Saturday 31 January 2015

Portrait #7 'Afghan Man'

Afghan Man            John Simlett
Acrylic on Canvas
30 x 20 inches
(from a photograph by Shehzad Noorani)
I hadn't painted folded cloth or a beard before, and so I set about finding a suitable subject. Fortunately I came across a great photograph, but far more than that, a great photographer, Shehzad Noorani who spends a great deal of his time photographing and publicizing  the homeless.

You could be forgiven for believing that the 'Afghan Man' is a warrior, a leader of men for he has that look about him, but he is not. He is living in Maslakh refugee camp for Internally Displaced People, near the city of Herat in Afghanistan. 

I've tried to bring out the undefeated spirit of the man. He may have lost all his material assets but he is unbowed.

Sunday 25 January 2015

Portrait #7 'Afghan Man' Work In Progress

Portrait number 7 is the 47th painting I have attempted. Here is a WIP update.

Acrylic on Canvas     £0 x 20 inches

It uses a photograph taken by the famous Shehzad Noorani, and is of," [an] Afghan man in Maslakh refugee camp for Internally Displaced People (IDP), near the city of Herat. Afghanistan." 

I have written to Shehzad Noorani asking permission to use the photograph. Until he gives permission, this painting will never get beyond this blog.

Thursday 22 January 2015

The Strangest of Things!!!!!

When we married, our niece Viv was only three years old and a baby. Next year she is Sixty, and still our little darling. She lives in Dubai, but is home in the UK for surgery and two weeks ago she had a new hip fitted. She is staying with us for about ten weeks whilst she recovers.

Two days ago we took her from West Wales to Wiltshire so that the medics could check her out. We stayed at a Beechfield House Hotel for a couple of days.

See this link for details Beechfield House.

Whilst we were there I had a look around all the various artwork on its walls. Wonderful! Then Pat called, "Come and look at these Pen and Ink drawings of trees, they look just like yours." 

   On closer inspection I could see they were prints from an etching, and that she was flattering me. 

They were quite big drawings and I spent ages looking at them, and noticed that they were produced in 1824. Then I saw the signature ..... J Simett ....a you may recall I am J Simlett. It took a comparison between the four drawings to confirm the spelling ... it felt very strange though!

I haven't had chance to do any research on him/her yet

Thursday 15 January 2015

"On Reflections 2" Painting #46

This one seems a little better than the last.

I've used a slightly narrower canvas to crop out the space on either side thus bringing all the focus onto the subject. I've also used a lot of crimson and iron oxide glazes on the finished painting to add (I hope) a rich lustre. 

Hope you like it.

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

                                            "Reflections 2"                   John Simlett
Acrylic on Cotton Canvas
30 x 20 inches

The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow,
And what will poor robin do then, poor thing?
He'll sit in a barn and keep himself warm
and hide his head under his wing, poor thing.

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Tornadoes in Wales?

Normal service will be resumed in this blog, when storm-torn West Wales returns to normality.

There are times when a house named 'Highview' becomes a very noisy place!

In other incidents caused by the weather conditions on Wednesday:

First there was the frostquake. Then the firenado. Now another weather-related portmanteau has seized the headlines. Thundersnow has been reported in parts of Cornwall, South Wales, Tayside and Teesside. It sounds dramatic. What does it entail?
Basically, it is the same as a thunderstorm, except that snow falls instead of rain. It occurs when the atmosphere is unstable and the layer of air closest to the ground is cold enough to create snow, but still warmer than the air above it. "In this instance, the heating is coming from the sea which is still quite warm," says BBC weather presenter John Hammond. As the warm air rises, water droplets condense to form cumulonimbus clouds. Lightning occurs when these rub against each other, and thunder is the sound of the lightning.

Friday 9 January 2015

Wednesday 7 January 2015

Back to the Drawing Board!

You recall people who, when retelling their progress in life, say, "I learnt from that"? Well I now have such a story ... I've just ruined the oranges reflection painting, "On Reflection."

I forgot to put on an isolation coat before varnishing it. Consequently the varnish has clouded parts of the painting. My daughter doesn't know what I've done wrong, and is happy, nevertheless it's wrong.

I Learnt About Varnishing & Isolation Coats from that.

I'm not that bothered, believe it or not, as I know a lot more about varnishing now than I did before I ruined the work, and that's what I'm all about: learning to paint. It's a bit like computer programming really, you tend to remember parts of a new language better if you now know a piece of code that you get badly wrong the first time round.

Pat really liked the painting and so I will do another one for her ... making a better job of the oranges, the white jug and ... the varnishing.

So back to the drawin.... 'er ... easel 

I can't leave this post without a picture, so here is my great grandson, Logan John, who is walking at 9 months!

Sunday 4 January 2015

"On Reflection" (painting #45)

My daughter bought me a canvas for Christmas. I thought I would try a still-life and have a go at reflections. 

As she lives on an old Welsh farm (her house is 400 years old) I thought I would paint this for her farmhouse kitchen.

                                                   On Reflection                            John Simlett
Acrylic on Canvas
39 x 20 inches