Sunday 21 December 2014

I'm dreaming.....

....of a white Christmas.....

 It's not very likely at all. It hasn't stopped me from trying to remember the colours and tones of snow though. I used cobalt violet, cerulean blue, a touch of raw sienna and a grey inktense pencil for this memory sketch.

watercolour sketchbook double page ©2014Lisa Le Quelenec

Wishing you a very Happy Holidays

Saturday 22 November 2014

Watercolour vignettes

I am fascinated by Turner's watercolour vignettes which you can see and read about here. It is interesting that the vignettes that he did weren't intended as paintings in their own right but as pieces to be translated into print that were subordinate to the text that they accompanied. In my opinion they are all little gems.

It has prompted me to look again at breaking out of the formal constraints of the rectangular or square format of paper and canvas which can lead to something altogether more interesting. This is something I explored briefly some years back but hadn't returned to. Whilst my explorations are no where near as free flowing and randomly shaped as Turner's it might be the start of a journey that develops in that vein. To have the same confidence in guiding the paint rather than controlling it is definitely something that I aspire to.

Vignettes   watercolour  9x9cm   ©2014Lisa Le Quelenec

I have presented these part circular paintings within a square aperture mount which reinforces the formality that I am breaking away from. I like the tension between the formal and the chaotic. Where this will lead I have no idea but it is an interesting idea to experiment with.

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Guiding lights

Guiding Lights acrylic on canvas 50x50cm   ©2014Lisa Le Quelenec

Finally I have finished this painting started in June. It's not quite as dark in real life but I might have a wait to get a better one as more wintery weather seems to have settled in and whilst it is very mild in temperature we are having very heavy rain showers with skies much like in the painting. It feels quite apt to be posting it now.

To see the beginning stages of this painting click here.

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Sea shell notebooks

Well I don't know where my mind is at because I thought I had posted about these weeks ago. It seems I saved the post as a draft instead of publishing it.

A little side project that I had been working on...

A5 Sea Urchin notebook hand painted in acrylic ©2014Lisa Le Quelenec

Detail of A5 Sea Urchin notebook hand painted in acrylic ©2014Lisa Le Quelenec

There are six in the series and they are available in my Etsy Shop here .

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Watercolour shell studies

Shell studies 6x8inch approx ©2014Lisa Le Quelenec

Shell studies 6x8inch approx ©2014Lisa Le Quelenec
Shell studies 6x8inch approx ©2014Lisa Le Quelenec

Some new shell studies available individually at my Etsy store here .

I love painting shells, this series is growing and growing as I am always coming home with new subjects. With the little 'un' so close to the ground I'm thinking he might be a good hunter gatherer for new subjects too, in time ;o)

Thursday 18 September 2014

Sunset sketch

sunset sketch   watercolour 20x20cm   ©2014Lisa Le Quelenec

I love how sometimes the sun seems to set the clouds on fire..... so challenging to paint. One day I will crack it. A really difficult sketch to photograph, I think it is too contrasty for my camera to cope with so it has greyed out somewhat...

There is so little time to paint now as the little one is on the move and not sleeping so much ;o)

Wednesday 3 September 2014

De La Croix

 'I never know a moment's boredom when I have a brush in my hand.'    De La Croix

I haven't had much time to paint or sketch lately. A certain little someone has been keeping me on my toes. I have been taking little snatches of time to finish a book that I started back on maternity leave though - The journal of Eugene De La Croix  ISBN9780714833590. I have a shortened version but it is still a long read. It is however, absolutely fascinating with many insightful observations not only on art and painting but also on human nature.

One quote in particular has given me food for thought;

'As a rule marine artists do not paint the sea well.... they make portraits of waves...They are not sufficiently concerned with the effect of imagination which, by multiplicity of details - too minutely described even when they are true - is distracted from the main theme, the vastness or depth which art is capable of expressing.'     De La Croix

On The Coast   photograph ©2014Vicky Le Quelenec

I don't have too much left of the book and am wondering if anyone could recommend another for me to start on a similar vein. What is your favourite book written by an artist?

Thursday 14 August 2014

A beautiful moon

Super moon   watercolour sketchbook ©2014Lisa Le Quelenec
I am a little late in posting about it...... but wasn't it beautiful?

Monday 4 August 2014

Seas of Red

Poppies   acrylic ink A3 sketchbook page   ©2014Lisa Le Quelenec

It has been a very good year for poppies in my garden, there has been a lovely display. They are particularly beautiful when they are back lit from the sun. I have found it particularly poignant that the blooms were so many and lasted so long during this time of the 100 year anniversary of the start of World War I. Of all the things that I have seen and heard in the media about the commemorations this installation by ceramic artist Paul Cummins has been the most moving and beautiful to me so far. It is something I would love to see.

To buy a poppy and support six service charities register your interest here.

Tuesday 29 July 2014

A storm in a WIP....

Guiding Light (unfinished)  acrylic on canvas 50x50cm   ©2014Lisa Le Quelenec

I didn't appreciate before just how long putting together a blog post takes. There has been painting going on during the past month just not much time to sit at the pooter to edit pictures and get a post together......must try harder.

This is the canvas that I have been battling with. I think I am almost there. I need to live with it a while to 'see' the adjustments that need to be made. I feel that it needs more colour. The reality is not so contrasty and more warmer and subtle in the tones but the camera hasn't picked that up. So the battle continues....

©2014Lisa Le Quelenec

I started by going through my colour notes sketchbook and choosing my palette. I wanted to keep the colour fairly subtle and not too dark. It was important to me that the colours leaned to the warm side, to give the feeling of the hot, humid, heavy feeling before a storm. This palette of ivory black, indanthrene, azure blue, buff titanium and parchment fitted the bill. I have added titanium and zinc white and a touch of pthalo turquoise to the mix.

©2014Lisa Le Quelenec

Blocking in and deciding the tonal patterns are my starting point. Everything is very rough and ready getting the bare bones down quickly. I stayed fairly close to the original watercolour which you can see in my previous post here .

©2014Lisa Le Quelenec

I was starting to work on the shafts of sunlight by dry brushing the paint and added the sail of the yacht in. The painting was trying to tell me that it needed something else. Something subtle but very necessary was missing.

©2014Lisa Le Quelenec

I did what I usually do when faced with such a dilemma. I turned to my sketchbooks. Flicking through I found a tiny sketch of the Isle of Wight and the Needles and decided that the small little detail was just what I needed. I had to keep it subtle though I didn't want anything fighting with the light which is the focal point of the painting.

My sketchbooks are beyond valuable to me and such an important part of the way that I work. Sometimes just for small details like this and the notes about light and atmosphere.

©2014Lisa Le Quelenec

I kept the tones very close so that the land is a mere suggestion. It also appeals to me that the there is a second 'guiding light' with the addition of the lighthouse but that it is outweighed by nature's guiding light.

©2014Lisa Le Quelenec

Reassessing the painting I concluded that the yacht was now too far over to the right of the composition and needed to move to the left a little. I also increased the scale. The sail is acting like an arrow to the sun streaming through the cloud.

Friday 20 June 2014

Inspired by this years storms

This Winter saw some terrible storms here in the UK with much damage and flooding. As well as flooding from the river and very high tides locally we have also had some landslides with sections of the cliffs tumbling onto the beach. Luckily they have happened at times when no one was around to get hurt. As much as I love a good storm to clear the air, this Winter was hard on many people and I could take no pleasure in them.

This painting was inspired by the feeling of the dark and relentless rain - longing for drier days to come.

Toward the light   watercolour on paper 20x20cm ©2014 Lisa Le Quelenec

Those drier days are here now, touch wood, we have had some lovely hot weather. I still spare a thought for those who are still waiting for their houses to dry out though. It's such a long process and there must be quite a few still waiting to get back to normal.

I enjoy painting storms in watercolour and am wondering if they would work as well in acrylic on a large scale. What do you think? Whilst I like dark watercolour I'm not so keen on dark acrylic, perhaps because of the more dense nature of the medium. I would have to adjust it to a brighter tonal range perhaps? Time to experiment....

Monday 9 June 2014

Gulls in flight - watercolour sketches

Gull sketchbook  25x5.5cm   ©2014Lisa Le Quelenec

The lions share of the pages from a watercolour sketchbook had been used up in a commission and I was left with a narrow bound book to play with. Using only flame red and turquoise FW ink I painted some diluted backgrounds and once dry sketched gulls in using only white gouache and pencil for the dark wing tips.

The few lines of poetry are from Pablo Neruda's Ode to the Sea Gull; '... ecstatic line of flight.' became almost a mantra as I tried to get the swiftness of the shape in one stroke. There is something very calming and meditative in the repetition of sketching in this way which I enjoyed. My aim was to get to believable shapes using only one or two brushstrokes. I found as I went along that the more I did the more I wanted to do until I had painted just under 150 of them! Then wondered how much better the results would be after another 150. Maybe another sketchbook is waiting to be filled.  - practise makes perfect after all...

Friday 30 May 2014

A quick sketch - Daisies

Daisy sketch 12x14cm pen and wash ©2014Lisa Le Quelenec

'On tiptoe walked she in the sun
Until, our eyes to greet,
A fallen constellation we
Discovered at our feet.
Before us white and wonderful
The daisies gleamed so bright...'


Every year I enjoy watching the daisies spring up before the first mowing. His Nibbs leaves it a couple of weeks longer for me to enjoy before starting the daisy massacre. He has been known to leave me a couple of patches which get cut at the second mowing. I'll let you into a secret.... last year I planted a couple of bits that I had dug up from the grass into the flower bed. This year they are very well established and have spread. They look so cheerful and the leaves have given what was a bare patch a lovely green covering. The official line is, 'I wonder how they got there...'.  ;o)


Thursday 22 May 2014

I'm back..... and a quick introduction.

Jack aka Prince Twinkle of the Toes

What a wonderful, busy, tiring, crazy, emotional, awe inspiring time I have been having over the last few months. Our beautiful son Jack, aka Prince Twinkle of the Toes (aren't they delicious?) arrived on Halloween, our anniversary - we couldn't have planned it better. We have had a lovely time getting to know each other and settling in as a family. His arrival has brought much joy and many changes to our lives, all for the better. 

I really must say a huge thank you to the medical team at Poole Maternity Hospital for the excellent care that they took of us both before and after the birth. They really were stars! Everyone was so kind, helpful and caring - thank you for keeping us safe, we are truly grateful.

A big thank you too, from the bottom of our hearts to everyone for all the messages of congratulations, kind thoughts and gifts. They have all meant so much to me and my little family.

Now it is late spring and the swallows have arrived and so I know it is time to get back to work. Gently at first, I feel like I will be easing myself into it. My new studio assistant will need to learn the routines (I will need to find new ones that work for the both of us.) One of the many changes is that I now must work in much shorter and more concentrated bursts of time so I am aiming for blog posts once a week for the next few months and will see how I go from there. I'm looking forward to getting back to work and definitely looking forward to getting back to blogging.