The next installment of digital art takes us back to Jaffa. The steps lead up to Kedumim Square, the centre of Jaffa’s tourism, and (at the risk of sounding like a tour guide) where you can find the beautiful St Peter’s Church, built around 350 years ago.
I’m really loving the graphic, cartoon-y quality of these pieces, and have printed a few for display. They are colourful and fun, and really brighten up a space. It’s a very different style to work with than paint or pastel, but the base is still my hand at work (the black and white version being done in ink).
And I love that it can work with basically anything. I’ve focused on landscapes of my surroundings, as that’s what inspires me, but I’m thinking about trying a portrait in this style…. Watch this space….
Those of you familiar with Israel’s coastline will know the hand-glider is a common sight. This weeks painting is of Netanya beach, looking out from a 14th floor apartment. Hand gliding is on my bucket list, and where better to do it than here.
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
― Leonardo da Vinci
“Go up … and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession.”
~ Deuteronomy 32:49
“On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands.”
~ Ezekiel 20:6
Weddings are awesome, especially when it’s a close friend. So when you’re actually part of the bridal party, spending the whole day with the bride and fellow bridesmaids getting ready, having photos taken, creating memories is just amazing.
I cannot express the fun I had that day, photos on the beach, playing in the sand, pretending to run from tidal waves and watching the sunset behind the happy couple. When I saw the wedding photos, I was in awe. It is the mark of a good photographer* to capture some of the compositions and moments as they did, and so, when the happy couple asked for a painting of one of their photos as a wedding gift, I happily obliged.
I would note that it was a challenge to pick the right photo, there were so many to choose from, but after ruling out ones that they were going to get large prints of, we settled on a chuppa scene in the forest venue.
I had a lot of fun painting this scene, which I’m sure is because it reminded me of such an unbelievable day. Giving a personal wedding present like this makes me very happy and I hope the newly weds get as much pleasure from the painting as I did creating it.
*Respect to both photographers who I highly recommend to anyone getting married in Israel or London:
Asaf Kliger (Israel) – http://www.asafandroy.com/Asaf_And_Roy_2011_no_3/Home.html
Adam Szczepanski (London) – http://www.adamsphotoart.co.uk
My digital series continues with the Bahai Gardens in Haifa. I included this in this series, purely because the gardens are a stunning array of colours. My graphic representation doesn’t come close to real life, but is a taster…
When I was at school (both high school and university), we spent hours during class analyzing historical paintings. Look at that brush stroke Monet used or the revolutionary subject matter of Manet! Why was Degas so obsessed with ballet dancers? Comparing the different paths of Cezanne, Seurat, Pissarro and Van Gogh, a hundred theories as to what scared the figure in The Scream (or is it a scream of anger?) and so on…
But not until finishing the painting in this entry did I really feel that I had analyzed a painting in such depth. I shall explain…
After completing a number of paintings and after going to see the Andy Warhol exhibition, I stumbled across a painting by Howard Kanovitz called ‘The Opening’ (1967). I loved the pop art style with flat colours in different tones to show shape and shadow.
I want to experiment with this style more, so I decided to start by copying it on a smaller scale.
At this juncture, I’d like to say to all those people who may accuse me of plagiarism – I am not claiming this is an original artwork, nor do I intend to sell it or prints of it. I admit that it is a copy done for technique experimentation and my pleasure!
The original of this painting is 426cm long by 212cm high, so the figures are more or less life-size. The biggest paper I could find to work on was 66cm long so the first challenge was spacing the figures accurately and scaling everything down in proportion. The more observant of you will notice I didn’t quite succeed here and the last figure on the right of the original doesn’t appear in my version.
It was during the painting process that I truly analyzed this artwork. Note that I didn’t do any background reading, nor did I know the name of the painting until after I’d completed my copy. The following things sprung to mind during the process:
- The clothing of the women is a reflection of the period the painting was created – 1967.
- Their hairstyles along with the fact that a number of them are smoking reminded me a little of Mad Men (a series I recently became addicted to!)
- The guy in the middle (eighth from the left) looks a little like Kevin Spacey (more in the original than in my version).
- At first, I thought the figures appeared to be mingling before or at an interval of a theatre performance. However, when I saw the paper held by the man fifth from the left, I realized it was more likely a gallery opening because this looks more like a flyer than a theatre program (although I have no idea whether theatre programs in the 60s where in glossy magazine format like today!)
- The man on the very right of my painting is a little like Nicolas Cage!
- Margaret Thatcher also appears in the painting, wearing white. Well, the back of her head…
- Ron Howard as he was in Happy Days as Richie Cunningham also attended The Opening (very left)
Ok, so whilst it isn’t the type of analysis that my art teachers would have approved of, it was a lot of fun for me! There is definitely a skill in getting the two tone shading right, and I hope I can translate this over to my own work in the future.
The holiday and partying season is well and truly in swing. Many will be, by now, slumped over their tried and tested hangover cures, whether it be a raw egg in tomato juice or just another whisky!
Either way, this time of year is for spending with great friends and family. Sitting round the dinner table, eating Christmas dinner, discussing the previous years’ antics. Or sitting in the pub, reminiscing about the time we climbed a mountain in the snowy winter of Scotland, celebrated by having half a bottle of Glenfiddich and falling asleep by the fire in the bothy, only to wake up to climb back down the mountain.
Ok, that might seem a bit strange for many of us, but those in climbing circles will understand, and may even tell me that ‘half a bottle’ isn’t quite accurate! My brother-in-law wanted to give his close friends a Christmas gift to remember, so I made these two photo canvas collages for them, as a reminder of all of those amazing memories created out in the hills.
I’m told that there were tears (of joy I hope) when his friends were presented with these gifts. The text is meaningful to them, names of Monroe’s climbed together in Scotland, and lyrics to a song. Friendships are bonded climbing those hills.
Happy New Year!
For number two in this digital series, I have chosen Jaffa. As my regular readers will know, I love using Jaffa (particularly the old city) as my canvas, and it never gets boring (well, for me anyway). Around every corner is a different view, and for this piece, I’ve chosen one looking out to sea.
The contrast between the bright blue sea and the pastel beige stone is something I’ve come to associate with the ancient cities in Israel, whether it’s Jerusalem, Jaffa, Caesarea or Akko. And these places, for me, truly represent the Holy Land.
I’ve been spending a lot of time recently developing my online shop and Facebook page (no apologies for the shameless plugs), and over the last week really felt I’d spent too long looking at a computer screen and not enough time with a pen(cil) in my hand.
And sometimes staring at a monitor just hurts my head, so I took a break and this is what happened:
Due to the storm/snow here, I was working from photos I’d taken a week earlier and feel that there’s an architectural-graphic quality of the pen marks. This isn’t a million miles away from the style of the sketches I do as an interior designer.
At this stage in the design process I would take an ‘interior’ sketch into Photoshop and start adding materials and shading. So, I decided to experiment with this drawing in the same way. I have a (not so) secret obsession for Photoshop, and until now have been restrained and have not manipulated much of my artwork, except to alter the brightness affected by scanning.
So this is how it turned out. I didn’t want to go into too much detail as it would lose the graphic quality I liked in the original sketch so I kept the colours in block rather than shading.
As I’ve given away in the title of this post, I’ve been working on a number of these stylised sketches. More will follow, just as soon as my eyes readjust from staring at the screen for too long!
Whilst I really love using my surroundings for my inspiration, I wanted to try something different from the landscapes subject matter that features in much of my artwork. So I talked to some friends about the types of artwork they like, and this piece started from there.
The list of ‘likes’ covered everything from Monet to Picasso, still-lifes to abstract skies… so I took a gamble and went for music. This is unlike anything I’ve ever painted before, but I’m really pleased with the composition. And it’s given me a little confidence boost to try something bigger along the same theme…
Watch This Space…