Last year I moved my studio back home and set up in the corner of a room overlooking the River Lea and Hackney Cut. With one of the finest views in east London I quickly set to work on this illustration. The project began with taking photos of the activity on the towpath and sketching the most frequent passers. Some of my favourites are the swans and cormorant who have a strong contrast but co-exist happily, often cosying up by the weir; the shaggy black dog who walks past every day and seems so joyful to be outdoors that it always makes me smile to see him; and the great swaying plane trees who watch over everyone.
The illustration follows the style of the Picton Pattern, except its current format benefits from the inky texture of the gouache paint. A few weeks ago photographer Jørn Tomter visited me to document the progress of the painting for I Love Chatsworth Road.
I also couldn’t help turning this illustration into a pattern as it lends itself well to a repeat. I hope to see it as a wallpaper eventually.
Artist Sophia Brueckner made a series of small round paintings in gouache. The rest of her portfolio has a different tone. I’m charmed by the frames as much as the painting. They’re a very good match.
The results of Gouache experiment One… a commission
Well, lately it seemed I ought to make friends with GOUACHE paint. I had an old set that I’d fallen out with, badly, so I went to Cass Art (Oh! how splendid) and got a sleek new set. There have been a couple of awkward moments so far, a misunderstanding or two, but for the most part I feel a bond forming. So begin many of the best friendships. One day, one day at a time, as DB says.
I’ve taken this medium on with a great enthusiasm. Gouache ~the freedom of watercolour AND the courage of acrylics. All I miss is the fluidity of oils, but then that’s really asking too much.
I’d looked at a few images over the past months and discovered an appreciation for the bold block colours, the ghost layers, the white on black and how softly it all came about. Among my favourite paintings were the following… (top down) Becca Stradtlander, Betsy Walton, Sam Caldwell…