Monday, 31 August 2009

Starry Night

Starry Night.. this painting was inspired by a song.

I was listening to an 80s record programme, when they played Spandau Ballet's Through the Barricades.

As I listened, this painting formed itself in my head and I had to paint it straight away, in order to keep the vision. Again, full of meaning if you care to look deeply. Lovely image still, if you don't.

Its one of my favourites .

Sunday, 30 August 2009


Sometimes I paint abstract pictures, just for the fun of watching the paint move and flow, granulate and absorb - and dry in whichever pattern it chooses.

Of course, I do have input, I place the colours where I want, I choose to tip the paper so they can flow into each other, and I place either salt or wax on the paper to change or inhibit flow.

Overall though, I won't know if I like what I've done until it dries.
Every one I have done so far, I have liked.
If I look at them deeply, I see many things in them. That's what I like about abstracts.

My title painting is one, using salt as an absorber of paint to help create those lovely patterns.

Here's another :

This one was done as a gift for our local doctor, as a thank you .
I love this one, you can see so much in it .

Saturday, 29 August 2009

An exercise in texture

This was a great photo for practising texture in a painting.
The old rusty truck abandoned in the autumnal woods gave great scope for trying out many different techniques.

Dry brush, cling film, wet on wet, wet on dry, candle wax and masking were all used here.

Successful or not?
You can decide - I only know I thoroughly enjoyed myself painting it !

Friday, 28 August 2009

Just a scribble...

Just a scribble?

Why yes. And no.

The scribble of the daffodils has a purpose. It whiled away a few spare minutes and gave me pleasure. That is purpose enough.
I show it to you to show you that not every time you take pencil to paper does it have to be a masterpiece.

Now, this scribble was done with Inktense pencils, so I can wet the drawing after it is finished and get a more painterly look. It still won't look like a masterpiece - but again - it doesn't have to!

If I really like the composition and think it might well make a masterpiece, I can always come back to my sketchbook another time and use it as a reference for when I want to draw the masterpiece on watercolour paper.

So get out and draw.
You'll enjoy it for its own sake.
Masterpieces come later !

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Art is good for you!

Art is good for you.
In Dulwich, S.E. London, local GPs are prescribing art for some of their elderly patients.
Dulwich Picture Gallery have a community outreach programme which involves the elderly in gallery visits and art classes.
Apparently it helps with depression, isolation and as one person said, " you forget your pain"

You don't have to wait to be elderly to try!
Art is great fun and very absorbing. Belonging to an art club brings a great sense of community - and you get like minded people to talk to.

Taking a weekend workshop that attracts you is lovely way to spend a whole day on art - and you could come home with a picture like this :

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Painting is fun!

Painting is great fun!

I was sent a photo which made me smile - it almost looked like a living American Gothic. So I asked permission to paint it, which was granted - and the painting above is the result.

Quite a few of my paintings are very symbolic and this one is no exception.
Lots of hidden meanings in here, should you care to search.
Nice image to look at should you not care to search!

This painting was also part of my portfolio when I took my City & Guilds art exam., and I am sure it contributed to my success.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Gifting Paintings

I sometimes make a gift of my paintings.

There are some close friends who lost their dogs in horrible circumstances, so to try to help ease their pain, I have painted the dog and given them the painting.
Here are two such paintings, Casey and Ginger.

Then there was Flapjack, made as a surprise Christmas present.
He went down a treat !

And then there were these paintings, given either as birthday presents or just as "you're my friend," presents


Monday, 24 August 2009

Commission Paintings

Usually, I paint whatever I would like to paint, as the inspiration grabs me.
Sometimes though, I am asked if I would paint a particular subject that holds special memories for someone.

So the commission is born. Usually they are dogs, but not always.
Now, I love dogs, so have no problem painting them, I can still be creative.

Anything else I always ask for free rein so I can interpret and be creative.
You can see that in the boots painting which was a commission. (below)
I've also added a few dogs, for your enjoyment.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Selling Paintings

Sometimes I am asked "Do you sell your paintings?"
The answer to which is yes, sometimes I do.

And sometimes I get a follow up statement " I don't know how you could bear to part with them!"

That one is simple, though sometimes not .
I create a painting and take great joy in doing so.

Some, like Whistle Stop Cafe help a cause which is dear to my heart (auctioned in aid of Battersea Dogs Home) - and the person who now owns it has a painting which means something very special to them. They will enjoy and cherish it. So, we're all happy.

Some, like Sowing the Seeds, I create and it has great meaning.
Then someone comes along and asks could I paint another for them. I don't paint the same picture twice, so I ask what it means to them. And Sowing the Seeds meant so much to its new owner - along the lines of the meaning I had instilled in it - that I was happy to sell it to her. It will be greatly cherished.

Others still, like the one above - Beyond The Door - hold such great and deep personal meaning for me that I will not part with it.
This painting is so full of symbolism in every brush stroke, each one a testament to an event in my life - that it won't ever live in any other home but mine. Its too personal.
That's what artists do, you know - put their life experiences and emotion on canvas. Or watercolour paper, in my case !

Its also a lovely image, so it stays on my website Pat Elliott's Paintings for everyone to enjoy.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Whistle Stop Cafe - the Finished Painting

Here it is, the finished painting!
The letters are painted in green, outlined in gold and there are a few lines added to the window to give the illusion of glass.

I thoroughly enjoyed making this painting - but by far the best thing of all was that I put it in an auction of my art work to benefit Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.

In total that auction made £447 - which all went to help the dogs in their rehabilitation unit.

Dogs like my Missy - who did have behaviour issues - who, with some love and guidance is now the best little terrier in the world.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Whistle Stop 4

Closer and closer to the end!
This first picture, I have put in the trees and shrubbery behind the train, leaving tiny slivers of white - because no tree is solid.

In the second picture, the dark shadows under the rails goes in - and suddenly the reflection really seems to come to life!
Now there really is only the masking fluid to remove and the letters to paint in. That will be tomorrow's post!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Whistle Stop 3

Here in these two pics are small changes, which may look insignificant, but they build the picture up.
The first is painting in the rails, and all the wooden posts and features.

The second is putting a layer in that colours the earth in the reflection.

So that now when the trees and darker shadows go in next, the reflection will be complete. After that, only the lettering remains to be done. Nearly there.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Whistle Stop- the next step

The next step was to paint the train in. Not in too much detail - because it is only a reflection, so therefore you wouldn't see every nut and bolt.

After painting the train, came painting the shadow of the train. This helps to "anchor" the train so it doesn't look as if it is floating in mid air.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Whistle Stop Cafe

In the first of these pictures, I have painted the lower half of the cafe front - with a pale green mix.

In the second, I have used a masking fluid around the edge of the words "Fried Green Tomatoes"
This masking fluid will protect the words from being accidentally painted on as I paint the back ground reflection of the train. That will be the next stage of the painting.

Monday, 17 August 2009

The Whistle Stop cafe

The same gentleman who sent me the picture of the watermill also sent me some pictures of the cafe that was the inspiration for the cafe in Fried Green Tomatoes ( the film)
It was called the Whistle Stop cafe and was situated near the railway.

Here are the two photos he sent:

I decided to make a painting using elements from both pictures. I thought the cafe would look better with the train being reflected in it - so here is my first drawing, with the sky wash already painted in.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Here We Go...

Here we are, all ready for the off!
Today we go visiting a friend who is at home, leg in plaster.
Sketch book, pencil and darling Missy are all coming too.

If the weather is kind to us, we may all sit in the garden - where there are some beautiful blooms to sketch.

Its a lovely way to while away a few hours.
Good company, funny dog and laughter.

We wish you the same for your Sunday xx

Saturday, 15 August 2009


Wondrous, that's the word to describe email and the net.
Suddenly we have the ability to talk to people from all around the world and send each other pictures.

I have some friends in America who knowing my love of art send me pictures they've taken of some beautiful places they've visited.

Then I try to make these pictures into paintings.
Its a wondrous world.

here's an example:

and here's the finished painting

Friday, 14 August 2009

Cathedral Roses

This is my latest painting - Cathedral Roses.

All of the elements which make it up are right here in my garden.
No having to travel miles for inspiration, sometimes its right under your nose.
And the rose smells beautiful too!

Thursday, 13 August 2009


Every day, practice.
Draw something, paint something.

It doesn't have to be a full picture, but practice you must.

How else will your masterpiece be a masterpiece, unless the elements are done competently? How will you ever improve?

All these things said to me on my artistic journey by my tutors.

I think practicing your drawing and painting skills are a little like life really.
The more effort you put in to it, the more you get from it.

I wonder how many hours a day DaVinci spent drawing?
I think I'd feel like a slacker in comparison !

Daily practice, I do it.
Really, its enjoyable and not a chore at all .

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Four Square Otter

I am sometimes asked if I paint in anything other than watercolour.
The answer is usually no - other mediums aggravate my asthma.

But with this otter I did use a few different techniques.
The first is in coloured pencil, the second, pen and wash, the third ink only and the fourth a true watercolour.

It is interesting to see which people get drawn to, as I have all four on display, in a square. Luckily for them I have absolutely no psychology training, else they could be revealing untold mysteries about themselves!

I wonder if you have a favourite?

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

two "get well" wishes

Did you know Claude Monet painted his wife Camille as she was on her deathbed?
I don't know how he could do that!
Yesterday my little terrier wasn't well and needed to see the vet - art was the last thing on my mind. Her getting well was. Get well soon, my Miss.

The second wish is for my arty friend Beryl. We go on painting workshops together. She has sadly fractured her kneecap and is immobile for a few weeks.
I have told her all about my new toy so today I am off to the art shop to buy an Inktense pencil for her, and a new sketch book too. We will not be sketching her plaster cast!
Get well soon, my friend.

here's one of the paintings we've both done a version of at an art workshop.

Monday, 10 August 2009


Sometimes I am asked, where do you get your inspiration for paintings from?

The answer is - many places.
As with the painting of St Nicholas Church, it was from seeing the thing in front of me and thinking "that'll make a good painting"

In the case of the painting below it was some words from a song.
The song spoke of someone's love slipping through their fingers.
That made me think how can you portray love slipping through someone's fingers?
Suddenly the words to another song popped into my brain.. sowing the seeds of love.

Now it was easy - find a model to hold their hands in a cup shape (my husband was very handy at this point!) and draw from there. The hands were also roughened up a bit to represent a farmer's hands - for who else would be sowing? Add in some seeds and I have a painting.

A painting that speaks of love.
On a few levels...

On one level - that all the time we win, we lose, we are still sowing the seeds of future love.
On another level, it speaks of the love of a farmer for his land, and the love invested in growing for the future.
And on one more level, it speaks of the One Great Farmer, who holds us all in His hands, and the love He sows.

"Sowing the Seeds"

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Two cats, Two dogs

I've been playing with the new toy again!
Here are a few quick sketches I made with the Inktense pencil.

I drew them first, then selectively wet certain areas - and voila!
Two cats , two dogs .

Each sketch took about Two minutes to draw ..

Playing with paints is great fun, keeps my drawing skills up and makes me smile. That's good enough reason for me to do it - I hope the pictures make you smile too!

Saturday, 8 August 2009

St Nicholas

Here's the finished painting!
St Nicholas' Church as seen through my eyes.

I'm pretty pleased with this watercolour, I love the flint effect.

Summer school is all over now and no more art club until mid Sept.
I can always go look at my tutor's work and that will drive me on to keep creating!
Tutor is Stephen Cook - and you can see some of his artwork here
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