Words from The Oracle

Words from The Oracle - The phoenix can only fly when its feathers are grown

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Daily Painting - Park People Sketches

Greeting the big dog
Dad pushing the pram
Been shopping
Look at the little doggie
The Chav's... Scottie Dog?
Guide Dog off duty
Another treat
Been out for hours and he still isn't worn out yet!
It's the wife's dog
Itchy Buckfast Monk
Been out doing mini sketches of the people who passed through the park today.
As the people in my urban landscape paintings are going to be very small it is essential that I capture what it is that makes us instantly recognise a tiny figure in the far distance as human. Not only do I want my tiny figures to look human (I'm not asking for much here...) I also would like them to have character. 
It would be nice if you are able to recognise what they are doing, as without this they'll have no purpose and will not belong. 
Everyone I saw today was in the park for a reason but they moved so fast that it was difficult to capture them. Once I got into it, I was like a mean little voyeur making up stories about them all as they passed me by unaware. Didn't half make me giggle to myself at times. 
Was a fun sketching day and I think I'll go out again tomorrow to do some more of the same.
But might be useful if I take more than blue and red to sketch with next time or people will expect me to hand out 3D glasses to look at my work.
Elena xxX

Daily Painting - Edinburgh Orange Sunrise

Edinburgh Orange Sunrise - Painting number 44 revisited
Daily Painting - Original Oil Painting on canvas paper 9x6.5 inches.
Previously this painting was just sky with a few made up trees added. I didn't put much thought into the trees, I simply plonked them on as an afterthought. It's those silly little pompom trees which caused me to have to have a week long hair pulling re-think about painting. I had spent hours and hours painting the sky, trying to create the billowing depth in contrast to the wonderful glowing brightness as the sun touched the edges of the clouds and lit them bright orange like a fire in the sky. I was pleased with the results and then I decided I needed to add something in the foreground to give the sky scale and...ruined it.
I have spent so much time studying trees around me, their branch structure and leaves yet I forgot it all and painted the first thing that popped into my head. I think, that precise moment in time my head held the image of something resembling tall rain forest trees, but not even good rain forest trees! What I painted, was what I can only describe as fungus pompoms trailing hair.
I am harsh on myself and horribly self critical when it comes to my work, but I just couldn't understand why I forgot my biggest rule that I never paint anything from my imagination because...I never like what I produce. Never.
I can sketch something and then later paint it and from my memory add detail to it and I'm fine with that, but I can't create an image from scratch and then expect I'm going to like the results.
Perhaps it's just the way my mind works...If I see it, it's real, then no matter how odd it looks it is right, but if it's a creation of my mind then no matter how realistic it looks, it simply isn't real and is therefore not acceptable to me. Does that make any sense? 
Pfffffhhh I sometimes feel I am controlled by my perfectionist self critical mind gone mad and now it's inflicting itself on my ideals of what I see as sense and I'm sat here talking to you in the hope that others understand me and that it's perfectly "normal" to think the way I think. I am an artist...it's my perfectionist mind which drives me to want to improve how I paint with an overwhelming passion. My passion isn't necessarily positive but I don't think all artists' passion and drive is.
I should be grateful that I have drive, but I'm not. It's sometimes not easy to have an artistic mind. I do think there is a part of me which always longs to be normal, to think normal. Ohhhh, some days how I long to be a brain dead barbie doll. 
Hmmmm, I think I may need to work on my concept of normality...LOL.

Anyway, back to today's daily painting revisited...
If you live in Edinburgh in Scotland, or have ever visited you will know that it is jam packed full of people. The buildings are tall and every window you see notes an individual or family lives there. When I decided that I would paint Edinburgh's buildings, I made the decision that I would treat every window as individual.
It would be so easy to see Edinburgh as a mass of geometric blocks, but that's not the way I feel about it. Edinburgh is old and historic and lives and breathes. I have decided to paint at odds to how my mind thinks it should look, I'm going to paint slightly wonky.
If you look very carefully at the buildings in Edinburgh you will see that it's not all straight lines as it appears to be at first. Some buildings in a row may be slightly taller or shorter than their neighbour. Windows aren't always the same or in line. Edinburgh, always has been and always will be ever changing and its buildings reflect this. Perhaps the wonky windows I paint will reflect my desire to ever change, but that fleeting thought is to deep for me to focus on right now. 
It would be much easier and quicker to sketch out buildings using a ruler to line everything up perfectly, but I hope that my mismatch windows are going to make the buildings feel more cosy and homely. A bizarre and twisted form of classical realism to condense the irregularities I see into every building I paint. EEEEK it's not twisted classical realism, I think it's kooky cubism. It sure as heck doesn't look real, I'm not sure what it looks like, apart from... it looks strangely pleasant.
I actually, really do, enjoy looking at this painting now. Adding the buildings has given the non eventful painting of an orange sunrise a place in time and a story. I am always drawn to the church tower. I didn't notice it when I was painting but the door looks slightly ajar. 
Is there a priest praying in the quiet empty calm of the morning? 
Or is a cleaning lady doing a bit of early morning dusting before the hustle and bustle of the day starts? 
Because the colour in the church window reflects the sky it feels warm and the open door makes it feel welcoming, like you could just pop in and light some candles, if you wanted.
This painting is strangely calming and pleasing to look at...for me.
What have I done?
Turned soft.
Elena xxX

Monday, 28 November 2011

Daily Painting - Morning walk for the Sheep dog

Morning walk for the Sheep dog - Painting number 47
Daily Painting - Original Oil Painting on Oil Paper 7x5 inches.
The lady and her dog are only 25 millimetres tall in this painting.
I will need to sketch and study mini figures more carefully if I wish to add them to my paintings. It's not easy when you have so few brush strokes with which to express so much. I think I have captured this little Sheep dog pulling on the lead, keen to get running in the park.  Also, as I have decided to paint exactly what I see, the lady is a very responsible dog owner and has picked up after her pooch. I don't think she was quite awake though as she dragged her feet along the grass as the Sheep dog enthusiastically tried, with not much success, to make her move a little quicker.
Elena xxX

Daily Painting - Edinburgh Lilac Sunrise

Edinburgh Lilac Sunrise - Painting number 46
Daily Painting - Original Oil Painting on canvas paper 9x6.5 inches.
It has been a week since I have updated this blog. I have needed time to decide which direction I wished my paintings to go. Although I love painting the sky I realised that not many others would share my enthusiasm. I needed to add something, something which would  give my sky scale and purpose. After a week pulling my hair out and having major doubts over my painting abilities (as all artist frequently do) I have found something which pleases me enough to paint.
I simply decided to paint what I could see.
Edinburgh is a mass of beautiful houses and greenery. I have been focusing so intensely on the sky that I have missed the beauty below it. I think I have been obsessive of 'nature' and haven't wanted to add anything man made. But once I started studying what I saw beneath the sky I've found myself quite happy to add it.
My favourite time of day is when it's just getting light. Sunrise.
There aren't many people up yet, just a few windows lit up. The street lights are still on but are simply glowing sticks, lollipops of lights. When the street light touches branches it lights them up white when all other branches look dark black. The light from the sky is strangely misty, all colours are strong yet slightly muted and there are distinct long shadows cast. All feels still, no cars, no buses, just bird song and calm all around. I wonder if the glow from the windows of my fellow early birds hide people who feel the wonderful calmness too, or if they are too sleepy or hungover to appreciate it in the slightest. Do they even notice it? 
So for all the night owls, or sleepy sky larks I shall paint my misty twinkling morning world to show everyone what I see.
I hope you like it.
Elena xxX

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Daily Painting - Red Sunrise

Red Sunrise - Painting number 45
Daily Painting - Original Oil Painting on canvas paper 9x6.5 inches.

Daily Painting - Orange Sunrise

Orange Sunrise - Painting number 44
Daily Painting - Original Oil Painting on canvas paper 9x6.5 inches.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Daily Painting - Standing Buddha Gandhara

Standing Buddha Gandhara- Painting number 43
Daily Painting - Original Oil Painting on canvas paper 9x6.5 inches.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Daily Painting - Perseus after Benvenuto Cellini

Perseus after Benvenuto Cellini - Painting number 42
Daily Painting - Original Oil Painting on canvas paper 9x6.5 inches.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Daily Painting - Pieta Virgin Mary after Michelangelo

Pieta Virgin Mary after Michelangelo - Painting number 41
Daily Painting - Original Oil Painting on canvas paper 9x6.5 inches.

During the Renaissance there was many a debate regarding the merits of painting versus sculpture. Which one could emulate forms of classical nature most successfully? 
I can't say, I like both equally. 
But... there is one sculpture which takes my breath away- The Pieta by Michelangelo.
I decided to do a little traditional studying and paint sculpture, I've started with my favourite.
Hope you like her. I painted her with her eyes closed at first, but she looked so very sad and I felt upset and uncomfortable looking at her, I have included a close up of this so you can see.
Elena xxX

Friday, 11 November 2011

Daily Painting - Tangerine

Tangerine- Painting number 40
Daily Painting - Original Oil Painting on canvas panel 9x6.5 inches.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Daily Painting - Red Grapes

Red Grapes- Painting number 39
Daily Painting - Original Oil Painting on canvas panel 9x6.5 inches.
Work in Progress
I was very brave and attempted to paint wet red grapes without eating any.
I have also taken bleach to my hair again, I think I might end up blonde before the month is out. Better learn to smile if I'm going to be a blonde lass. Hope you like the homemade hair look in the photo below.

If you wonder why my blog is called The Oracle, it's a name I was given by the M.I. Department at work. I was in a meeting, and this bloke I'd never met before said "We call you the oracle". He never expanded on why I had been given this name. When I went home and said that this random bloke had said "We call you the oracle" it kind of stuck.
Now I'm going to be The Blond Oracle, which would be a better description of me, as I could hardly be considered a source of wise counsel with precognition inspired by the gods! LOL.
So.... as The blond Oracle... I will predict that many people (even you) may get shower gel in the eye or a stubbed toe some point quite soon. Or even, dare I say it, experience a sharp and  dreaded paper cut. 
But... as The Oracle... I predict that tomorrow we will see the earth move and turn black around 11:00 to 11:11. Let's see how good an oracle I am.
Strangely I have now frightened myself by doing this...
No Likey
Elena xxX

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Daily Painting - Asparagus

Asparagus- Painting number 38

Daily Painting - Original Oil Painting on canvas panel 9x6.5 inches.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Daily Painting - Chilli

Chilli- Painting number 37
Daily Painting - Original Oil Painting on canvas panel 9x6.5 inches.
I just got up to make a cup of tea while I was uploading pictures and when I turned around my seat had been nabbed by my German Shepherd Dax. He's quite big for only 8 months old isn't he!
Elena xxX