Rob Adams a Painter's Blog painter's progress

April 21, 2022

Struck down in my dotage.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rob Adams @ 11:07 pm

I was near the point of congratulating myself about not having died in the pandemic so far when I woke up in the morning with only half a face. My immediate conclusion was that I might have had a stroke. The feeling is a bit like when you have been to the dentist and half your mouth is rubbery and you dribble when you eat soup. I was whisked off to Dorchester hospital to be probed. 7 hours later with the probing over they said that I probably had had a stroke, then they threw me out on the street in the dark with no coat 20 miles from home.

Over the next few days I had brain scans, I passed that one, many friends were surprised but there was indeed one there. Xrays I passed that too I had all the approved giblets in position and all working. I was covid free and despite my somewhat easy going attitude to proper diet and exercise was in good shape for my age. They rowed back on the stroke diagnosis and demoted me to being a patient with an ailment called Bell’s Palsy, then they gave me a course of steroids and told me to go away and not come back. Having researched my own ailment I discovered I had a damaged 7th cranial nerve, which controls the muscles in half of my face. It took some getting used to. One eye didn’t blink anymore so I had to tape it shut or it would dry up.

My research assured me that I would mostly recover in about 7 months. Meanwhile a big downside was I was no longer able to play the flute, a minor upside was that I could now do very good Winston Churchill impressions. I was also a shoe in for the role of Quasimodo. Painting with one eye was I found very tricky, you need two to judge distance so I was now unsure as to exactly when my brush would impact on the painting surface.

Here is my first one eyed plein air. I had hoped that my suffering would bring new depth and pathos to my work, but instead it looked much like the two eyed painting had. Near Shillingstone 10in by 7.5in. Oils.

The obvious painting to get out of the way was the afflicted self portrait. I did this the day after but I should have waited a few days as my face grew more lopsided as time passed. 8in by 10in. Oils.

More one eyed plein air. Another difficulty was that it was now hard to walk up steep cliff paths without falling over due to my judgement of distance being unreliable. This is Anvil Head near Durleston. 10in sq Oils.

View from Durleston, I sported a piratical eye patch as the wind was extremely painful on my unblinking eye. I was also quieter than usual as I could not pronounce P’s B’s F’s or M’s which limited the subjects I could be boring about. 12in by 6in Oils.

Getting used to the one eyed thing now. I found if I blocked in with one eye I could do a brief two eyed stint at the end to finish off. Child Okeford 14in by 10in Oils.

My eye showed slow improvement and I was getting better at managing it so this is a mostly two eyed effort. Hambledon Hill. 10in by 5in Oils.

I am slowly improving now. So I set about getting a few studio paintings done. This is the Stour near Shillingstone. 16in by 8in Oils.

The pinnacles from Old Harry, I did a plein air of this but I didn’t have the right shaped board with me so I re-did it in the studio. That annoying thing happened where the light dramatically improves as you are working, you can’t really chase the light so it is easier to do another in the studio. 16in by 10in Oils.

This one of Kimmeridge was a bit of a race as the light was moving very fast. You just have to forget any finesse and bodge it in. 10in sq Oils.

Studland bay I like the low light this time of year it makes even simple subjects interesting to paint. 14in by 10in Oils.

That is it for catch ups, back to writing about Art and less about me.

April 13, 2022

Herd Immunity is Close, or so I Heard

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rob Adams @ 4:35 pm

Almost back to real time and I will be able to write about art again. Though since I have had all this time to research I now know that art history is all fake news. You tell me Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel I say, you prove it… were you there? Rembrandt’s self portraits were probably painted by the lady next door. I have all my paintings done for me in China, I am really a chartered accountant and not an artist at all. I am of course joking but when I was in France in a famous painting village there were artists sitting in galleries who had done just that. What is more they did better that the artists who did their own. I’m afraid the ones below are all done by me personally, but now I am getting a pension I might be able to afford to get them professionally painted in China.

The wonderful beech avenue on the way to Kingston Lacey. I have painted this several times but never been pleased with the result. I did this one after painting a terrible picture of Badbury Rings. Only 15min and more about rain and cars that trees but I went home feeling a wee glow of success. 6in by 6in Oils.

Chapman’s Pool, such a difficult subject to make into a decent painting. It is spectacular when you are there but that does not always translate into a good subject. Not entirely happy but easily my best attempt. 12in sq. Oils.

We have organised a small art trail of open studios in the village. I make the map and we publicise it. I am pessimistic but to my surprise it is a great success. I make my studio into a comic strip with pandemic paintings and captions, this is so popular visitors spend too long in there and I get queues. I do paintings like this of my yard to amuse the public. 12in by 10in Oils.

Summer moves on and I paint a local field of barley. I really don’t paint close to my house enough. 14in by 10in Oils.

The same field ready to harvest. I blocked this in but when I went back next morning it had been harvested overnight! 16in by 10in Oils.

I went to Paintout Norfolk at the kind invitation of James Colman to be a judge at the competition. I had never really been to that part of the world and was very smitten with the subjects on offer. I camped in my van and the weather was blazingly hot. This is Great Yarmouth and I nearly died from being baked. I had to slink off to the shadows for the final touches. 12in by 8.5in Oils.

In the evening a local man brought some of his car collection to paint. Who could resist… I even sold this one. 10in by 8in. Oils.

Norwich Cathedral I made sure I was in the shadow for this one. 10in by 8.5in Oils.

Norwich again a great place to paint. It was very nice to meet up with friends I had not seen since the plague hit. 12in by 8.5in Oils.

More Norwich I took my pens as well which meant I could wander about with very little kit and still get something done.

I did my Judging and went home pleased, I shall return next year.

Shaftesbury, I painted this very near a cafe and could hear the diners commenting on my progress. There is always that gratifying point when people notice that the picture is not completely pants… or mostly there is. 14in by 12in.

The famous Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, I painted it looking up this time, slightly distracted by being interviewed by local radio as I painted. 10in by 14in Oils.

A little girl was making a collection of seashells on Studland beach, she kept going to and fro with her treasures all the time I worked. As you might guess this one instantly sold. 8in sq. Oils.

Portland from Castle beach on a very bright day. 10in sq. Oils.

Those rocks in Kimmeridge bay again. I had not painted this bit at low tide before. Lovely light and a nice comfy rock to sit on, what’s not to like? 12in sq Oils.

Autumn by the Stour at Hanford, I didn’t realise that this bit of the river was easy to get to. My visit was in torrential rain, but having soaked me it it then cleared. 16in by 12in Oils.

That’s almost up to date. In the next issue I am struck down by illness that interrupts painting… no not that illness another one…

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