Monday 27 February 2012

Saturday sketches

An hour at the beach on Saturday afternoon and very fast changing weather/light conditions meant sketching had to be super fast.

From overcast with high contrast like this......


To much clearer blue skies and warm sunshine like this....  

(Photographs by His Nibbs)

Friday 24 February 2012

On a summer breeze

On summer breeze
Acrylic on paper 38x38cm
©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec

This painting has been a little difficult to photograph. I can't capture the colour, there is lots of broken colour with five different blues dry brushed and glazed on top of a warm neutral ground. The blues have been built up in many layers and the painting has a kind of shimmer to it. The birds are painted some on top and some embedded into the blues.

Travelling LightYesterday I finished a book  of short stories that I have been dipping in and out of since Christmas. I rarely read fiction these days as normally I have my nose buried in art books but this is an exception. Tove Jansson is one of my favourite authors. I first discovered her work as a child when I was a big fan of the Moomins. Then later, as an adult I rediscovered her work when I read  The Summer Book   which has become one of my all time favourite books - EVER. It is absolutely enchanting and I am impatiently awaiting the next book to be translated. (Art and Nature is out 7th June 2012 published by Sort Of Books ).  I think it would be worth learning Swedish to be able to read her books in her language despite the translations being so good. If only there was the time... Information about Tove Jansson can be found  here .

'That there can still be as-yet untranslated fiction by Jansson is simultaneously an aberration and a delight, like finding buried treasure.' (Ali Smith)'

Sorry I digress.... it wasn't until I finished the last page and closed the book that I had a real light bulb moment. Just check out the cover! Was this subconsciously the nudge that started this series of paintings? How come I didn't notice before? Have you ever had this happen to you?

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Winter sunset

I'm painting as fast as I can but I've nothing at a stage to blog about yet. Sometimes it feels like slow going..... hopefully there will be something blog worthy in the next few days.

As an aside have you noticed what a small world (and shrinking everyday) it is? I've come across a few new blogs over the last couple of weeks and have chuckled to myself to see some familiar faces in their followers list. I love this community that we make up.

Winter sunset - Southbourne

Thursday 16 February 2012

Sketchbook pages

I've made a new tab that can be clicked on at the top to see some sketchbook pages. I've started with some pages from over the last couple of years and the plan is to update the page every once in a while. Below are a couple of sketchbook pages from the last two days:

I've been managing to get out early as it's been quite mild, although this morning I was very glad I had my gloves with me. These were both done between 8.30 and 9ish. It's a good time to get down there as apart from the birds and one or two dog walkers there is no one around and I've had the place to myself.

Monday 13 February 2012

Flying High

You may remember a little while back a sketchbook page that I posted of lots of studies of gulls flying. What followed from there was a small watercolour painting of gulls flying over the sea. This idea/theme had been churning over in my mind for quite some time now but I was unsure how to proceed and the watercolour hadn't quite stated my intention. Quite a few thumbnails and variations followed and below are the first two paintings in a new series.

Flying High I
6x8inch acrylic on paper
©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec

Flying High II
6x8inch acrylic on paper
©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec

It is always exciting to see the first glimmers of a new series of work come to fruition. With no horizon, land, sea etc distracting the eye there can only be a focus on the light, movement and scale. I've a hunch that these will develop in a more semi-abstract way as I work. These first two are small in scale and I have begun work today on the next piece which is a larger format.

Both of the above paintings are available in my Etsy store  here  and  here and come presented in a textured white mount.

Thursday 9 February 2012

From the cliff top

From the cliff top
acrylic on paper 15.5x18cm
©2011 Lisa Le Quelenec

I stood on the cliff top on Monday watching the texture trail made by a lazy current. At around 9am the sun was shining so weakly through thickish grey cloud that it looked like a white disk, a hard outline like a paper cut out. There was no wind but it was cold. Below, on the beach, a dog walker was throwing a ball into the sea for his labrador to go fetch. The dog was enjoying the game and didn't seem to notice what must have been very cold water. It seemed like they were the only moving things and everything else was just waiting for the cold to pass.

I enjoy painting the silver greys of winter and used a very limited palette for this one of buff titanium, indigo, indanthrene blue and zinc white. I wanted to capture the stillness, like a pause before spring arrives.

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Reflecting in the sand

Reflecting in the sand
acrylic on canvas 50x50cm
©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec

The painting above had the finishing touches added over the weekend. Inspired by a Boxing Day walk that felt more like mid summer with it's blue skies and unseasonal warmth. The smoothness of the wet sand acted like a mirror reflecting the light as the tide lazily retreated.

February it seems will be colder and greyer. Walking past a shop yesterday some flame orange lilies caught my eye and I couldn't resist buying a pot to chase the grey away. Their warmth is welcome and the shapes they make are always lovely to draw. With the Pantone colour of 2012 being Tangerine Tango I'm expecting to see a lot more of this uplifting colour which has been described as 'the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward' now that can't be bad. 

Monday 6 February 2012


There have been quite a few drafts to my updated 'artists statement' but it is finally complete. I've added it as an extra page to this blog. It always feels like a daunting task and I'm glad that it's done but it has been a useful exercise in focusing on why I do what I do and what my aims are.

The word that had been on the tip of my tongue 'exhilaration'. It came to me as I did the washing up, the irony of the chore I was doing wasn't lost ;o)

This photograph was taken last summer on a warm but very windy day at Portland in Dorset. The wind and the crashing sea created so much spray that the chap down on the rocks must have been soaked. It's an image that I remembered when I thought of the word exhilarating.

One of the problems I had was in trying to keep it concise which got me thinking of haiku's....

A calm sea whispers -
I'm painting frantically
capturing the light.

I don't think that this qualifies but wouldn't it be a fun way to write an artist statement.

Wednesday 1 February 2012

Words, words, words....

In the Distance
14x19cm acrylic on paper
©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec

A frustrating couple of days, I'm struggling with writing an artist's statement at the moment, it needs updating for an exhibition that's coming up. This has to be one of the hardest tasks ever invented. My mind keeps wandering onto lots of other jobs that suddenly seem very, very important to do. You know the stuff, tidying and sorting the studio, sharpening pencils and lining them up in size order... I feel like I'm back in school.

I've started by mind mapping words, then letting sentences develop around them. I know what I want to say, it's on the tip of my tongue, unfortunately it's just out of my grasp. I've been searching the dictionary to no avail. Words, they are as elusive as the light I try to paint. I'm hoping that by not thinking about it for a while the words will pop magically into my head, the way they do sometimes.

All I can think of is this quote;

'If I could say it in words, there would be no need to paint.' -Edward Hopper