This month, I have two new paintings to show you, Leonardslee II, which I finished a few weeks ago, and a new still life painting featuring guitars and fruit, and a flag.
The painting Guitars with Flag and Pomegranates, came about from a sketch I’d made of the two different types of guitar which were standing together. When it came to assembling this into a still life painting, I looked around for a back-drop, and found the Union Jack flag, which I’d been asked to take with me to the art residency in Guarda two years ago. (We were artists of different nationalities painting out doors and the flag was to help the public relate us to a nationality). Given the current situation with Brexit in the UK, using the flag turned out to be somewhat of a statement about my feelings about the irrevocable ending of Britain’s part in the European Community. My particular view, the same with many of my fellow Brits is that of mild despair, and still, disbelief that it actually happened. That aside, it was quite a challenging painting to do. From the beginning, the turquoise blue frame insisted on being there. I even tried painting it out at one stage, but it refused to go. I don’t know why it’s there, but the painting wanted it, and generally, I don’t impose my will too much over that of the painting’s.
This is the first painting of mine featuring an electric guitar… and I discovered how different it is to draw than its Classical / Spanish relative! I’m reliably informed the electric guitar is a Fender Stratocaster, which is always this shape and proportion. I’ve been offered the challenge of painting a Gibson Les Paul next time… I’m looking forward to it!
Now finished, after much working and re-working…
Guitars with flag and pomegranates
acrylic on canvas
70 x 50cm
copyright Liz Allen 2021
acrylic on canvas
50 x 75 cm
c. Liz Allen 2021
Following on from Leonardslee (I), I wanted to explore further this manner of tackling the subject. Using the same sketch as for the first painting, I started in much the same way. The problems started when the colours wouldn’t settle or harmonise – at first I used Lemon Yellow and Prussian Blue, along with the Cyan, Magenta, Vermillion red and green from combining the Lemon Yellow and the Cyan. One of these had to go! In the end I removed the Lemon Yellow and replaced it with Cadmium Orange and removed much of the green, overpainting it with a lighter Cyan mixed with white.
The dots started to give the feeling they could be particles of pollen exploding from the flowers in all directions. I liked that idea. Flowers definitely do have pollen! During painting the dots I began to wonder how and when to stop… but I allowed more than in the previous painting.
I’ve enjoyed this subject, and am looking out for more flower gardens where I can make new sketches. The Algarve doesn’t seem to offer quite the range of flower garden as the UK, but I will keep a look out for new flower gardens. If you have one you would like a painting of in this style, do contact me!