Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"I don't need an umbrella....I love the rain" , 6" x 9", Mixed Media, 2011 (The Flying Moleskins)

This is my contribution to Vern's sketchbook. Its part of a Sketchbook Exchange I am currently taking part in called, "The Flying Moleskins" He said we could paint anything and around the time I was thinking of what to paint- It happened to be a time I was getting mesmerized by rain reflections on London streets.

I don't need an umbrella...I love the rain, 6" x 9", Mixed Media, 2011

So I decided to do this piece of an old man I saw around Holborn in London enjoying the rain without an umbrella. Hope you like it Vern-It got me back to using watercolour and gouache.

" A prison in Bristol asked me to do a painting for the altar piece in their chapel and I did this big thing of the prodigal son; a father and son locked in embrace and the whole redemptive thing about that. While I was doing it I had a surveyor come around to look at the house-I was remortgaging it- and he saw the image and started crying. It was 9 o'clock in the morning and I was still in my pyjamas and he was in tears. He said: "What is that?" I said: It's a father and son. So he said: "I've got a 9 year old kid but I've never hugged him." Then he walked out saying:"I'm gonna find him." I called after him: "What about the house?"......
-Charlie Mackesy

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"My Life is Messed Up" 7" x 5", mixed Media, 2011 (The Flying Moleskins)

This was my contribution to Deans Sketchbook in a Sketchbook exchange, called Flying Moleskins, that I have participating in for the past year. He said we could put anything into his book and I always like to capture homeless people, so this was a great opportunity to express some of my deepest feelings for these folk. After working with them at St Mungo's for 9 years, I have met so many and understood so much about life on the streets.

This is a short poem I composed to express these piece in words.

My life is messed up,
not one more chance but the streets.
It's life, it's hard
there are no retreats

People come and people go
Nobody seems to want to know

I made the mistakes
it wasn't my fault
but I'm blaming no one
cos this is my result

Failure pains
Rejection hurts
Tragedy unresolved
Diverse problems of all sorts.

I am trying to make it
I wish I can
Give me a second chance
Trust me, man!

I don't deserve this
This is not my lot
But life ain't easy
Help me resolve the plot...!

-@Adebanji Alade, August 2011

Special Quote
"I continue to make paintings of people and their moments in our time because I am of that time. Out of that I hope to make pictures that are timeless."
(Burton Silverman)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sketches on the train, tube and bus in August III

More sketches! If there's one way on the face of the earth that one needs to take to get better at drawing, it's constant sketching! It's fun and it doesn't have to be perfect either but the good thing is, as one keeps sketching-the brain, hand and eye become better friends and as an artist we need them to be in perfect unity!

"Although he was intelligent and witty, he spoke gruffly, not wanting to be pitied. He kept to himself and never married.
Adolph von Menzel (1815-1905) did have one constant companion: his sketchbook. An acquaintance recalled:
In his overcoat he had eight pockets, which were partially filled with sketchbooks, and he could not comprehend that there are artists who make the smallest outings without having a sketchbook in their pocket. On the lower left side of his coat, an especially large pocket was installed, just large enough to hold a leather case, which held a pad, a couple of shading stumps and a gum eraser.”-Adolph Menzel, Master Drawings from East Berlin.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Chelsea Riverside Moorings on a Grey Day, 20 x 8, Oil on Board, 2011

The Chelsea Riverside Moorings on a Grey Day, 20" x 8", oil on board, 2011 SOLD

I did this painting earlier this year in January when the weather was colder, but I am posting it to share the time it took to complete it from start to finish.
People often wonder how long it takes to finish a plein air painting. Sometimes when the weather is cold I only expect to work for a few hours and then rush in, because I hate the cold. But on this occasion after completing the the first 10" x 8" piece, I had a feeling the scene looked a bit incomplete, so I started another one to make the painting a more horizontal format (these formats are good for dramatic, exaggerated, precarious or secure balance, reclining, restful, flat, level panoramic or stretched scenes-Margaret Kessler-Painting Better Landscapes)I felt this scene was restful and it helped balance the whole composition effectively.

Below are the pictures and the time it took to finish.

Here I was ready at 12.30 in the afternoon to get going, I thought it's only an 8" x 10", so I'll take my time. I liked the sky and the dead greys on the wet shore. The boat added a bit of red to liven up the scene.

Here after 2 hours it's 14.30 in the afternoon and I have completed the first part but, looking at the scene I think I have more cold to endure.

Here after one and a half hours it's 16.00 in the afternoon and I'm putting in my finishing touches. Enough cold endured.

Sometimes a plein air session can be this long or sometimes I have to come back on another day, to do another sitting. It will then have to be another Grey day when the condition of lighting is just similar to the day I started.
Grey days are great to do plein air paintings because the light is constant without changing all the time, one has the opportunity to relax and give it a good shot, the only disadvantage being, if the grey day happens to be a cold one!

"Painting DETAILS can be very relaxing. This is the time when the stereo is turned on and the small brushes are put to use. But this is also the time when a picture can be loved to death. Knowing when to STOP painting is an ART. It is also a personal decision. What is enough and what is too much? Since there is no absolute, I choose to stop just as I begin feeling comfortable with the painting. It is an inner feeling that I have learned to trust."-Margaret Kessler, "Painting Better LANDSCAPES" 1992.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sketches on the bus train and tube in August II

These are some more sketches of people on public transport. Sometimes I find myself not being in the mood to sketch, I pull out a book or an art magazine and start to read then suddenly I look up and there's a beautiful or interesting face that catches my attention. I can't resist, I pull out my ball point pen and sketch, sometimes it's only a few lines that are just enough to describe the form or gesture. Sometimes a hint of shade or tone with the number 75 Tombow Brush Pen Fine Tip and Brush Tip Cool Gray 3 will do! It's always great to go for the overall impression first, not paying attention to the details-

I was sketching a guy (above, bottom left) while on my way from Hampstead Heath, he knew I was sketching him and he told me to hurry up as he was getting down on the next stop! That was painful because I was really enjoying his freaky hair-style.

I thank God for a guy called Burton Silverman-I have learnt so much from him, his rapid sketches taught me a lot, his approach, selectivity and his sheer artistic mentality. If you can, grab his book on, "The Intimate Eye-THE DRAWINGS OF BURTON SILVERMAN"-it's a solid education!

"The quicker we draw, the better, so long as we can keep up the tension of our eyes, brain and hand all working together at the same time. The moment one of the three faculties gets out of gear or tired, the vitality of the drawing is lost"- Borough Johnson from his book The Technique of Pencil Drawing (1930)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

All Bar One & Starbucks(Moonlight Effect) Bath, 20" x 16", oil on canvas, 2011

This painting was another commission that came from my Bath Group Exhibition in May at the Bath Gallery.

All Bar One & Starbucks(Moonlight Effect)Bath, 20" x 16", oil on canvas, 2011

Two lovely ladies had a look at some of paintings from my Bath Marathon and found out that I didn't do any of All Bar One! They said, "How could you not do one of All Bar One?" I said, "I'm sorry I missed it out but you can commission me to do one for you!"
They had a good think about it, talked about the size and price with The Bath Gallery and the deal was done. That night they took me to All Bar one and said, we want a bit of the Abbey, Starbucks and it should have a moonlight effect. I took loads of pictures and came back to paint it in London. After a few weeks work I sent them a copy via email and this is the exact reply I got, "Thank you so much for the wonderful painting you made for us. You have created a beautiful response to our brief and we are delighted. All being well I plan to collect the painting today. Many thanks again.
Kind regards
Amelia and April xxx"

The sketch

It's always great to get a pleased client after a commission!

"I paint because I love painting. For me, painting is an immense pleasure".-Sorolla from his Biography book by Blanca Pons- Sorolla.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Sketches on the bus, train and tube in August I

These are some recent sketches on public transport. There's always a wonderful fascination about the human face. Recording glimpses of it in different moods and settings is a delight. The public transport is just one of those places where one can get the most varied of the faces of people from all works of life. Sketching then becomes irresistible!

"Anyone with ordinary intelligence and application can learn to sketch more or less "correctly", provided he has a capable mater continually at his elbow to point out his mistakes; for to see proportions, facts and forms scientifically needs much practice and experience. To observe with an artist's eye is another matter altogether, and is a gift which only the aesthetic soul can possess."
-Borough Johnson from his Book The Technique of Pencil Drawing(1930)

Friday, August 05, 2011

The Royal Crescent Bathed in the Spring Sun, 48" x 20", Oil on canvas, 2011

The Royal Crescent bathed in the spring sun, 48" x 20", Oil on canvas, 2011 SOLD

This painting of the Royal Crescent in Bath was done for my Bath Group show in May at The Bath Gallery. I went to Bath to do a study in graphite and then I took loads of pictures too. I came back to London with all the reference material and embarked on this piece, which is my largest painting of a place in Bath.

It is such an incredible structure and I love it, ever since I did two (here and here) plein air shots of it during my Bath Marathon. I have always longed to do a bigger piece and this was my chance, although painting the details was a nightmare!

It was this painting that fetched me the commission I did of St Paul's in my post before this one. The couple came to the exhibition and really loved the way I painted The Royal Crescent. That's when they decided to have me take on St Paul's.

Adebanji with the painting at the Octagon

Adebanji sketching the Royal Crescent

The Royal Crescent Sketch

"Somewhere within all of us there is a wordless centre, a part of us that hopes to be immortal in some way, a part that has remained unchanged since we were children, the source of our strength and compassion. This faint confluence of the tangible and the spiritual is where Art comes from. It has no limits, and once you tap into it you will realize what truly rich choices you have. May each painting you do from that sacred place include an expression of gratitude for the extraordinary privilege of being an artist."-Richard Schmid from his book ALLA PRIMA, Everything I Know About Painting

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

St Paul's Panoramic View, 44" x 20", Oil on Canvas, 2011(Commission)

This was a commission I had recently from my Bath Exhibition, to paint a panoramic view of St Paul's, it was to include a 23 Bus, a Black Cab, Busy London Commuters, a typical Black London Telephone Box and the New Change Building. After about a months work with the client, The lovely couple were pleased with the final result.

St Paul's Panoramic View, 44" x 20", Oil on Canvas, 2011 (Commission)

The Sketch

"If I'm out on a beautiful Island someplace. I'm not there to paint first, he says. I'm there to enjoy the experience first and paint second."-Ron Stocke from Watercolour Artist Magazine