Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bath Marathon III Day 4, 5 and 6

More shots from day 4-6 of the third marathon. The highlight of this was the Circus!

127-132.1-I never planned to make this piece of the Circus a panoramic 6" x 48" piece. I started the first one and I asked myself, Why not another? I could do this because the Circus in Bath is just like a circle with three trees in the middle. As I started this painting one of the residents came out to give me a nice cup of tea. He said, "may the sun shine for you all day long".

127-132.2-Another shot of the progress.

127-132.3-Another shot of the progress and all six put together

127-132.4- The full six, I had to work placing them all on the floor towards the end. A lady then came with cakes and a nice cup of tea. She said you deserve this after a hard day at work, I had been there from around 10.15am to 6.30pm. It was one of my best days yet in the whole Marathon so far. I never planned to have it this way-but then Divine Inspiration sets in and all I could do was to stand in awe of the workings of the Almighty God!

133- This is Burton Street at night!

134-This is Landsdown Crescent on a very dull and cold autumn day.

135-Another shot at Landsdown Crescent facing west, around Somerset place. I really loved the sheep but my board was too small to do justice to them.

136-This is Landsdown Crescent facing east, around Landsdown Road. The day was fast fading but I was out to capture the mist as it settled on a cold grey evening.

137- I really enjoyed this one of Somerset Place at night, I was told a Millionaire bought this property from the University for £1 million and plans to develop it and sell for £4 million. Hmmm.... good business!

138- This is the Old Farm House at Belvedere, as I was coming down from Landsdown Road, I couldn't resist painting this place as the light around was brilliant for visible work at night.

139- This was a day when the rain got the better of me and my painting. I had just finished being part of the Judging panel for the Bath Prize and I got changed to start painting the Abbey and the heavens opened with a very heavy down pour. Hence the effect of rain in the painting, something that remained unresolved till I finished.

140-This is the Thermae Bath Spa building were cute people relax and burn out a lot of stress, I could do with one good soak but there's no rest.......

141-This is the Cross Bath Building, I don't know why it is called that. I had to treat it as a still life as day faded into night and there was not much interest as dramatic lighting.

142-This piece was inspired by the moonlight. I was just about to walk up the stairs to the YMCA from Walcot Street when the illuminated sky hit me, I thought-ONE LAST PIECE! It came out nice and I was pleased I persevered!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bath Marathon III Day 3 and 4

These are shots from day 3 and 4 of the 3rd Marathon.

116. It was so hot when I started this, I had to take off 3 layers of clothing, that's the unpredictable British weather for you! I had the staff from Bartlett Properties come out to offer me a cool glass of water when I finished, they said they had been watching me from start to finish!

117,118- You can't paint Bath without painting Milsom Street, this was Saturday afternoon and the place was buzzing with shoppers, tourists and all the rest. I had to make this a double because one 6" x 8" wouldn't justify the grand effect I wanted to achieve.

119-Queens Square has always been a favourite of mine, this particular shot was taken looking up to Gay Street. I quickly sketched the tour bus before it left, that was quite a challenge.

120- This is a place I would also love to paint at day time. the reflections are always great across the Canal near the Bus Station.

121- The girl walking up Gay Street as I was facing down Queens Square is Laura, I didn't know her name until one of the guys she works for identified her in the painting!

122- This was taken from Gay Street facing up to the Circus, It was one of the paintings I really enjoyed, the sun was blazing and the conditions were just right.

123-The whole purpose of this one and why I went for it was the light bouncing up and down against the buildings and across the road on George Street.

124- This was a shot I had to work very quickly as I wanted to capture the last rays of the golden evening light against the tree and some part of the buildings in the Circus from Gay Street.

125-My first painting at the Golf Course, almost the wrong time to visit but I caught a bit of the dusk, just before the night rolled in.

126-This is the Theatre Royal at night, this place brings back memories, because it was the site of the first painting I did of Bath last year.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bath Marathon III Day 1 and 2

Glory be to God! Here comes the Third Marathon! You might be thinking I'll be sick of Bath by now. But No! There are still more places to paint! As A plein air painter it is not the places we look for, but the effect of light on the places and therefore, one place could look different in seven different light conditions during the day! Incredible! I have had to delay this post because the wii fii at the YMCA in Bath has been down for weeks. So now that I am on my way to London after another successful third marathon, I can now look back and post some shots of the days as they went by.

101-Feeling fresh this is my first shot at Broad Street, the junction is busy and traffic a continuous thing! I decided to capture it in the afternoon light from Landsdown Road.

102-Alfred Street was a beauty to paint, one lady saw her car in the picture and immediately wanted to buy the piece just because she could identify her car in it. She showed her daughter and said, "Look honey, that's our car!"

103,104- Never planned to do Hay Hill as a double but as I painted the first piece and just couldn't resist plunking in another to justify the beauty of the late afternoon light and shadows piercing across!

105-Up Landsdown Road from Alfred Street, I managed to capture the late afternoon shadows as they cast against the buildings on the right.

106- Night was approaching but the light was great and I walked up Landsdown Road, lazy as usual, fainting but pursuing the next shot, then I saw this paradise at Camden Crescent at night!

107-....the same spot as 106, I decided to turn round and capture Camden Crescent at night, facing Belvedere. Then a lovely lady who introduced herself as a Lawyer, got me a cup of tea. Now, I don't drink tea but I have learned never to reject an offer of charity. I drank it up and she was pleased. She said they were proud at Camden Crescent to have their own local artist!

108-While painting this scene I got interrupted by some night cleaners who needed to clean some pillars of the shop I was sitting by. So I moved and almost got soaked in the process. But I enjoyed this piece of Milsom Street at night with the bright red Scaffolding.

109- A rare beauty of striking morning light across Julian Street off Landsdown Road!

110-Just looking through Caroline Place around Belvedere, there was this view of the town skyline! Incredible!

111-Ainslies Belvedere-this was the place a lady just specifically asked to reserve this painting "111", she left her name and address and said she'll love to own it!.

112-Another Cool Scene of Belvedere from Landsdown Road, I loved this scene because of the dynamic "Z" shapes in the rectangular composition.

113-I got here and the evening was fading fast, but I managed to capture these glorious trees around Upper Hedgemead, I loved the mysterious winding of the road into nowhere!

114,115-Now, Please don't think I have lost it, because I haven't. But I just felt I needed to do something incredibly weird(at the end of the day when I am tired, I get hyper and I do all sorts from singing in the street, to dancing in the street), and I gave it a go. I went to the dark park in the night with teenagers doing all sorts and captured the Royal Crescent at night. One of the girls saw me struggling to take myself a picture, she just grabbed the camera from me and took a marvelous shot!

Monday, September 20, 2010


The colours that sacrificed their dear lives for the success of Bath Marathon 1 and 2!

These are some of my ramblings as usual, lessons from the Second Marathon. Enjoy!

1. GIVING MYSELF ENOUGH TIME- I have learned never to attempt a painting when I know I don’t have sufficient time to finish it to the best of my ability. This can happen when it is about to rain and the clouds are coming but one ignores the signs and embarks on a painting and plans to finish just before it starts or when it is evening and the light is changing so fast-but you just try and knock another piece in- it’s dangerous!

2. INSUFFICIENT LIGHT- I have learned to always work in sufficient light, I did a painting in insufficient light only to be greeted by the horror of reality when I viewed it in the light!

3. RAIN IS A BLESSING NOT A CURSE- So many times artists hate the rainy days, but this marathon proved to me once more the beauty of rain. You can get great atmospheric effects, reflections and unbelievable unchanging grey light! Don’t despair when the rains come, dig in there!

4. KICKING MY BUTT-Nothing is impossible! I am not saying there isn’t anything that is impossible to paint, but I have often needed to kick myself when that small voice keeps saying, “Adebanji, you can’t paint that...” It’s time for me to answer, “The worst that can happen is that I don’t do it well, but not that I‘ll listen and not attempt it! I have attempted such during this marathon and it was a blessing!

5. EARLY MORNINGS ARE BETTER THAN LATE NIGHTS- You can never beat the freshness of the mornings. After a good day moving about cleaning the palette, packing up and moving again. I noticed I can’t be at my best after a full day of this, so I either conserve energy by sitting instead of standing or quit when the brain starts getting weary.

6. KNOWING WHEN TO STOP-Every painter faces this dilemma. I worked on one of my pieces for three hours! It still didn’t work. Well that’s life! Knowing when to top is crucial. Sometimes I need to say, NO MORE 2 HOURS, even before I start.

7. RECOGNIZABLE DETAILS- This is important. I have noticed some people have been fascinated by my paintings just because their window in the block of houses was there, or their car. Actually one lady just fancied buying my painting of Alfred Street, just because her car was in it!

8. PAINT WHERE YOU CAN PEE OR POO! In a posh city like Bath, it’s best to know you are not too far from the loo when nature calls. I’ll say no more. A word is enough for the wise.

9. TALKING TOO LONG TO ONLOOKERS WHILE PAINTING-I enjoy talking to onlookers but one night , it went on and on and on and more gathered and I got lost in concentration and accuracy and started showing off....and that’s the death of the painting! BEWARE!!!

10. BEING INSPIRED- Being inspired doesn’t come without sweat. There’s no way on earth you can wake up and conclude, “I don’t feel like it today” There are days I thought I couldn’t go on! And then when I just drove my head into it, and kept going...something divine took over and I couldn’t believe the results I got. It’s no fantasy but when immersed in work-The angel takes over the brush................

11. NEVER REJECT AN OFFER OF CHARITY-Just be courteous and accept them. Water, coffee, tea, juice, snacks, even money, One funny guy dropped £2 coins because he felt art materials are very expensive, I laughed and almost fell off my chair!

12. PAINTING WITH ALONGSIDE OTHER PAINTERS- “Iron sharpeneth Iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend"-this is what the Bible says and it is true in painting too. I painted alongside Karl Terry during my second marathon and it was great, we shared so many of the same successes and difficulties and it was such a wonderful time.

13. USING THE CAMERA TO DETECT COMPOSITION-When thinking whether a certain scene would work portrait of landscape- I just use my camera to take a shot of the scene in both views and I immediately know which one would work. One of the great advantages of digital technology.

14. NOT NEEDING TO PAINT EXACTLY WHAT IS THERE- This can become a trap when plein air painters take off their creative cap and wear on “slave to the scene cap”. Please you don’t need to put in that pole or car or figure if it is there but is going to ruin the piece! Nobody would know whether it was there or not if you leave it out and the painting works. But otherwise.................hmmmmmm

15. ITS PAINTING NOT BRAIN SURGERY- I know we need to be serious and I know this is our job and we get paid for it, but let’s not forget it’s painting and not a life and death situation. Smile and sing while you work it can help drive the blues away!

16. GETTING A WRIST SUPPORT- I had to find a solution, after working on 30 or so pictures on the go, the wrist starts to complain and you are in trouble! I went to a sports shop and told them what I do and what I am experiencing and they suggested different aids and helps. I settled for Vulkan Silicon Wrist support. I am not advertising for the company but It has helped for unbeatable protection and performance!

17. 6” X 8” REVOLUTION- This is not directly a lesson but just something I have realized while working on 6” x 8”- There is so much you can get into this small piece and it will change the way you see and paint larger works FOREVER.

Preparing for Bath Marathon 3- the sizing and priming!

Stay tuned, my next post will be on Day 1 and 2 of Bath Marathon 3! It’s on and I am UP FOR IT!!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sketches on the bus, train and tube in September

These are my recent sketches. My sketchbook got soaked so the images are a bit off grey. It was hard getting back into sketching on Public transport but once I got into it, it got a bit better.