Tag Archives: artist

Pushing A Little Harder

So here we are, another month zooming by and we’re halfway through the year already with Midsummer’s Day upon us this weekend. And what a strange year so far it’s been but at least we are slowly returning to normality, or should I say most of the world is. For Dave and me, life has gone on pretty much the same as normal and we’ve enjoyed ourselves. Both in the garden enjoying the glorious weather the UK has experienced the last few months, and indoors, with the TV turned off most times as we’ve listened to music, played computer games, chatted, shopped a lot online, and generally doing not a lot. The planned editing and rewriting work necessary on my latest novel has come to a standstill. Not for any particular reason but I think most of us have during these peculiar times, lost the impetus and mojo. Mine’s slowly returning. Slowly being the operative word.

Instead, I’ve spent a lot of time experimenting and pushing myself out of my comfort zone with my art. For my birthday back in April, Dave treated me to some watercolour pencils. I don’t do watercolours, so this was a big step away from the normal. I’m still practising with them and as yet do not have anything I’m willing to show anyone but one day…

Spring brought forth such beautiful flowers this year and as you know, I love flowers, so I thought I’d paint something different from the usual bluebell scenes, painting lilacs instead after having picked a few sprigs whilst out walking and seeing many photos in magazines and online.

For this work, I painted a different way, one I’d only tried once before, that is painting in most part with cottonbuds instead of a brush. It’s a simple technique – use 1 or more cottonbuds secured together with an elastic band and dab on the canvas. I think it worked well and will certainly be using them again. Apparently, it’s a great fun way for children to paint too.

With my next painting, I pushed myself even further. I am not good at painting or drawing people but often felt my landscapes would benefit from the inclusion of figures. But oh dear! This has often led to the ruination of good work. Then last week, I saw a few photos of the new little lady in our family – little George’s (who’s not so little now) new sister enjoying a day out with her mother at one of the UK’s lovely horticultural gardens.

One photo in particular caught my eye, and because you couldn’t see Daisy’s face, I thought it a good starting point. Also, as she wasn’t fully in the frame, I had to work at drawing the missing part of her figure. I’ve included the original photograph as well as the result of my efforts and hope I have captured her as best I could for the moment.

It worked out well, although the freehand drawing of her I did as practice before committing to canvas was actually better than the one put down using the grid method. Perhaps I’m not so bad as I think! Regardless, I still need to practice my people painting skills, perhaps one day even venturing as far as doing a portrait. Watch this space… but don’t hold your breath.

See you next month, when I hope to bring you an update with news on how little George is progressing. Meanwhile, stay safe, stay happy and enjoy life.

Kit Domino’s Website and Blog

A Splash of Paint

Whilst the weather in the UK this winter has been more than a little wet, it has enabled me to indulge in one of my more recent hobbies; that of painting. Recent, because I only found my muse some 6 years ago whilst at a writing “holiday” where, finding my tutor was a stand-in and a person I wasn’t fond of, I opted to do the painting class put on for accompanying partners. I had dabbled in watercolours (dabbled being the operative word here) since school but was never any good. On this course the tutor allowed me to try all mediums until I found the one that was meant for me: acrylics. That first stroke of the brush and I was away! So I do hope you’ll forgive me this little indulgence.

Lavender Dawn

Lavender Dawn

The first real success came when a lady in Germany saw one of my bluebell paintings (my first serious work) on my website and persuaded me to sell it to her. I was reluctant to let it go, it being my first baby, but I did, turning me into, as someone pointed out, an “international selling artist”. Wow, what accolade! She went on to purchase two more bluebell paintings and is now considering buying another. Since then, my work has sold in Spain, America and Canada, as well as in the UK, with several donated as prizes in various raffles and fund-raising events. And, of course, most of my family now own a painting or two, which is rather nice. And, surprisingly, I have sold two paintings already this year – a fabulous bonus!

Sunset on Snow

It’s a most relaxing hobby although at times can be exceedingly frustrating when something doesn’t work out how I intended or I can’t get something quite right. My husband is very much my top critic although he does have a habit of pointing out where something is not right long before I’ve even finished it! And not all I do is good; there have been many failures, ones I wouldn’t dream of showing to anyone, but one of the joy of acrylics is that you can paint over a canvas time and time again.

Painswick Hill

Painswick Hill

Since taking up this hobby, I find I see the world differently. I notice the seasons more, observing shade and light, even the sky and clouds with increased intensity, as well as appreciating colours and the effect of shadows and the movement of water and the reflections it creates. Most of my work is of landscapes, real and imagined, often from photographs, or photos giving the inspiration, the starting point. This is needed as, like writing, one can be faced with a blank canvas and not have a clue where to begin, let alone know what to actually paint.

Hampshire Ford

One great help in this score is belonging to an online art group whose leaders set a challenge each month for us to tackle, often being out of my comfort zone, ie portraits or people or animals – none of which I am good at because I cannot draw; all my work is freehand. This month’s topic is “what Spring means to you” so this has given me a wonderful opportunity to try my hand at a vase of spring flowers. For the first time, I’ve painted a “draft” on paper so I have something to follow although the final painting, I hope, will be far better.

Wish me luck!

First draft

Spring Challenge: the first draft

Waaaay Over the Fence

I was way over the fence this past month as I traveled to Italy with my younger son. When I was between my first and second year of college, I traveled to Europe with my parents and I have great memories of that trip. When my oldest son was between his junior and senior year of high school, he went to Europe with a group of 25 students. I asked the younger son if he wanted to do the same thing between his junior and senior year of high school. He informed me that he didn’t want to go with a bunch of “nerds”- rather, he wanted me to take him. After I got over my joy at being a step above a nerd, I started planning the trip.

I was a bit disappointed that he only wanted to go to Italy, but since it was his trip, I settled in for the ride. It was a great deal of fun and I’l always treasure this time I spent with him.

He loves art and music so he was in heaven. He was quite attracted to one painter’s work in Venice and we bought a painting from the guy. It’s lovely- impressionistic in look. The texture is amazing. It’s at the frame shop now but I can show you the picture of my son with the artist. I think this photo is great and we’re attaching it to the back of the canvas so he’ll always know where it is.

A grand time, but I’m glad to be back in my own backyard and peering over the fence at you all.