Tag Archives: snowscapes

Edinburgh Snow – painting in progress …

In Progress. 2 ‘Edinburgh Snow. (Arthur’s Seat from Regent Road)’. 24×16″. Rose Strang 2018

In progress, 1 ‘Edinburgh Snow (Arthur’s Seat from Regent Road)’. 24×16″. Rose Strang 2018

Two photos showing progress on my painting of Edinburgh in the snow last month. The view is looking South, of Salisbury Crags on Arthur’s Seat from Regent Road, also showing the shape of the Royal Mile.

I began with a piece of reclaimed wood from the local timber merchant, painted it in a thin coat of black, then covered it in a thick layer of white gesso. Before it dried I scraped a rough pattern of the crags and buildings and left it to dry overnight. (image on right)

 

This morning I gave it a nice hot shower in the bath to soften the gesso, then scraped through gesso and black paint to reveal the wood beneath (painting at top of post). I like the effect  of textured wood showing through, also the rhythms or shapes of the painting,  so I’m not quite sure where to take this next without messing that up!

I’m painting two on similar size boards (24×16 inches – 2 feet along longest side) and I’ll submit them for the annual RSA Open (Royal Scottish Academy) by May this year.

Winter Series preview

The Winter Series preview evening was wonderful – convivial, atmospheric, and I couldn’t have wished for more interesting and engaged attendees! There were many familiar faces and quite a few new. For my small studio space thirty people was quite a crowd, but it worked, so I’ll definitely be holding more of these.

Six of the series have now sold, so if you’re interested in buying  you can see which are still available Here.

In a few days I’ll post the video of images and accompanying music so people can see the inspiration behind the paintings.

Also, see ‘About the Winter Series’ below for more info about inspiration behind the project and the images that inspired Atzi’s music compositions.

Because we wanted to keep the lighting atmospheric – just firelight, candles and few hidden lights, conditions for photos and films weren’t ideal. Also, so that people knew which painting the music corresponded to, I showed each painting on a computer screen while Atzi played. This meant my hands were busy with a remote clicker and I wasn’t free to take photos, but I’ve included a couple of blurry photos above and below to give an idea…

 

 

 

A huge thank you to everyone who showed up, what a lovely crowd and an enjoyable evening, I’ll be holding similar events every few months and look forward to those!

The open days continue until the 3rd Dec’. 12:30 to 6:30pm daily. All info on ‘Open Studio Events’ on menu at the top.

About the Winter Series …

Cello Atzi Muramatsu. Paintings Rose Strang.

The idea behind this collaboration was simple; twelve pieces of music inspired by winter, composed by Atzi Muramatsu, to which I’d respond with twelve paintings inspired by Atzi’s music.

We decided it would be more interesting if I had no knowledge of the specific ideas or images behind Atzi’s music, other than the theme of winter, which he’d reveal at the end (more on that below).

As we began to work on the series it proved to be a challenge – we’ve collaborated since 2013 but usually Atzi improvises music in response to my paintings, or we respond separately to a shared theme, so this was a new way of working.

Creating twelve completely new music compositions, then editing them down to two minutes each was quite an undertaking and commitment for Atzi, who was already working a full-time schedule. I found the series challenging because each piece of music is distinct, so I felt each painting had to be a new subject (usually I create variations on a visual theme). I could have made life easy by creating simple, quick sketches in response, but I wanted to immerse myself in the music and paintings, and hopefully create something quite different.

It was only towards the end, when I was putting the finishing touches on the last painting, and Atzi was making final tweaks on his music, that I began to see a story emerge in the paintings. Subjects in the paintings repeated – ice and snow of course but also home, fireplaces, storms, sun, moon, constellations and ships at sea. The images seemed archetypal.

Some years ago I took part in writing groups, where we learned about ‘The Hero’s Journey’ – the idea of twelve stages which, if applied to a story, lend it a form or drama we all recognise and respond to. At the time I was resistant to such a formulaic approach! But it chimed with my feeling about the paintings – the idea of a mysterious story behind the series. While some of Atzi’s music pieces felt formal or purely physical in inspiration – icy, stacatto, cold and spacious for example, others had a sense of drama, impetus and emotion.

I mentioned this to Atzi, who revealed that his source of inspiration had in fact been the forms of snowflakes observed under a microscope. Every snowflake has a unique crystal structure – he described how some appeared ugly or threatening, some like beautiful ice palaces, others reminscent of human forms. But although this was Atzi’s starting point, inspiration from his own life began to inform the evocative emotions, mood and atmosphere of each piece.

Although I’ve responded directly to each music piece, there’s no right or wrong way to ‘read’ the paintings, music, or both combined, I hope they’ll spark the imagination and emotions of listeners and viewers. Winter has traditionally been a time for storytelling around the fire to while away long dark evenings, so it feels right to show our work in a house rather than formal gallery, around an open fire with mulled wine.

Websites and contacts

Rose Strang https://rosestrangartworks.wordpress.com/ Email: rose.strang@gmail.com

Atzi Muramatsu Website http://www.atzi.co.uk/ Email: info@atzi.co.uk

Winter Series – post 7

Today’s paintings – ‘Home, Moonlight’ and ‘Skating’, for the Winter Series. Exhibition opens in just five days – all info Here

I’m almost there with ‘Sea, Storm’ below, which needs a bit more work, but all completed paintings are now in the ‘Artworks’ gallery. I altered ‘Red Velvet Dancing’ a little (also below)- taking out the second figure and adding some more impasto highlights to the dress to show reflected firelight.

 

 

 

 

So that’s now just two paintings to finish, then the series is complete! Atzi has also tweaked the short music pieces to his liking, as mentioned each painting comes with a CD of all 12 music pieces.

‘Sombre Constellations’ has already sold, to a former buyer and friend in Australia, it’s a great home for the painting to go to, not just because Linda Cairnes is a talented painter herself, but because I think ‘Sombre Constellations’ perhaps has something of the Aboriginal ‘dreaming’ to it! All completed paintings viewable on ‘Artworks’ in menu above.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the paintings, the exhibition, or would like to buy a painting or print – rose.strang@gmail.com

Winter series – post 5

 

Today’s painting for the Winter Series 

I’ve decided to order these as ‘posts’ as opposed to ‘days’ since work does go on in between these blog posts!

It’s been a frustrating time as a delivery of paints didn’t turn up until four days later than arranged, so today’s painting was created within half an hour before the light faded, in a state of determination to get something more done.

Tomorrow I’ll have a decent amount of hours to work on something more substantial, though with the precious and limited daylight of winter it’s a challenge to fit everything in – tomorrow I’ll also be delivering my paintings for the Edinburgh Art Fair. (Info Here). Here they are, newly framed …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just to make up for the really annoying mess-up of paints delivery, the picture framers did an excellent job of framing these, and delivering them free. Excellent and reliable service does still exist! So kudos to Edinburgh Arts Framers. Link Here should you ever wish to have some paintings framed. I don’t know what they put in the tea there, but not only were they reliable, they were also friendly and charming. (I know, shocking!)

 

Winter Series – day 3

More work on paintings for the Winter Series (my upcoming exhibition, all info here)

I’m quite happy with the one above, a few more details needed but it begins to capture the mood of Atzi’s first music piece. The following three are in various stages of progress.

 

 

 

 

The one farthest left is almost there, the one in the middle has pleasing elements but the upper half needs resolved. The one on the right is basically some mangled paint, but it has lovely textures and I know I can work with that.

I completely painted over the first two from a few days ago, I think they were more about getting paint on to wood – psychologically it’s encouraging but I wasn’t happy with them. Then I had an amount of chaos to distract me as I’m getting my open fireplace sorted out. For budget purposes I’m going for a medieval bare brick look which is actually really pleasing!

Here are all four works in progress together …