|A selfie during the live broadcast on the Swedish radio P4 Malmöhus|
I was preparing the annual open studio event in my house which is usually, every Easter, visited by over 2000 people. Despite the fact that my big painting is still unfinished I decided to show it for the public during the event. A call from the regional radio took me by surprise, they asked me for an interview in a live broadcast a few days before the opening. Even though I drove to Malmö in good time I got stuck in a traffic jam and charged breathlessly into the studio at the last minute. Just as I was chatting to the journalists the conversation went live without me knowing so the result was rather spontaneous to say the least. I answered questions about my background, my painting and my recent "adventure" as a solo sailor.The day after there was an interview with the Swedish newspaper "Hallå" and the following day a 3 hour interview with a weekly magazine "Allas" which will be published in June.
On the first day of the open studio event the house was filled with people when a TV photographer and journalist arrived. I was asked about what the event meant for me while they filmed my works. I thought this was for a feature in a regional show but in the evening it was broadcasted on the swedish national TV (SVT1 Rapport) which could be seen by millions also in Finland and Denmark.
|With journalist Natalie Medic and photographer Nader Hammoud from SVT. Photo: David Elberling|
I still haven't finished the painting Breaking Waves.......
|Priming the plywood with Gesso|
After making several sketches, taking photographs, visualising ideas and presenting suggestions, the idea I had was approved. I made a research on the best materials to use for an indoor environment with high humidity.
The choice of materials fell on marine quality plywood, primed 3 times on all surfaces. The art work would then be painted with Golden Open Acrylics and finally finished with 3 layers of varnish.
For practical reasons I divided the painting into two parts to be assembled later.
The choice of subject fell on a stormy sea with large waves breaking in the foreground. In the distance the nearby island of Hven can be seen.
|The basic colours of green, pale blue, turquoise and white are added.|
|Even though I had emptied the living room to use as a studio while I work|
on the painting, I still had to place the pieces at an angle to get them to fit in.
|the foreground details of foam and spray |
are painted with a tiny brush
|Morning Mist |
118x50cm acrylics ©elizabeth Tyler 2014
|detail of the painting Morning Mist |
showing the dry brush technique used to create
the unfocused effect.
|Detail of the painting "After the storm"|
|"After the storm" acrylics on canvas 118 x 50 cm|
I had the idea of getting more action and depth into my work by perhaps lowering my point of view even further than I had been. Also I wanted to depict movement, in this case of rushing water.
The title of the painting "After the storm" literally means what it says, as I started the work on it inspired by the latest gale force winds and high seas. Well the seas don't actually get that high here but there was a lot of foam and spray in the air which prevented me from painting outside. I wrapped my camera in a clear plastic bag and took lots of shots on the beach in all directions. The camera was kept steady on a Gorilla tripod just a few inches from the wet sand. The final reference picture is the result of several images I pieced together. The eye can then wander through the seascape right from the close-up details of the seaweed in the foreground and all the way out to the far off horizon.
This post is more about sailing than painting but I'm posting it here because it tells the story about how I found inspiration to paint after a serious crisis. Without inspiration you can't paint, well you can go through the motions, but your work will reflect your state of mind and that will become a barrier which is hard to climb over.
This video is the English version of a lecture I gave in Swedish for an audience of creative people at the town theatre in Landskrona, November 2013.
At last I've had time to update this blog with a couple of new activities. My time has been totally taken up by preparing work for two exhibitions, one in Sweden in September the other in Finland in October.
|From my exhibition in Sweden at Galleri Pictor , together with Vibecke Fischer .|
This is a 5 minute video from my exhibition at Gallery Vihinpuu , Kokkola, Finland
|Porto Heli watercolour copyright Elizabeth Tyler 2013|
The subject for this watercolour painting, I have just finished, is unusual for me in that it is seen from a further distance than I normally choose. I've taken a pause from the close up, in detail, frogs eye views I often become totally absorbed in.
As the view is seen from a boat the sea makes up most of the foreground as opposed to more traditional paintings of coastal towns where the sea is in the background.
Painting in a boat has it's problems of course. The repetitive rocking motion of the boat isn't a great problem as long as it is caused by a light breeze with soft small waves. Your body and brain compensates so you don't even think about it. When the wind really gets up to something near gale force or when a motor yacht charges by at full speed ploughing through the water like a bulldozer, that's a problem.
The other problem in this case was a very high motor boat that moored in front of me, taking my view. I had to wait for the wind to change direction before I could get a glimpse of my subject again.
|Sitting in the cockpit trying to get the last details done.|
|My subject on th left, the obstruction in the middle, my boat "Aquarella" on the right.|
|Pebble shore watercolour 36 X 46 cm © Elizabeth Tyler 2013|
The challenge here was to be able to create the impression of depth and distance. I wanted the background very soft and diffuse but still keeping the foreground extremely sharp and detailed. I often try to use this effect when painting both watercolours and acrylics but it's equally challenging every time.
The water was very shallow, barely covering the stones, but even so the blue colour was really intense, reflecting the late afternoon sky.
In the painting all the stones and the foreground were masked first with Art Masking Fluid so that the water could be painted freely. Prussian blue and Winsor blue (red shade) were used, plus a touch of burnt sienna where the waves stir up the sea bed.
At first I had painted the stones in the water too clearly and defined so they looked like they were lying on the water instead of in the water.
So I went about scrubbing all the edges with a trimmed, wet hoghair brush. The streaks of white in the water were done in the same way. I finished off by drawing lines with a white aquarelle pencil. These lines were also scrubbed to soften the impression and create distance.
|Softening edges with a trimmed hoghair brush|
|Pebbles watercolour 25 x 45 cm © Elizabeth Tyler 2013|
In this watercolour I wanted to show the enormous diversity of the pebbles and stones. Not only in colour but shapes and sizes, surface textures and markings. Even the sand under the ripples of water is not just yellow but has it's own special character and is after all a compromised collection of minute and microscopic pebbles with similar colours.
|"The Net" acrylics on canvas 180 x 110 cm © Elizabeth Tyler 2004|
If you look closely, the intricate network is tied and sewn together with small knots. The fisherman's patience for this tedious, time consuming work must have been far greater than mine when I painted it all.
|Helenium 95 X 40 cm © Elizabeth Tyler 2011|
The painting I was working on previously is now finished and framed. As the subject was seen in the warmth of the late afternoon sun, I've called it "Evening Glow". It is now representing me in the group exhibition for all the artists participating in the annual open studio event "Konstrundan" here in southern Sweden. The exhibition in the Landskrona Art Hall opens Good Friday along with all the artists studios. We are 148 artists here working with many different techniques so the event is usually quite popular. I have been taking part in this event since 1997 and the number of visitors has increased every year. Normally over 2000 in my living room during the 10 days so I won't be painting for the next couple of weeks and tomorrow I'll go to bed early.
In the meantime the snow has slowly vanished from the garden, the days are longer and spring is almost here. The magpies have moved up into the pear tree where they're building a nest. I'd like to paint that too but it's way out of reach, they know what they're doing so I'll leave them alone now.
|Magpies acrylics on canvas 35 x 110 cm © Elizabeth Tyler 2013|
|Garlic acrylics on canvas 90 x 120 cm ©Elizabeth Tyler 2002|
The painting was sold a few years ago but the other day I was glad to have the opportunity of seeing it again in its present surroundings, a beautiful private home in Helsingborg, Sweden.
|Painting "Rocks", acrylics on canvas 150 x 110 cm © Elizabeth Tyler 2013|
Step by step, week after week I worked on this painting and now almost 2 months after I started, the finishing touches are added. At least I think these will be the finishing touches, the last brushstrokes, the final blobs and the umpteenth layer. I just have to leave it now for a while to let it rest and mature by itself. I might contemplate picking up a brush again to do some small adjustments but right now I need to do something else. It's often necessary to turn your back to work that has demanded so much attention for so long. In a few days I'll be able to see the painting in a new light and decide if more has to be done.
|Entrance hall of the Assa Abloy company Landskrona.|
Although my painting is from the Mediterranean, the subject is universal and coincidentally matches almost as if tailor made for the hall.
|"Over and under" acrylics on canvas 150 x 110 cm © Elizabeth Tyler 2009|
|Robin photo Elizabeth Tyler © 2012|
Finding subject matter on a cold December day in Sweden isn't always easy, especially since the number of daylight hours is very limited. Although I enjoy plein air painting and always prefer to do most of the work on location, there are days when it's simply not practical. Taking reference photos for later use is of course a good solution and one many artists resort to. Its not cheating as long as they are your own photos. In order to paint birds a good camera is almost a must. But even so it still requires sitting for hours in the freezing cold waiting for the right moment.
Believe it or not, the photograph on the left is taken through the window while I sit in the warmth of my kitchen. It still requires hours of waiting but at least I could sit in comfort.
Firstly I arranged the scene by placing logs and stones on a baking tray filled with water. This was put outside the window on a garden table so the height was suitable for the camera tripod. I waited for the water to freeze then sprinkled bird food on the logs as bait.
Inside the kitchen I rigged up a black curtain to minimise reflections and hide the camera which I stuck through a hole in the material. I connected the camera to the computer with the remote shooting function and waited for the right moment. And waited...
Hundreds of photos later I managed to get this one plus a handful more. I don't know if I will actually use it as reference for a painting yet or maybe it's best as a Christmas card.
|Taking photos from the comfort of the kitchen|
|Refelections, watercolour 35 x 46 cm|
|"Sharron Davidson", Austin Texas, |
Pinner on Pinterest with a
keen interest in art
|Bollywood actress Sonli Bendre|