With the same immenseness as Caernarfon Castle, Conwy is going to be a good balance in the room. With the suspension bridge, modern meets historical – and was most tricky to paint!
When I used to holiday near Porthmadog, I joined Cadw – the Welsh Heritage organisation. I then proceeded to overdose on visiting castles – I think the record was 9 in three days. I don’t really know where the fascination started, but it was certainly early in childhood. The bigger, the better in my book… But, as a subject for a painting, Dolwyddelan Castle is pretty much up there, despite being the smallest castle in the series.
I’ve been painting again today – after I’d potted on my leeks… This time, I’ve gone for Raglan Castle, in Monmouthshire. You might note, in comparison to my painting of Caernarfon Castle yesterday, that the light is coming from the opposite direction. There is method in this madness – the paintings are to hang opposite each other on either side of the room. Thus, the light, and the shadows, will look as if they are from the same direction.
Ok, ok, it was a happy accident that I noticed the above before I started hanging the paintings. Now I will go back to my reference materials and check that the remaining four of the series are split 50/50 in light direction. It was one of those ‘oh no’ moments that turned into ‘well, of course, I meant to do that’ when no one was looking…
I’m having fun in the Studio, actually playing with paints and canvases for a change. It’s also been a little while since I have had any commissions. This is the first in a series of six canvases, each requested to feature a Welsh castle. The main colour of the room is grey, and the accent colour is purple.
I’ve loved the ‘purple twilight’ type photo treatment, and there’s nothing more striking (I think) than a castle’s silhouette. It gives a much more solid appearance, and given most castle’s prominence on the horizon, a real immenseness.
Now that I’ve recovered from TV work and shows, I’ve put pen to pad and created another Pub Carpet tangle pattern. This one is a repeated motif, that can be used as a border, or, as shown, in circles. Add a bit of shading and colour to make it ping from the page.
It’s not long before I am on your screens again, demonstrating the latest release of products from That’s Crafty! To whet your appetite, here are a few more teasers…
I have to get up at silly o’clock on Friday morning, so forgive me if I’m not quite awake for the 8am show – but hopefully by the 2pm show I will have stopped yawning! There’s a lot to pack into the shows, so make sure you record them as I’ll be demo’ing rather fast…