Tuesday

New Exhibitions

 After almost two years with no exhibition activity whatsoever owing to the pandemic, things suddenly started to happen. I found myself in the dilemma of having promised to participate in four different watercolour exhibitions during the summer. As these are group shows I didn’t have to fill all the walls with my works but I could divide my collection between them with just 6 paintings in each. 

First up was Gallery Jäger&Jansson in Lund here in southern Sweden.
 https://fb.watch/5Uj59WTk2h/




A painting from Serra san Quirico, Italy
One of my watercolours from the
exhibition at Gallery Jäger & Jansson







 

 










Next was an exhibition of Nordic Watercolours at the art hall of Krapperup Castle. It is a great honour to be chosen to participate in this prestigious show, together with 14 other artists from Denmark, Sweden and Finland.  https://www.bmz.se/

 

 

 

 


The exhibition Nordic Watercolour
attracted many visitors and there was a
very long queue outside.
An exhibition visitor taking a shot of me while
I was taking a shot of one of my works.




















This watercolour I painted in the early morning looking over the bay of Kilada in Greece.

My painting "Rock Pool" at the Exhibition "Nordic Watercolour" at Krapperup.


The following exhibition I will be participating in will be at the art house Annaborg, Hillerød, Denmark. The show, with works by 20 artists is called "Den Fjerde Dimension" "The fourth Dimension" . It will later be moved to southern Sweden.
http://www.hillerodkunstforening.dk/kommende-udstillinger.html
One of the watercolour paintings I will be showing at the exhibition at Annaborg Denmark.


Wednesday

Easter egg



 I was asked by Landskrona town council if I could decorate an egg for Easter.

 OK, I thought, that won’t take too long. 

Then I was told it would be 1.5 meters high and made of fibre glass. I started to panic when I realised I only had a week. Then it turned out I actually only had four days as the egg had to be varnished twice before delivery. 

The first sketches were done
on hard boiled eggs.

        I had some vague idea in my head 
        and thought of  sketching this on 
        paper but to see if it would work 
        three dimensionally I had to try it 
       on the actual egg shape.
       So I boiled a couple of eggs to try 
       out the idea with a simple pencil 
       drawing. I should really have 
       blown the eggs so I could keep 
       them indefinitely but my intension
       was just to use them as temporary 
       sketches.

The egg when it was delivered to my studio. 

                                                   
The egg was made of glass fibre and delivered to my studio 6 days before deadline. It wasn’t heavy but rather cumbersome and had to be balanced on a bucket with bricks in to stabilise it while I painted.
My idea was to create the impression of eggs in a nest in an egg. 
I started by painting entwined straws and blades of grass in black and white around the whole egg after masking the shapes of the eggs with plastic.

I painted paynes grey as a background and
while it was still wet I used a colorshaper to
scrape and move the colour around.
I then added transparent yellow ochre to cover the blades of grass and filled in darker shadows between the grass and areas of white where the pale, dry grass was lit up by the sun.
I also painted a transparent
blue shadow above and below the eggs
to create a three dimensional and concave effect in the nest.


After the background of grass and tiny twigs was dry I could
mask the outlines of the eggs and paint them with layers
of greenish blue in different shades. I then added deep shadows and bright highlights.



The finished egg in Landskrona square. If I had been able to spend more time on it it would have taken at least another month.

The back of the egg.

Sunday

Konstrundan /Open studio and "The frame" wall art



En av mina målningar som visas på ”The frame”

 


(Scroll down for English. )


 Just nu är vi mycket sysselsatta med att förbereda den kommande  Konstrundan till Påsk. Förra året blev Konstrundan inställd på grund av pandemin men i år har vi öppet.



Förutom att hänga över 50 av mina konstverk som är till salu har vi även hängt upp mitt nya förvärv, en 55-tums Samsung-TV som heter The Frame. Detta visar sig vara ett utmärkt sätt att visa en retrospektiv utställning av mina målningar. Det ser ut som en bakgrundsbelyst, inramat original men bilden finns i verkligheten digitalt i TV’ns minne, de många bilder ändras automatiskt var tionde minut. Den inramade TVn hänger helt platt mot väggen så att den ser verkligen ut som en tavla. 

I ateljén på andra våningen kan man även se den video som jag producerade av arbetet med att måla detaljer av en bäck i skogen 


Så från 2-11 april, är ni välkomna till Konstrundan i Nordvästra Skåne där över 100 konstnärer öppnar sina hem och ateljéer för publik. Min utställning och ateljé  finns på Erikstorpsvägen 3, Borstahusen. Öppettider fredag, lördag, söndag, måndag 10-18 vardagar 16-19.


Här är en video av hur det såg ut förra året.

Öppen ateljé 



Another panorama view of the exhibition


We are now very busy preparing the upcoming open studio event "Konstrundan" for Easter. After having renovated the whole house last year in order to optimally present my artworks on two floors for the annual open studio event it was cancelled because of the pandemic. This year however the event will be open for a limited number of visitors. Apart from hanging over 50 of my artworks which are for sale we have also hung my new aquisition, a 55" Samsung TV called The Frame. This turns out to be a great way to show a retrospective exhibition of my paintings and videos. It looks like a backlighted framed original but the images are actually on the hard drive and it automatically changes the picture every 10 minutes. The Frame TV hangs completely flat against the wall so you really think it is a wall hung picture. Apart from that I will also be showing the video I produced of all the work involved painting a stream in the nearby forest.

If you happen to be in southern Sweden from 2 -11 April then you are welcome to Konstrundan where over a 100 artists open their studios. My exhibition and studio is at Erikstorpsvägen 3, Borstahusen.  Opening hours Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday 10-18 and weekdays 16-19.
This is a video of what it looked like last year and now there are even more paintings to see.

Open studio








Wednesday

Commission: final result

 

Rocky shore                                                  © Elizabeth Tyler 2021
The final result after hours of contemplating,
taking a long break, making new decisions, altering and painting again

This was what the painting looked like before the final adjustment
Close up of the dark flat stone with a surface structure of wavy patterns, dots and moss. I thought this was interesting at first but it had the effect of weighing the subject down in a negative way.
People say you can't change a watercolour once its painted but I'm stubborn and won't take no for an answer.

The same area after much of the pigment was absorbed by washing, scrubbing and dabbing with tissue. This lightened the whole area and it was then possible to add grass and reed reflected in the water. I now felt the composition was more homogeneous and harmony was restored.

Sunday

Splashing stream in pastel

The finished pastel painting  Splashing Stream  50 x 65 cm    ©Elizabeth Tyler 2021

Step 1.
Just a light sketch of the subject with a white watercolour pencil. Paper: Fabriano Tiziano Caffe.
Step 2.
Using Faber-Castell soft pastels I filled in the lightest areas of the water and
where the light catches the branches and twigs. Also the various blue and green tones were added.
Step 4.
I created some texture to the nearest stones by scraping a white pencil over the dampened surface.
Then I added more light and shadow to the twigs


Step 5
Here you can see how I worked a great deal with the rocks in the foregound,
covering the white dots with a layer of smudged green pastel.
Then I added the leaves with their own shadows to bring them into relief.
More blue in the water gave the painting some depth.



Step  6
I was still not quite satisfied with the result so I finally toned down the background with
a layer of blue. This created a contrast to the white splashing water and more harmony to the painting.

Wednesday

New experiment with pastels.


Even though I was not finished with the last watercolour I have been working on, I needed a break to try something new. I will get back to my watercolour later.

I decided to use black pastel paper (Fabriano) for this project

The choice for the new experiment and new to me material was pastel on paper. The subject is from the same area as the last watercolour featuring rocks on the beach. I worked for a while building the colours up and gradually added more tonal differences. In order to stabilise the colour I decided to spray the half finished work with fixative. This was a great mistake as the fixative I used had been standing on the shelf for years! I did shake the tin and spray in the air but it wasn´t enough to avoid this catastrophy.

Unintentional blobs and drips from the
fixative spattered on to the pastel colour

The black paper was revealed in small blemishes,
blotches, dots and specks as a result of using old fixative

Rocky Shore                                    pastel on paper  44 X 65 cm.                        Elizabeth Tyler 2021
But instead of giving up I embarked upon the tedious process of scraping the "Jackson Pollock effect" off. After this I smudged all the colours with my fingers and worked on the details of the spray, water and rocks. Then I went out and bought a new tin of fixative.

Monday

Next steps

Working on the watercolour in the studio




 The close up shots of the painting above show the work I do softening the transitions between colours. This is done with a small, wornout hake brush.
Here on the right you can see that I have also softened the reflections in the water and added detalis to the flat rocks





This shows the layers of colour added to the rock in the foreground. There is not only a difference in the colours but the direction of the brushwork describes the rocks shape and depicts different textures of the surface. 
just a few steps further working a little at a time, adding water and colour, then scraping off to reveal the texture of the paper.

Now the details of the foreground are taking shape. There are small heaps of seaweed drying in the sun and even more interesting details on the rough surface of the rocks which I am now emphasizing.
My next step will be to place tiny shadows beside all the bulges and bumps, cracks and crevasses. but that will take some time...

Commission

 

 

Via Gallery Dalström in Kungshamn I received a commission for a large watercolour painting depicting a view somewhere along the rocky coastline around Bohuslän in western Sweden. This dramatic, rugged landscape with its crystalline and metamorphic rocks has always fascinated me so I was more than pleased to accept the challenge.

My partner and I drove the 250 km northwards to find subject matter for the painting. Normally I would do some sketches directly on location “En plein air” but the weather was cold and extremely windy so I relied on taking as many photographs as possible during the daylight hours. Despite the challenging conditions I managed to take 85 photos from many directions.

sorting through the 85 photos


After studying all the shots I had taken I decided not to use one single photo but to combine some of the elements from three different ones taken in the same light. The background with sea spray added dynamic movement to the scene. A little closer were flat smooth rocks with small rock pools creating a calm contrast to the dramatic background. Lastly the nearest rugged rocks with colourful, intricate details were just irresistible and asking to be painted.

 I started by stretching the large sheet of paper (68 x 92cm) onto a drawing board. This was done to keep it flat regardless of the amount of water used during the painting process.

 

 

 

Then I sketched the scene using a water soluble pencil.

 

 

 With a toothbrush I flicked tiny specs of masking fluid to create the impression of sea spray. Then I painted the dark blue and green sea. With a white watercolour pencil I scraped tiny shavings onto the wet background then smudged the dots with a fine fan brush.



The specs made by using masking fluid are whiter and sharper than the ones made with the white pencil. This creates depth in the painting.


I then painted the smooth dark rocks where the waves were breaking and also the green wash further in. I had some difficulty making the rocks really look wet.





Now it was time to add the warm colours of the sun drenched granite and sandstone.  This was a time consuming process, one small area at a time. I am looking forward to painting the reflections in the water of the rock pool
, and of course all the details of the foreground.
More about that in my next post.

Live now!

The cover of my video
available at Pulsar Productions

My video "Forest Streams with acrylics" is live! click  here

 

Just click on the video to get access to the whole full length, hour long film in HD.

My videos are published worldwide by  Pulsar Productions Australia

They were very pleased with the result and wrote:
"Fabulous, superb paintings, very educational and excellent production values. Well done for braving facing the camera, I know you're not keen, but that picture in picture of you speaking to the camera helps give a connection to you."
Although it took me a ridiculous amount of time during a ten month period I am also pleased with the result. In most cases a film like this is produced by a whole team of experts which you normally see in the rolling credits at the end of a film. 

 Apart from the music this was entirely a one person show. While I painted I filmed and recorded everything using a DSLR camera on a tripod. Sometimes I even used a Gopro camera, or iphone, ipad or a DJI mavic pro drone which I  sent up for footage from an altitude of 65 meters.

 One of the difficult scenes was especially time consuming. I painted a leaf flying over the stream and wanted to capture live footage of the leaf

flying. I tried standing next to the stream while throwing a leaf in the air and letting it sail downwards while filming with the camera on a tripod. The slightest gust of wind blew the leaf away before I could catch it in the viewfinder. Over and over I tried until I finally caught enough footage to render it in slow motion.

 

Me talking in front of the teleprompter

 

Another difficult scene was when I wanted look straight at the camera and talk frankly and sincerely about my trials and errors. (Even though I have been an artist for over 50 years I can still make mistakes.) I used a home made teleprompter for this which I described in my last post.



Starting the recording at the right moment

 

 

 

 

I then worked with the very time consuming process of editing the video. This was especially difficult as I was using many tracks in the editing program Premiere Pro: The tracks consisted of superimposed pictures in pictures, original video footage, and two tracks each for the stereo audio recordings : ambient sound, narrative, sound effects and music.
                                                            

                                                           

Editing the video

The video is available for download or streaming on vimeo