Diamonds in the Sea.....
I suppose most of us like a stroll on a beach. There is something magical about the noise of the waves and the smell of the sea. Now that I live on the coast I can appreciate the thrill of it anytime. I went with Merice this morning (and Bonnie of course!) and we had the beach to ourselves as we strolled from Sewerby to Bridlington. I remember the first time I started to study the beach with an eye to painting the scene. I was trying to describe how it looked to an artist friend - Tony Hogan - “It was like seeing diamonds sparkling in the sea” I said. I've never forgotten his response. He simply stated - “Well paint it then!” The challenge was laid down and had to accepted. So how do you paint the sea? It is quite a challenge especially for a watercolour artist. Obviously the scene changes constantly and the ‘diamonds’ sparkle for an instant and then disappear. I wanted a precise painting of these ‘diamonds’ so decided I would have to use a photograph rather than try from life. We had walked on the beach just after a storm and Merice just happened (!) to have her camera with her. She captured the perfect shot looking out to sea straight into the light. This was the one. I very carefully masked all the areas that I wanted to keep lighter such as the horizon line and the dazzle on the sea. There was also the breaking waves and front edge of the incoming tide as well as a few streaks on the beach itself. With these areas protected I could paint very loose washes from the sky down to the edge of the sand. I used just four colours so I was guaranteed harmony in the painting at least! Once dry I removed some of the masking fluid and repeated the washes again, this time letting the colour run onto the beach. While it was still wet I painted the beach up to the wet sea and let the colours mingle. I used a dry brush to create textures on the beach. Everything was designed to lead you through the beach and into the light and beyond. When it was completely dry (and I mean completely dry) I removed the last of the masking fluid. Suddenly before my eyes were the ‘diamonds’ sparkling in the sea. I tidied it up a bit by softening some of the hard edges and added the gulls to give me “After the Storm” I hope I answered the challenge but what do you think? Glenn
Beautiful Art...is it still important?
This was the final painting in my ‘Follow the Leader’ series. What started as an attempt to breathe new life into an old print became a beautiful journey around Victorian England. I have always admired the great Victorian artists and aspired to be able to paint like them ever since I started my own art journey. Benjamin Williams Leader RA was one of the very best of these now forgotten masters. They concentrated on the beauty that was all around them. Yes, they sometimes ignored the harsh reality of life for so many back then, but surely beauty deserves a place in art. Even the people who had to endure the hardships would have been cheered by seeing beautiful paintings. If spirits could and still can be lifted even if just for a short while, then surely this makes the case for retaining beauty even in today’s world of art. Art follows no logic – it cannot be quantified objectively therefore anyone’s opinion including yours or mine is as valid as anyone else’s no matter what some might try to promote. The question is therefore a personal one. Do I like this work of art? If the answer is yes then it is a good work of art and should be celebrated as such. So I offer you this painting for consideration. It is based on a large oil painting by Leader. It is not and was never intended to be an exact copy but I hope you can glean from it the essence of his style in the grand tradition of Victorian art and maybe discern a touch of me in there as well. It could only be England couldn't it… with the soft rolling background, gently flowing river and small Church overseeing village life…where else could it be? Is it a beautiful painting then? For me – yes. I certainly enjoyed doing it and looking at it gives me a feeling of nostalgic pleasure. I sincerely hope you like it too. Glenn
I did a couple of painting demonstrations during our ‘Double Vision 2014’ exhibition. This is one of them and I was pleased with the way it turned out.
This is the second time I have painted this particular scene so I was familiar with the composition. The first time was as part of my ‘Inspirations’ series and was set in the height of summer. ‘Inspirations’ was a set of classes I ran where I invited students to explore the work of great artists who have inspired me. They included Turner, Constable, Pissarro, and Atkinson Grimshaw among others. They were not meant to be straight copies of course but it was an opportunity to try and work in the style of these great artists. It was fascinating to study the originals and try to work out their techniques. It was very inspiring for me and all the students who took part and our admiration for these masters only increased. This is based on a painting by the great Yorkshire artist - Ashley Jackson. He is the absolute master of the moors painting and was the first artist I watched on TV after my accident. He was my first and perhaps greatest inspiration so I owe him a great deal. I have been to his gallery in Holmfirth many times but always seem to manage to just miss him. Never mind it gives me a reason to go again and one day I meet even get to meet the great man. For the demo I worked from my original sketch for what was now to be a snowscape. I masked some areas and the sheep so I could work very freely on the rest of the painting. I wanted to capture the pale winter sunlight reflecting on to the snow on the road so simply allowed the colours to run down. The strong vertical telephone poles automatically lead you down the road towards the snow covered moors in the distance. I used just four colours which give the painting a nice harmonious look and once again the paint and the water did most of the work…just how I like it. I think this will make a nice Christmas card:
If you do too please click on the card for full details. It's not a bad deal - you can mix and match individual cards and the more you buy the cheaper they become. Go on - have a look. Glenn
Bluebells in Sewerby Park.
I am so fortunate to have Sewerby Park just across the road from where I live. One of my favourite features of the park is the Woodland Trail - a steady meander through some very old trees that skirt the now well tended golf course. One patch is a riot of bluebells every spring and I have had several attempts at painting them. I find them quite tricky as they thrive in the shade and are usually well camouflaged so it's a challenge to get them right. This spring I was determined to do a painting of bluebells that I actually like. I decided to try a different tack. I painted the foreground bluebells first and built the painting round them. It's not as difficult as you might think and I was able to 'tidy' them up and make them stand out by using the scratching out technique to highlight some flower outlines. I am particularly pleased with the middle distance trees - I think they have a very 'impressionistic' look that captures the essence of that early evening light. And someone else liked my efforts. The best critics are the ones who part with their hard earned cash so many thanks to the buyer of my bluebell painting. It was part of our 'Double Vision' exhibition in the Gallery Suite at Bridlington Spa. This painting and another one went to good homes this weekend. Merice also sold this spectacular photograph of a sunset over Bridlington Bay.
The exhibition runs until 27th November so there is still time for you to call in for a look if you get the chance. The Spa is open daily seven days a week from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm.
An artist friend once told me that for every painting there is a buyer. If that's true then I must be a very rich man indeed...once I find the buyers that is! But this is a case in point. A lady first saw it in the Glenn Marshall Gallery in Old Town, Bridlington but by the time she returned to buy it I had moved. First I had a couple of months in Bempton but I eventually moved back to Old Town, this time in the Priory Gallery. I had been there several months when a lady walked in. "That's my painting!" she yelled excitedly. She had stumbled across it (and me) completely by chance. She informed me that she had not forgotten the painting had had spent weeks trying to track it down but thought she had lost it. So a good result for everybody and soon the painting was on its way to a nice new home to be cherished and looked after. As for the painting itself it is a scene from one of my most inspirational places - Skipwith Common. This is the largest expanse of heathland bog left in the North of England which makes it very special. The aim of the painting was to capture a shaft of light illuminating the trees which were under water which meant great reflections too. I used masking fluid to allow me to keep control of the painting. I masked the light on the trees and I was especially pleased with the delicate ferns and grasses in the foreground. With these details safely protected I could work very loosely with the remainder. I threw paint onto a wet surface for the background and then slowly worked my way forward through the trees. I painted the reflections with the same colour that I used for the trees but laid a wash of clean water over the pool to soften the colour of the reflected trees and make the reflections more realistic. Then I removed the mask and carefully painted the resulting white surfaces until I achieved the effect I was after. So although the painting looks very complicated once I broke it down it worked quite easily. But that is the joy of watercolour. You have to plan how you are going to proceed first before you pick up a brush but once you start - it flows easily. Happy painting. Glenn
Poppies are one of my favourite flowers. When I was a kid poppies were abundant in every arable field brightening up the crops with their cheerful colour. Sadly it seems that the abundance of the past has all but vanished. You can visit a field of ripening wheat now and you might not see even one splash of red. Earlier this year we trawled all round the Wolds looking for poppies to paint and photograph. We were getting excited if we even managed to come across a couple of lonely stragglers on the very edge of a field. Thankfully, however, we did eventually find a few farms where the poppies were allowed to flourish with the crops. So a big thank you to them and I'm sure things taste better when made with cereals mixed with natural poppy seeds. Normally I use masking fluid and paint the poppies last but for this I painted the poppies first and then built the painting round them. I think they have a more natural look about them without the hard edges that masking fluid leaves. Anyway poppies have become synonymous with remembrance of the many fallen in wars. This year is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War One and today is Armistice Day so I think it appropriate to use the painting as my personal memorial and grateful thanks for all those who paid the price for our freedom today. Glenn
The Theory of Relativity....?
First the good news - we have sold another painting so that makes it five paintings and seven prints in the first two weeks of our 'Double Vision 2014' exhibition in the Gallery Suite at Bridlington Spa. We still have almost three weeks to go (three weeks for you to come and see us!) so naturally we are very pleased. However everything is relative as dear old Bertie whatshisname used to say. In our previous exhibitions here at Bridlington Spa we shared with a group of mates and there was always six of us.This meant we used to hang about twenty pieces between us. Now twelve out of twenty sold just leaves eight but when you have seventy pieces - well it's a slightly different story. At the moment I have a few more than eight left..well fifty eight to be precise. This would take up a lot of space behind my sofa so we hope to shift a few more! Anyway this painting is one of my favourite views - looking back towards our lovely little town from Dane's Dyke. I have painted it on many occasions. This one is all about the shimmering light in the sky above the bay. One visitor remarked that the sky reminded her of England's most famous artist - JMW Turner. High praise indeed and even if nowhere near the truth ... it is still very flattering to be compared to the great man. So if there any film producers reading this who are thinking of doing another film - I am available for a lot less than Timothy Spall! Glenn
In the old days (here we go again!) when men were men and women were...er...women - we did a painting and that was that. Further back (before my time!) there was only woodcuts and perhaps engravings to copy an image - lengthy processes indeed. But now images can be reproduced onto any surface. My images too can now be reproduced on a variety of goods. Want to see some? Of course you do (I hope!). Here's a sample what is available featuring "Forest Light"
Now this is just a small sample of what is available from clothing to duvets and even travel mugs. Any of my images can be used to help you design an exclusive range for yourself. I think this is a very cool (do they still say that?) way of personalising a great range of goods just for you or as thoughtful gifts. Here's a few more items available to purchase:
If you have got this far then now is the time to tell you that Redbubble, who produce these fine goods, have a well warranted reputation for quality and service. Full details about the products are available for every item and you can customise them exactly as you want. Happy shopping! Glenn
BACK TO LIFE.....gone to new home.
This painting is very special to me. Click on this link to see why. You might suppose then that I would be sad to see it go. But no I am not. The painting has given me so much pleasure and by the look on the face of the buyer when he first saw it I am certain it is going to give someone else much pleasure too. He wanted it the moment he laid eyes on it so I was very happy to oblige knowing it is going to be treasured in its new home. This was the culmination of a very successful first week of our 'Double Vision' exhibition at the Gallery @ the Spa from 27th October to 27th November 2014 which is situated inside Bridlington Spa. This is the fourth painting I have sold this week and Merice has done better selling six prints. So a great start for us and three more weekends and a bit to go. The exhibition is open daily from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm and we are there Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 12.30. Admission is free. It would be lovely to meet up if you get the chance to call in. And please don't be shy - come up and say hello. The buyer has kindly let me keep the painting for the duration of the exhibition so it is still there if you want to see the original while you still have the chance. Incidentally prints of 'Back to Life' are still available.
Professional artist now semi retired and enjoying being eccentric!