Who wants to run “Over the sandhill”?

Over the sandhill-with artist at HBCC-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-Sept 2017

Over the sandhill

During my recent showing at Cafe Lune, I met with the Arts and Cultural Coordinator for the local Council. One of the ideas discussed related to this painting, Over the sandhill.

over the sandhill-seascapes-AdelaideSouthAustralia-PhilippaRobert-Over the sandhill
60x90cm, acrylic on canvas, $1435

It is a happy reminder of those warm days which promise plenty of swims, sandy toes and skin tingling with the sunshine. The light is brighter, people are wearing light and bright colours and the sea shimmers in the distance. What a day it is!

My other feeling about this painting answers the very first question in the headline. The children want to run – and most often do. They disappear down over the hill to the beach while the parents follow more slowly. And you can see why they trudge – they carry the lunch and the beach toys! A different story on the way home. The parents still trudge but the children are weary and reluctant. Certainly not running back to the car, unless the sand is hot.

A new temporary home

Thank you to the Holdfast Bay City Council for this opportunity to share my vision of summer beach-goers with a new audience.

Over the sandhill-with artist at HBCC-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-Sept 2017

Over the sandhill will hang in the foyer of the HBCC Offices on Jetty Road Brighton until mid-November. See it in person there or here online. Available for purchase through the website!

PS Thanks to my new friend at the HBCC who helped with the photography.

 

Painting from photographs. How to start? Or finish?

Artist in studio-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

fix my painting-classes-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Questions

What about painting from photographs?

Have you wondered how to start a painting? Whether to use brush charcoal or pencil? What to look for to make it interesting?

painting-from-photographs-classes-Philippa-Robert-Adelaide-South-Australia

Have you ever felt a painting was not quite finished but unsure what it needed? A certain something, but not sure exactly what? Sometimes it’s the bare bones of the painting that aren’t quite right. Sometimes it is only one element or perhaps two – an easier fix.

Solutions – Painting from photographs

I have designed a short course designed around painting from photographs. It will give you the basic tools build up a painting and to see what’s needed as you go along. You will try out a new visual approach to painting and find ways of solving your painting problems.

You will relish your new approach. And with practice it will give you more freedom and fluency.

painting-photographs-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Painting from a Photograph will give you key understanding about the essential elements of painting composition.
I believe that painting from photographs is easy the “way in” to landscape painting. It controls your subject matter to a great degree while still allowing some freedom of choice in your approach.

If this sounds like something that will help you, here’s your chance to get on board.

Be quick! There are only a couple of spots available. And after this broadcast the spots will fill.

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Details

Starting date is October 5th. Classes will run on Thursday mornings, 9.30-12.30 for 4 weeks with the last one on October 26th.

Fees are $145 for the 4 sessions of 3 hours each. If you are a newsletter subscriberyou can enrol for the special price of $130. You can sign up here now if you wish!  Either way, take the step and register before the spaces fill.

YES! HELP ME WITH MY PAINTING

Painting supports. Linen panels

painting supports-linen panels-seascapes-2017-27-outdoor painting-seascapes-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-beside the dunes v2

Artists have many choices of painting supports. Papers, boards, stretched canvas, canvas and linen panels.

Linen panels

For me, the flavour of the month is linen panels. Well, for me it’s much more than that. These are my favourite supports for outdoor painting!  I was lucky to have been introduced to linen panels by an artist friend several years ago.

linen panels-blank canvas-Philippa Robert Adelaide South Australia

Dimensions

There are several sizes available these days, more now than when I started using them.

There were 25x30cm 20x25cm and 30x30cm. But I have since become familiar with 10x10cm and 20x20cm sizes. A lot of the more recent sizes are square.

painting supports-linen panels-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia
10x10cm, 20x20cm, 20x25cm, 25x30cm, 30x30cm.

Availability

Even though their branding is French (pebeo), these panels were difficult to find in Europe. After a bit of searching online I found them. Can you guess where?

Bonnie Scotland!

Prices vary quite a lot, depending on whether you are shopping in Paperchase or a dedicated art store. But I found them in Glasgow in two stores and Perth in another two. Not sure about Edinburgh or Aberdeen or further afield. There are hundreds of artists in The Highlands and Islands of Scotland so I wouldn’t be surprised if they are even more widely available.

In Adelaide I buy these panels from an art supplier who orders them in, from Queensland I think.

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Panels are reasonably light and compact for a travelling artist. They are much heavier individually than a sheet of canvas paper but their sturdiness is a bonus. They can stand a bit of rough handling in bags, provided they are lightly wrapped in baking paper.

painting supports-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-baking paper

Extra advantages

There are several extra things I fancy about linen panels. The sizing of the surface gives a silky texture on first contact with the brush. Because it is clear, the sizing allows the mid-tone of the linen to guide the early stages of the painting – laying in the darkest darks for a start. And see how nicely the 25x20cm board fits vertically into my paintbox!

painting supports-linen panels-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Sometimes I prime them with a chosen colour to aid the spread of paint into the weave of the linen. The 10x10cm cafe sketches done recently have coloured backgrounds. I tried red, light blue and ochre.

Stretched canvas has a nice spring to it under the brush and is my preferred support for studio work. Outdoors, linen panels are portable, fairly lightweight and rugged. Unless pre-primed by the artist, they have a silky surface, warm wheaten colour and offer a helpful mid-tone reference to start.

You know what? There is another thing I haven’t mentioned. Linen seems more prestigious. Do you agree?

 

Cafe painting. Is it outdoor painting indoors?

Outdoor painting indoors-cafe paintings-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Cafe painting is good fun. It is a bit like outdoor painting done indoors. Is that feasible? Many people would say no. I would say a qualified “yes”.

Recent experience at a local cafe convinces me that there are some elements in common.

Differences: outdoor-indoor

There are two main differences which are controlled indoors – variations in the light and protection from the weather. They are pretty big differences from the real thing. How can I possibly claim any similarities?

cafe painting-outdoor painting indoors-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

cafe painting-outdoor painting indoors-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Similarities: outdoor-indoor

As you can see, the kit is the same. My subject matter is cafe customers. That makes the time tight, even tighter than painting outdoors. They move their limbs a lot and some move their heads in very expressive ways. More fun.
It is also another version of painting in public, under the eyes of curious people. Curious people are fine by the way, but in this case they do wonder why I am staring at them!

Painting people living their everyday lives at such close quarters feels as if I am teetering on the performer’s tightrope. There is a blurry border between the artist and their subject in this very social setting. The border is firmer outdoors where people are not my main focus.

Outdoor painting indoors-cafe paintings-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

I am enjoying the tightrope and the chance to take risks in public. Artistic risks of course! Any painting exercise in the studio or elsewhere has them. The way I find best is to accept what I produce and learn as I go. There is some evidence for learning in the series so far. They are not in order of execution. It might be fun to arrange them in order….but that would give away too many secrets.

And yes, I still think cafe painting is a bit like outdoor painting, indoors. Do you agree?