Saturday, 9 July 2016

Boating lake in oil pastels

Victoria Park West Lake
I've indulged myself and bought a big box of 72 oil pastels. My old ones were all dried up so I threw them out. I wanted to work with a larger range of colours and I've never had so much choice.

Earlier today I braved the blustery wind and strolled into Victoria Park which is right next to where we live and set up my garden chair underneath a tree near the West Lake where they have boats for hire.

I was attempting to try and convey moving water with the boats bobbing around on the surface. I have tried to do this before in a different medium and was reasonably pleased with the results. I think the best approach is not to be too critical of the results and just accept whatever you come up with. I also wanted to include some of the ducks that were busy swimming around but you have to be careful to not make them too big otherwise they can end up looking like the Loch Ness monster.

One of the hazards of working outside, apart from the weather, are the passers-by who might like to offer advice, talk about themselves, or if they are children just make a lot of noise and stare at you. I was fortunate today that I must have been virtually invisible because only two people made any comment and they were polite and undemanding.

This box of pastels are made by Sennelier and they are easy to hold and lovely and oily. I didn't realise until I read the information that they only exist because Pablo Picasso asked Henri Sennelier in 1949 if he could 'create a new medium that had qualities of oil paint and soft pastel in an easy to apply stick form.' So that's a high five to Picasso!

This is part of my view from my chair under the tree

Sunday, 3 July 2016

A one day holiday in London

On Saturday we found ourselves unexpectedly wandering around Kensington Gardens. We had no set plans so we followed where our feet took us and they led us to the Serpentine Gallery's Pavillion. It is free to enter and wander around. The construction, which appears to be made from plastic containers but is actually cast in concrete, makes you look through it to the outside where you have just been.

I particularly enjoyed this view of the trees outside. I also enjoyed eavesdropping on a nearby conversation where a family were wondering why some of the cubes were slightly concave and others were not and if the temperature had anything to do with it.

In addition there are a number of summer houses set near Queen Caroline's Temple that have been designed by different architectural practices. These reminded us of an exhibition of Sitooteries that we saw at Belsay Hall, Northumberland back in 2000. You can read a review of it here and see some images of them here.