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A fun way of working

I was recently invited to an expressive floral painting course with Jayne Sandys-Renton at West Dean. The course had not been on my radar, as my focus this year is on oil painting, and I no longer work in acrylics.

However, I am so glad I said yes to my friend's generous invitation. Not only did I discover how to work with different colour palettes, but I also figured out how to combine my love for abstraction and texture with more realistic elements!

Jayne had emphasised that experimentation and play would be encouraged, so I decided to work with eco household paints to see how they would fare against acrylics when used in a more painterly fashion.

The paint turned out to be very economical, especially when it is thinned with either water or medium. (I used a natural acrylic medium; my friend experimented with traditional acrylic medium - both seemed to work.)

We were encouraged to do small scale studies of different colour combinations and marks. It was fun exploring colours with intriguing names like "Tango", "Oxford", "Miso" and "Jaipur." "Kitchen Yellow" turned out to be a warm sunny yellow - just right for summer.

I then used two of the colour combinations and Indian ink from a previous exercise to prepare my A2 canvases, using found objects and leftovers from other projects to create texture. (It was particularly satisfying to find a use for the non-recyclable packaging the canvases had been wrapped in!)

The next morning, I had the basis for my floral paintings. This was definitely fun. :)


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