Thursday, 23 September 2010


These are images of my progress so far on this new painting.I actually started it in Aug but getting ready for my open studio took up so much time, there was a gap of three weeks before I got going again. When I went back to it last week I found the aloe had grown, so it had to be re-drawn. I decided to prioritise the aloe and work on the pots later. I'm going to paint the bowls using a standard medium to get a glossy finish and just thin the rest with turps though that might be too flat for the aloe I'll just have to see. So far i've just been working with ultramarine, sap green, green gold, lemon yellow, alizarin, burnt  umber, vandyke brown, titanium white. My approach to oil colours was based on the colours I used with watercolours, primary and permenance being the most important aspects. I spent a lot of time when I first started painting with oils, mixing colours and never getting the quantities right. I've now got a much larger range but old habits die hard. I've increased the size of this canvas to 40X50 cms so the intention is to enlarge both canvas and image as I go, as I kind of lost courage with the large still life as they required so much energy. As you can see the organic overlapping growth of the aloe is mimicked by the bowls. Again the intention is to paint with attention. Easier said than done because one goes into automatic and the process becomes mechanical whilst one gets lost in thoughts. In fact the more practised the technique the easier it is to slip away so one has to be constantly watchful and keep returning to being fully aware of the hand, the brush, the paint, the canvas and how they all connect. It's happened a few times but not that often.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Sylvia Quinn Home: AFRICA: Abundance of Spirit

I started with the large tin, had been wanting to use it for a while and it was a case of looking around for the right objects/props to go along with it. Never start off knowing what a painting is going to end up like. The final touch was the African paper knife my father brought from Durban in the mid fifties when he went to Africa for the factory he was working in and they needed to see the buses were being assembled properly. No-one else wanted to go and it was during the time of the Durban riots. He was shocked that he wasn't even allowed to pass a screwdriver to the Africans in case they learned how to use it. The painting has just sold and I know it will be enjoyed.