Friday, 30 October 2015

Killer Blackberries

Blackberry painting by Jessica Rosemary Shepherd
Blackberries (Rubus ulmifolius), 2015, Watercolour on Saunders Waterford Paper, J R Shepherd ©, Inky Leaves

I panicked then that I'd lost all my images, but I had filed them under 'Rubus' rather than 'blackberry'! I really do need to sort out my taxonomic system on my computer, it goes from Latin to English far too readily. So yes, here they are in all their glory. BEHOLD THE RACEME OF BLACKBERRIES!

I would certainly be lying if I said that they were easy to paint, but even though they were a challenge, they were really fun to do. I haven't painted shiny berries in ages and had forgotten how fabulous they can be. I did miss my leaves, but it was good to step back from them. So the good news is I managed to finish them on time. I dropped my brush which was on both occasions loaded with the blackest of paint twice and marked the white background, but managed to recover the damage with a magic eraser - phew! So now I only have three more pieces to do before Christmas and all will be merry! Easy-peasy.

Blackberries (Rubus ulmifolius), 2015, Watercolour on paper, J R Shepherd ©, Inky Leaves
So after some more days in London, which were an absolute riot, I now find myself back on terra EspaƱa and I am left feeling a little disorientated. I unpacked as soon as I got in - I always do. Almost threw myself into the washing machine as I vigorously put my four outfits into the wash (goodness knows how I kept going on four outfits) and got to work on sorting out all of my images, my accounts and many other boring little tasks, which is most likely why I have been rampant on Facebook this week. Being sat at a desk with a desktop is dangerous and highly distracting. I had hoped to get into the studio on my birthday, but that failed and today was also a failure so I am lining myself up for Sunday. Can't wait.

So news... Well Lucy the Loosestrife is now with her new owner, the RHS is still brewing in my cerebellum and I have had the misfortune to discover that Walnut trees are deceptive creatures that should never be depended upon, as are squirrels and Spanish foragers.  I have worked out that what has been making me so poorly these past 24 months (yes it is really that long) were the hormone pills I was taking, so I am coming off of those and now drinking a lot of eco-responsible soya milk (I love the idea of responsible soya beans - would make a good cartoon). I fell in love, yes, I unfortunately did that and no, it wasn't with a walnut tree (luckily) or a plant but with an actual human being, but they don't know, so alas we shall leave it there on that note. I had two very happy unbirthdays, and one real birthday yesterday, which was super nice and basically did a bit of growing up.

Oh, and I got myself a gallery... In London. 

Monday, 12 October 2015

Blackberries Take II

So yes, I ended up starting again with this one. Unhappy with the composition and the general direction of the first blackberry painting I decided to put it to one side and I make head way with another. I am happy to say that within minutes of me doing this I was pleased I made this move and remain to be. I had been umming and errring about it, but after the eclipse something shifted in me and I went straight ahead in making a new painting. I didn't feel angry or sad about this, only positive.

Blackberry branch (Rubus ulmifolius)
Blackberry branch (Rubus ulmifolius), a work in progress

So it's been two weeks and this is where I find myself. I hope to finish it in the next few days... the speed is ramping up as I get into the groove and memorise the new tricks I have learnt with this one, for I have learnt many! This is the first time I have tackled a berry like this since I painted that bunch of grapes back in 2011. I find myself re-deploying many of these skills I learnt back then for this piece, but also a few newbies. My hard mini brush has been an absolute God-send. I use this for the highlights and to merge colours together. It comes out on every painting, but with this one it is pretty much in permanent use. I have learnt that transparent yellow is very, very useful at making the berries look three dimensional when placed in the right area (green on the black berries) and that the colour is never what you think it is. I wish I had done this on vellum in a way too. There is something about the rough finish of the Saunders Waterford that doesn't lend itself very well to shiny berries. The burnisher has been very much used on this one.

Blackberry branch (Rubus ulmifolius) work in progress
On the easel.... 

So there is my update. Not much going on in the world of Inky. All very quiet really. I have been thinking about the RHS again and trying to work out what I might do for my Christmas cards, but that's all as I eagerly wait for my next subject of the commissioned triptych to do its thing and open up... Hint - it is a nut.

Had my eyes tested - they've got worse, which is hardly surprising. Even more short sighted now, but that's ok, as long as I can still see up close. We can't have it all and I'd rather go this way if I had to choose. The great news is I have a beautiful optic nerve - he was an Italian optician whose use of words was rather wonderful.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Raymond Booth Exhibition


Paintings from the Estates of Nancy and Jill Anne Bowden
6pm Thursday 19th  – Saturday 28th November 2015

Primula. Oil on paper. Signed and dated, 1994. 25x19cms. Framed: 33x27.5cms.
"The variety of the works by Raymond Booth in this rounded Collection reflect the touching manner in which it was put together. While sisters Nancy and Jill Anne Bowden first saw and fell in love with Booth’s work at his 1970s Fine Art Society exhibitions, they also made friends with him (by telephone, they met but once) and over 35 years bought from, and were given by him, studies which enriched the group of paintings they were able to afford from Bond Street".
Lords and Ladies. Oil on card. Signed and indistinctly dated, 'May 198...'. 16x21cms. Framed: 23x27cms.
I might have to fly back for this as he is one of my all time favourites...