Thursday, 29 August 2013

Painting the Seven Sisters of Sussex

The Seven Sisters

Just for a change the August Bank Holiday was a lovely hot sunny day.
 Perfect weather for a trip to the coast and to one of my favourite places, Cuckmere Haven in  East Sussex. 
Here you find the iconic view of the coastguard cottages against the backdrop of The Seven Sisters and see the snake like river flowing into the sea.
The river Ouse running snake -like out towards the sea
It is a wonderful place to visit and the views are stunning.
I have painted the coastguard cottages before on a small canvas so I wanted to return and paint them again a bit larger. I had one problem, I couldn't decide which view to paint!
To solve this I've decided to paint two at the same time, something I don't usually do as I find it hard to concentrate but as they're both of the same subject everything seems to be going well :)
It's interesting to see how the colours change in the light and how different the same subject looks from a different angle...
"Seven Sisters Summer"
Acrylic on box canvas 16"x 20"x 1.5"
"Seven Sisters Summer"

 This image has been painted many many times but the cottages won't be there for ever as the chalk cliffs are rapidly eroding away!
  Good news! "Seven Sisters Summer" is now available as prints, t shirts, note books, mugs, cards, cushions, bags and more! Click on this link to view the full range Paula Oakley at Redbubble
"Seven Sisters Summer" by Paula Oakley

"Seven Sisters Summer" cushion by Paula Oakley

                                                   "Cuckmere Cottages"
                                    Acrylic on box canvas 16"x 20"x 1.5"
The coastguard cottages at Cuckmere Haven

 . Here you can see how close to the edge the coastguard cottages now stand. I love the way the orange clay soil almost glows in the sunshine.
                                                                       

More paintings Sussex scenes http://paula-paintmyworld.blogspot.co.uk/p/the-sussex-coast-on-canvas.html#.U7l_HrGFDIU

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Painting "Sunflowers and Nasturtiums"

Sunflowers
I have been busy in the garden this week. Tidying up, weeding and just soaking up the wonderful colours  and scents of  late Summer.
This year I grew some sunflowers, smaller than usual, about 2 ft in height and a selection of nasturtiums that meander through the foliage in a blaze of orange and red. They really light up the garden.
 I thought of how Van Gogh must have been enchanted by the bright, bold blooms of the sunflowers and how impossible it would be to let them fade away without painting them.
Well, I'm no Van Gogh but I'm going to paint them anyway!
 My version will include vivid red nasturtiums in a pretty painted jug.
Day one of my "Van Gogh" moment...NOTE...no ears were harmed in the creation of this painting ;)

Starting to paint in the first layers of the sunflower composition
I had a busy day today but still managed to get a bit more painting done. I've been making a start on the shadows and darker areas which has already made a big difference.
Many layers of paint build up to give the depth of colour
Finally after many more hours of painting I have come to the end of my Van Gogh moment. I wonder if he would have approved of my efforts?
                           "Sunflowers and Nasturtiums"
                                                   Acrylic on box canvas 16"x 20"x 1.5"
Colourful still life featuring sunflowers and nasturtiums




Thursday, 8 August 2013

"Pip and Katy", cat portrait painting for an Un-Birthday

Lately I have been busy working on a commission for a lady that wanted it as birthday present for her daughter.
 My brief was to paint the two pet cats and to incorporate their names into the picture.
Obviously I needed plenty of reference material, so my client set off, camera in hand to"stalk" the animals in question. All this had to be kept secret or the surprise would have been spoiled. Photographing cats is not always as easy as it looks!
Eventually we ended up with a selection for me to work from.
 My immediate thought was of traditional head poses with their names written below...but....that's just not my style! Instead I decided to create a composition that would put the cats into a relevant scene.
 In some of the photos I was able to see the soft furnishings in their house, I reproduced these in the painting by decorating the cushions and cat rug with the same colours and patterns.
Then I added the cats names by making them look like they were appliqued cushions.
It all worked really well and I'm delighted to say that both my client and her daughter love it!
                                      
                                                        "Pip and Katy"
                                  Acrylic 16"x 20"x1.5"
What I havn't mentioned is that the birthday in question isn't until Christmas!  Unable to keep the painting a secret for so long we decided to hold a surprise Un-Birthday celebration.
 I made a "Happy Not Your Birthday" card, wine was drunk and candles blown out on cup cakes :) 

Just like the Disney song from "Alice in wonderland" a very merry un-birthday to you ....
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdsZT7WKjW8