly look at, so after spotting a tall ship from a beach side cafe one day I was inspired to make the following addition (again the colours are the same, the top photo is in natural light, the bottom photo is in artificial light):

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Here is one of the last ones that I painted, it’s what I painted over the top of the original unfinished impressionist rocks, it was a mish-mash of different bits of paintings I had looked at, and I really wanted to do the oystercatchers as there are so many on the Island they will always remind me of my time there. I am particularly pleased with my clouds here, but not so pleased with the oystercatchers themselves, I think maybe I was a little careless with them!

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And last but not least here is everybody’s favourite:IMG-20170819-WA0006.jpeg

This is a not-quite copy of a painting I saw in the window of Victoria Art Gallery:

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This painting is called Tropical Coast by John Horsewell  and is still for sale if anyone is interested! He has some similar pieces – all of which I love!

Now I have to find homes for most of them, as I can’t really keep them all on my walls/my parents walls! So far the red boat on the dark blue background is the only one that has a definite home, but hopefully I will be able to gift some more out!

I hope you enjoyed looking at my paintings and I hope I have inspired you all to go and grab a paintbrush and do some art therapy!

TTFN x