I visited my mother last week to celebrate her birthday and spend a few days with my sister too. Visiting Northern Ireland is always a little strange for me as I grew up south of the border so visiting my mother is not the same as coming home. Actually, where is home? I have lived in Sweden for 27 years so Stockholm is I guess. Ireland is where I come from and Northern Ireland is where my mother and sister lives. France is where my parents in law live and my oldest son lives in Japan. Between the age of 21 and 26 I lived in London. With this kind of background it is impossible to be a nationalist, I’m very happy to be a person who has to travel the world to meet his family. It saddens me that countries want to close their borders, what is the benefit of such a thing?
The watercolour and pencil sketch were done when I had two hours to myself during my visit, I drove to Donaghadee which is one of my favourite places that is close to my mother’s home. The pencil sketch is on A5 paper and the watercolour is painted on Arches and is A4ish in size.
The harbour front – Donaghadee, Northern Ireland by David Meldrum
Today I studied Sergey Temerev’s cloud painting techniques on YouTube. I also did a sketch of a painting that I will start in the morning. Painting in a Moleskin sketchbook is difficult when you are used to good quality paper like Arches, but it’s a sketchbook which means I am not too concerned. The most important thing is to play and experiment with composition and pigment.
Two weeks ago I was asked by Björn Bernström, chairman of the Nordic Akvarellskällskapet ( Nordic Watercolour Society) to participate in the International ECWS exhibition in Salamanca, Spain in September. I was of course trilled to be offered a chance to represent the society along with 5 other artists from Sweden.
There was only one catch, the watercolour had to be 70 x 50cm in size and it had to be delivered directly after the weekend. I didn’t have one at home but I was lucky, the weekend was a long one. I spent three days with just a little pressure on me to produce the painting. I’m happy with the result considering the time frame and I am very happy to have been chosen for the exhibition.
It may be kinda strange to have an exhibition at a law firm. The company is situated in the wealthier part of town. They have clients visiting them everyday, who knows maybe they will buy my art … in between suing and being sued. The official opening will be next Wednesday, that’s when I will sell most of the work that does get sold, it’s an important day. Mentally, I have moved on; I’m thinking about the next exhibition. I have started painting for it but unfortunately bad health is hampering me a little, I am over the worst of it now so I look forward to a summer of inspired painting.
I completed 90% of this painting a month or ever two months back, the last 10 % has taken a lot more time. I learned this from Chien Chung-Wei, he might spend two hours on a painting but the final 10% can take many more hours – days even.
Luckily for me the weather is so damn cold here in Stockholm that the snow doesn’t look out of place now that it is spring, it was snowing here today in fact. So, maybe I should rename this painting to, “Spring in Stockholm”. Only kidding, I do look forward to warmer weather though.
Painted on Arches rough 300g, 2017.04.25, 52 x 34 cm. Click on the image below for a larger image.
I travel to Brittany, France in June with my wife and two artist friends, I’m really looking forward to it. I painted this watercolour recently from a photo I took in 2014, the old trawler is missing it’s cabin these days, storms have taken their toll. I haven’t seen the old boat for a year, I wonder how much is left.
Painted on Arches rough 300g, 2017.04.14, 36 x 26.5 cm View larger size by clicking the image below.
I decided to figure paint, exciting when you only have 5 minutes or even worse, 2 minutes. Painted on Fabriano non-cotton paper, it was cheap and better than that nasty Canson paper. Cotton paper is too expensive because one uses so much during a 2 hour session.
I’ve started a new Sketchbook. I find it very useful when I take breaks from the watercolours that I am producing for my upcoming exhibition. To be able to just relax and sketch whatever for an hour is so beneficial when one is under pressure. I now start each artist day with a watercolour sketch to get me into the groove of painting.
Format: Moleskin 29.5 x 20.5 cm
Click the image below is you want to see a larger version.