Monday, 27 December 2010

Bison over my Kitchen Sink!

Maybe I'd over-indulged on festive fare, but the other evening as I stood by the kitchen sink I could make out the shape of a bison in the iced-over window behind the roller-blind!

Like prehistoric cave paintings, there were other animals too ...

Today they are all gone.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

More Midwinter Middlesbrough - Sylvan Season's Greetings!

Here is more celebration of the beautiful landscape around Middlesbrough. Some of you mentioned that you would like me to show more images of this area - and as it is one of my favourite painting places, I'm very happy indeed to do so!

Every year I like to produce new Season's Greetings cards to send to friends, and this year I painted the above design. It features the landscape just south of Middlesbrough, looking toward the Cleveland Hills. This is one of my favourite views, with the fields and copses stretching into the distance, and the phenomenal skies one so often sees over this lovely place.

I painted the scene yesterday, on A4 size blue-grey Ingres paper. Firstly I used black waterproof drawing ink, and then I added the white highlights with gouache paint. This is a combination I often use for painting sylvan and garden imagery, as I find it ideal for communicating atmosphere.

I used the above rendering of the image, with an orange layer over the moon, as a temporary Header on this blog yesterday, to celebrate the unique combination of Winter Solstice, Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse!

Season's Greetings to you all! I wish you a lovely holiday and a wonderful year ahead, full of beauty and love and light.

Ingrid Sylvestre

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Light in Midwinter Middlesbrough

I love Middlesbrough. Not only is it set in some of the most outstandingly beautiful landscapes in the UK, the town itself is a pleasure to visit. I look forward to the walk from the station with it's wonderful architectural surroundings, and one of my favourite routes is past the spacious town hall square on the way to Teesside University.

The above photo was taken a couple of weeks ago, very early one morning when the snows had just begun. It was my first view of this year's tree. As I passed, the sun suddenly came out from behind the looming snow-clouds, shining directly through the star that crowns the tree.

It was a moment of such beauty and hope. May this town and inhabitants, it's industry and excellent inspirational University prosper!

The tree yesterday, lit by the town lights and the waxing moon.


This post is part of OOTS (Out on the Streets), a meme of monthly blog posts featuring public planting aspects of our streets, initiated by Veg Plotting. Do visit her blog, from where you can also visit the other OOTS blog posts.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Food for the Artist's Palate!

On these freezing winter nights we particularly enjoy our food - in large quantities! And I like to introduce a sense of whimsical artistry into it's preparation ...

A few years ago I came across these wonderful palette-shaped plates. How could I resist buying them?!

Here the culinary artist's materials are assembled. Pasta is bubbling. Rashers of delicious smokey bacon are sizzling in another pan, while onions, celery, red peppers and banana are chopped. A spoonful of curry powder adds to the colour spectrum on the palette. My favourite Yeo Valley Greek Style Organic joghurt is waiting ...

All the vegetables are thrown with a flourish into the pan and sauteed with the bacon, then the banana to thicken it up towards the end. Arrange the mixture on the palette, garnish with the joghurt ...

Food for the Artist's Palate - on a Palette Plate! Ingrid Sylvestre North East artist
From palette to palate! Yum ...

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Oak Tree painting in progress

A friend just sent me a photo of one of my favourite trees - a majestic old oak tree next to a wonderful Wood. I was immediately inspired to paint it again!

This time I felt moved to paint it at night, in the snow. I have many special memories of this scene, with the oak standing strong, spreading it's branches against the night sky, as the Wood sighs in the breeze beyond. Ivy grows up it's mighty trunk, making intricate criss-cross patterns in the covering of snow.

I'm using mixed media, (oil pastel and watercolour), on very heavy textured watercolour paper. Impulsive with this painting, I didn't stretch the paper first, which doesn't matter as it is so thick! Wanting to continue quickly I draped the painting over the back of two chairs in front of the radiator to dry.

(I'm still working on the previous painting of the Cleveland Hills - I like to let a painting 'stand' for a few days, while I meditate on it to decide what final work needs to be done - otherwise it can be tempting to 'overwork' it!)

Ingrid Sylvestre