So much to paint, so little time to paint in

Sometimes we all have to accept that there just isn’t enough time in a day or even a week to do everything we might want to do. Especially when you’re already having to fit what you might want to do around your many other responsibilities! That’s pretty much how I felt this past week when my time for painting was seriously curtailed and, when I did manage to get my brushes out, the pressure of trying to make the most of my hour or so was almost overwhelming! Here’s how I got on:
A sunlit scene in Perigeuex, France, by John Haywood
A sunlit scene in Perigeuex, France
After applying the first wash over a very basic pencil outline, I’d written this one off as a disaster. I’d applied to paint far too wet, with the result that the pale green for the trees on the right-hand side leached right across all of the background buildings. In my haste, I’d also painted over some areas that I’d intended to reserve for later. At this point, I had to leave my painting, which was probably a good thing. When I returned to it much later on, I decided to continue with it purely as a means of practising some brushwork and having a bit of a play about with it. Once I began throwing caution to the wind a little more, I began to enjoy myself a little more. While there’s a lot about this painting that I’d rather not have to look at, I am pleased with the description of the left-hand building, the overhang of the balcony and the lanterns and sunblinds beneath. Considering how disappointed I’d been earlier on, this felt like a much better outcome than I could have anticipated. Sadly over the next few weeks, I fear my time at the easel may also be severely restricted so I’m going to have to think carefully about what I can do in the time available! Rather than part on such despondent terms, however, here’s something much more upbeat.

The Anonymous Heart Art Auction

Heart Research UK, Anonymous Heart Art Project
At the beginning of the summer, I was contacted by Heart Research UK to ask if I would be willing to contribute to their Anonymous Heart Art Auction. The premise is really simple. Contributors submit an A5 doodle, sketch, painting or another form of 2D artwork. All of the artworks are then displayed anonymously and each one auctioned off to the highest bidder. It’s a great opportunity to support a wonderful cause and also to pick up something totally unique and, who knows, a complete bargain and potentially something created by someone very famous. Naturally this ‘opportunity’ is balanced out with the chance of picking something up by a complete unknown like myself too but I was, nevertheless, flattered to be asked! Other contributors include celebrities, actors, artists, musicians comedians and many other great and good people. I’ve submitted a number of sketches to be auctioned which I daresay followers of this blog would find it quite easy to identify! The auction will be run on eBay from the 2 – 11 November 2018.  You can sign up to receive alerts about the auction, or find out more about the auction and the great work that Heart Research UK undertake. I’ll probably post another update on this nearer the time, but it already feels like a much more upbeat note on which to end this week’s post.

Thoughts on So much to paint, so little time to paint in

32 thoughts on “So much to paint, so little time to paint in”

  1. Pingback: Half-hearted watercolour paintings

  2. Pingback: So much to paint, so little time to paint in — – SEO

  3. Totally understand the whole time restriction issue. Work can definitely get in the way of our art, at least for me. I must say I do like your painting, especially that left side. You have a nice and pleasing free style that always makes me think of we easy, warm summer days.

    Please keep us informed about the auction. I am really interested in how it goes for you. Thanks again for such thoughtful and beautiful posts, John.

    1. Hi Tim and thanks so much for this. I was talking to someone the other day about the work / painting balance. If I had to rely on my painting for my income – then I fear it would come with some pretty major stresses so it’s a real conundrum! Most of the time it’s ok but there are occasions when work (and life) commitments really over-rule everything and I then find myself becomming really frusrtrated that I’m not getting any painting done! If I ever crack this conundrum, I’ll be sure to let you know!

        1. haha, yep, it’s a solution that I often fantasise about but, despite my age getting closer and closer, financially I’m nowhwere near it!

  4. I think it’s a very successful painting, John. The wash which has spread across from the trees looks just right and I love the way you’ve painted all the individual bricks in the building on the left. Joking apart, it won’t surprise you to hear that I think it’s actually some of the detailing that in the the canopy, in the chairs and even in the blinds that really brings it to life. In this case, I have to admit, it’s nicely balanced by the bold brush-strokes and washes on the right and at the bottom. Oh, and while you’re at it with the roof, what about the feet?

    1. I’ve just realised why I like it so much; it’s a really tight composition with everything in the right place and everything taking your eye around the picture.

      1. pps A solution to the roof problem might be to give the sky the faintest of tints and leave the roof glaring. Just a thought.

        1. ooh, I hadn’t considered this approach but I like the idea of it very much, I think it’s an excellent thought and really appreciate you passing it on. I think I’ll be adding this to my weekend to do list!

      2. Thanks again Rob, your kind comments are making me think that rather than just leave this subject alone and move on, I should definitely consider revisiting it. The more I look at this, the more I’m swayed towards the composition!

    2. Wow, thanks Rob, this is a much more positive and balanced critique than I could have reasonably expected. The roof I accept may benefit from some further consideration… the feet however, I’m afraid I’m going to have to hope that you can just ‘imagine’ the feet!

      1. “This is a much more positive and balanced critique than I could have reasonably expected.” You’re getting to know what to expect from me!.

        1. Haha – I’m not sure that I’d ever ‘presume’ to know what to expect – but if I err on the side of caution I might find that I’m pleasantly surprised sometimes!

    1. Hi Carole and thanks so much for this. To be honest, any profile raising would be great but I’d settle for just raising a few pounds (or hopefully more!) for such a good cause!

  5. Congrats on the auction invitation. You already have plenty of worthy works to choose from.

    I like the painting. The foliage on the left reads very shady to me. Not that easy to do. Yes, you didn’t leave very much white but it is a shady painting, possibly an overcast day.

    The only thing that bothers me is the missing roof.

    1. Hi Mary and thanks for this, much appreciated! I know exactly what you mean about that roof! It troubles me a bit too! In my reference photo there was so little in terms of colour and tone to distinguish the two, so I was relying on the cast shadow of the ‘other roof’ to do the job for me! I did think about adding the roof in at the end, but thought it might also end up detracting if I got it wrong.

      1. I saw the shadow of the other building on it but the color of the roof is so close to the sky that it looks like the roof is missing. Even if that’s what the reference photo shows, I’d still do a pale wash of anything to make it look like a roof. I know you’re not that pleased with this one so it wouldn’t hurt it.

        1. I think this might still be taped up so I could run something across this pretty easily. I don’t usually go back to paintings once I feel I’ve finished them, preferring to move on to the next subject but on this occassion, I might take your advice on this! Thanks Mary

    1. Thanks so much Evelyn – I must confess that after a year of applying to various open submission exhibitions without any success it felt great to just be invited out of the blue!

    1. Thanks David – it’s a constant struggle trying to keep all of life’s plates spinning isn’t it!? Good to know that I’m not alone though! Many thanks David

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