Waves of North Mallorca

Waves II, painting of the Mediterranean Sea off the North Mallorca coast by Maxine Dodd

We have just returned from a visit to Mallorca, the North East coast at the foot of the Tramuntana mountains. It’s a landscape that never fails to inspire me. Usually tranquil, the sea this time was rough and stormy at times, but the blue-green glass of the waves shines through.

I made them on paper with watercolour and then acrylic, image sizes are 24 x 24cm / 9.5in x 9.5in. They can be framed singly or as a pair in one larger frame…the choice is yours!

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Frosty morning Sunrise

watercolour, pen and ink, frosty morning sunrise

I just looked back on my post for New Year 2020, only to discover that I posted a picture of a frosty morning sunrise; a view of our garden down to the little apple tree where the birds feed. This morning, it was just the same, a beautiful sunrise, with the light filtering through the trees and birds feeding beneath the apple tree.

I realized that having gone through a year like no other, filled with changes, many things have stayed the same… it’s winter in Leicestershire and it’s frosty, the birds are hungry and enjoying the seed we put out, and the light through the trees as the sun rises, is still magical.

It made me realize that at this time and having gone through a year like no other, I still have exactly the same feelings as I do at this time every year; I have plans, ideas and hopes for the year ahead which I may – or may not – achieve, but the hope and the optimism are very real.

So today, after this year like no other, but also, just as last year, I wish you and those you love, the very best for the year to come – Have a good one! Maxine x

watercolour, pen and ink, frosty morning sunrise
Frosty morning sunrise

Where the pheasants live

Where the pheasants live... mixed media art by Maxine Dodd

There are many pictures I should be sharing with you just now, all sports inspired, but every now and then a picture comes to me almost by accident – they don’t ‘fit’ with the sports work that I usually make but they do ‘fit’ together -since mostly these oddities are made under the same circumstances – in the early hours before it’s quite light – or even in the dark – and I make them because I have woken early and can’t get back off to sleep.

I work as quietly as possible, so as not to disturb everyone else, and use the daylight table light, which bends and stretches to light exactly what needs to be lit and nothing else – I make a picture or two, half asleep almost, leave whatever I have made to dry and go back to bed – usually to sleep fine after that. Making art is a great cure for my occasional sleeplessness, I have to say.

So, it happened last night, (this morning) and I found a piece that I had started and left, not knowing what to do with it. I put on the daylight lamp and only had a few things to hand, a lovely ink made by Diamine called ‘onyx black’, a couple of Derwent Graphitint pencils, ‘Dark indigo’ and ‘Meadow’ a couple of pastels of mixed origin, probably Schmincke and Sennelier, grey and white and some System 3 white acrylic.

These photos give you an idea but it’s a bit tidier now than at the time – I was half asleep and no camera!

What emerged from my marks and spatters were the trees and hedge at the end of our garden – I look at this view a great deal and the hedgerow is a haven to wildlife, especially pheasants.

Normally, our regular visitors are two males, who we call Philip and Phineas – occasionally there is a third, Felix – (Phelix??) and sometimes one or two females – but lately, there have been lots of them, – (a nye?) – of at least 12 , in the garden finding food to eat – and they are lovely to watch.

Philip and Phineas
Philip and Phineas
The gentlemen and ladies…

The marks that came reminded me of the trees and hedgerow where they come in. I reckon the next step is to draw them during the daytime when we are all awake together!

The hedgerow to the field

So here, from my reverie, is this night time piece, from memory really, showing where the pheasants live…

Where the pheasants live... mixed media art by Maxine Dodd
Where the pheasants live… Mixed media

Drawing August: Fingerprints and all!

Gladioli pastel by Maxine Dodd
Gladioli pastel by Maxine Dodd
Fingerprints and all!

Second drawing for this year’s Drawing August online event. This is pastel on Ingres paper. I used Schmincke and Sennelier here; the pigments are so strong and vibrant, they are always exciting to use.

Pastel is possibly the purest form of painting – we work with pure pigment and little else!

Amanda McLean

Soft (chalk) pastels were the first medium that hooked me into art properly. I made a picture when I was at school using pastel on black paper. It was a revelation, the colours and contrast were something wonderful and that was it, I was off on my journey. Lovely memories!

Drawing August: Especially Espresso

Especially Espresso, mixed media drawing of gladioli by Maxine Dodd

It’s Drawing August time! An online event to celebrate and encourage drawing. Simply post a drawing every day throughout the month using the hashtag #DrawingAugust.

Especially Espresso

This is my first for this year, a mixed media drawing of my gladioli ‘Espresso’ which I made with a combination of watercolour and charcoal.

Still life on kitchen table

I made these pictures in the kitchen, after arranging some of my Mum’s flowers in a vase on the kitchen table.

I liked the look of them against the white table top, so I decided to set up and draw them there.

The table top was soon cluttered with my water pots and paints, along with the fruit bowl which lives there anyway, which made a pattern in itself.

Still life on the kitchen table, with Mum’s flowers, my pots and paints and four little oranges

Then I tried another just concentrating on the flowers this time.

Still life with some of Mum’s flowers

The last one has the white space that I liked in the first place, but I think I prefer the clutter… I don’t know!

White space with Mum’s flowers

I took the photos while the pictures were still drying on their boards so they will look different when the tape is off… I may change my mind again!

The main thing I enjoyed, was to work spontaneously on a subject that stays perfectly still, which made a nice change from rushing around.

Seems that there is life in stillness…

Spring cleaning…

It’s been a while… but I’m getting ready. I recently came across these photos of two drawings I made in our garden…I am not quite sure where they are in my studio so it’s time for a little Spring cleaning, followed by some gardening and definitely pastel drawing outside… Have a lovely weekend! 🙂

The Answer, my friend…
Geraniums in terracotta

Sunshine inspiration…

In January, there is nothing better than reminders of sunny days. Looking through some of my pictures made in Mallorca brings back good memories and inspiration for the year ahead…can’t wait! Wishing you sunshine inspiration too…

Cycling art, MallorcaCycling art, MallorcaCycling art, MallorcaCycling art, MallorcaStage 1, Mallorca, Blue Skiescycling art, Mallorca

A winding road…

cycling, Tour de France
cycling, Tour de France
The winding road, £250

The autumn is coming to a close – in parts of the UK, the winter has begun even… Here in Leicestershire, it’s all gone a bit dark and gloomy, damp and murky… So to cheer up a bit, here’s a reminder of the Tour de France, and one of my favourite subjects, a lovely long peloton following a lovely winding road – all sunshine, trees and peace, what could be better?

Have a good weekend, and if you have sunshine and your bike, go out enjoy them while you can! 🙂

 

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Autumn breeze

Watercolour painting, 'Autumn breeze'

Watercolour painting, 'Autumn breeze'

We’ve had some gorgeous days lately as Autumn comes to a close. The forecast for the weekend promises an icy wind straight from the North Pole – certainly felt a bit colder on my walk just now but the sunshine and blue skies are  beautiful and there’s still warmth in the breeze… at least for today!

Philip

We have a pheasant, in our village, we call call Philip, who trots about from one garden to another and even takes walks along our street – he is quite a star.

I am trying (again!) to capture him crowing which is a wonderful flurry of feathers and sound.

Here are a few attempts in ink and also the start of a larger piece which combines ink with acrylic paint, a new combination which I learned recently at a workshop with animal artist, Minnie Teckman http://www.teckmanart.com/ Look her up!

Glad all over!

gladioli, flower, art

Hello – Welcome to Sunday! I’ve had to pause my Tour de France work for one reason and another – resuming next week all being well, but I have been working on pictures inspired by my garden.

This year, I’ve grown gladioli for the first time. I chose three varieties, Sancerre (white), Espresso (deep wine-black) and Bimbo, (fiery terracotta). The soil is yellow clay, so rather than risk them in the ground, I’ve set them in large tubs which I’ve placed on the patio and on the front border.

The surprise has been amazing! Beautiful flowers that have been going for several weeks now, with more new spikes to come. I’ve had to run around with extra staking as they have grown so tall – this may be due to the heatwave in the UK – not sure but, they’ve been a pleasure. This little study is of a few stalks that flopped with the sheer weight of the flowers they were carrying, so I brought them indoors into a vase.

Have a lovely Sunday! 🙂

Glad all over, watercolour, Pen and ink
Glad all over!

Image size 20 x 20cm (8in x 8in)

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Many thanks! 🙂

Sunday snooze

Cat art, Sunday snooze

Hello! Time to slow down – The past week has been a bit full on, so to enjoy the company of our cat today is a treat. Recent research says that there are many health benefits from sitting with your cat or dog – they calm, restore and heal. I can’t argue! Sleep on Azlan! 🙂

Cat art, Sunday snooze
Sunday snooze

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Primaries

Across the blue

Hello! Progressing quietly through January with time to experiment -it’s nice to return to a medium or technique not used for a while. This time, I rediscovered acrylic paint and palette knives, thinking about landscape. It’s been so dark and grey here lately, that I felt the need for colour too – variations on the primaries, red, yellow and blue. Have a great weekend – Here are my paintings:

 

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Copyright Maxine Dodd

Drawing January: Snowdrops in colour

Little darlings - Stage 8, Maxine Dodd, mixed media drawing

Hello! Another January drawing, again looking at snowdrops. This little group grow in the yard of our village church. What you see below are the stages of one drawing, Little Darlings. I wanted to use the transition effect to animate the stages a little. The most recent stage (stage 8) appears underneath. I’m nervous of this in some ways – often I see a stage when perhaps it would have been best to stop…Nevertheless, here is my drawing in its underclothes of watercolour up to its top dress in pastel:

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Drawing January: Winter and snowdrops

Easel by the pond, photograph, Maxine Dodd

Hello – and a belated Happy New Year! I’ve just come indoors from my first drawing expedition into the garden. I know that’s overstating it, but I do carry so much stuff down from the studio, it feels like I’m going to the North Pole! Weather bright and sunny after a flurry of snow – not like the painted sketches I did last year (or was it the year before?), but certainly, it was chilly! I went down to the pond, where I discovered our first snowdrops. I used large paper and pastel for a change. Here are my drawings and photos from today along with a couple of studies of the garden in oil when the snow came down properly!:

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Wisteria magic

Wisteria magic, by Maxine Dodd

Hello! Spring is almost over and the season on the brink of changing to summer. One plant that marks this transition is the wisteria, which pours colour and fragrance like fountains in many gardens, including ours. It’s a lovely subject, offering curling lines, twisting branches and of course the colour. I’ve drawn it in pastel, pen and ink with watercolour and now digitally for the first time. Here are my drawings…

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A tempting plum…

Maxine Dodd, a plum, painting

Hello! As part of the daily drawing challenge, #DrawingAugust, I decided to work in the garden where I spotted a tempting plum hanging from a bough. It’s there now but in few moment’s time…. Happy drawing!

A tempting plum

 

Tulips or lollipops?

Hello! Another holiday weekend in the UK and I have to confess that I’m still having a few days of quiet noodling about, not doing very much really! The weather has been lovely and spring is so pretty here that our garden has suddenly lurched into life and ran well past my feeble attempts to keep up. I admit the battle is lost! However, there are some amazing tulips in a tub called ‘Queen of the Night’. Dramatic and strong, coloured like wine, but sometimes looking like lollipops – perhaps I’ve eaten too many! Here are my drawings…

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Slow coach!

Hello! I hope that you have had a peaceful and joyful Easter time. I wish to share something different. I’ve been working on this large oil painting on and off for about two years (possibly three, if I think about it!). The inspiration came from watching the birds in our garden from the conservatory. A peaceful contrast to my watercolours, oils allow time to mull over the composition and slow down – really, really slow down! It’s called, ‘Window on our Garden’ and I think that it’s finally there! Here is my finished painting…

MaxineDodd-WindowOnOurGarden
Window on our Garden, Oil on canvas

Let sleeping cats lie….

Hello! I wanted to share some sketches I’ve just made of our cat Azlan. I like to draw him when he’s asleep. He tucks his paws and tail away, (well just about) and as he is a black cat, looks at first glance, very much like a blob with ears! However, as you look longer, the lines within the shape are so beautiful and each section of his body link together so wonderfully, he’s a joy to behold! He’s a lovely cat and I never tire of looking at him. See what you think. Here are my drawings:

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Storm waves

The weather over Christmas and the New Year in the UK has shown the devastating power of the sea. The sea fascinates and attracts like mad. We can’t help ourselves, but the reality of living and working with it is another matter.  Here are some drawings:

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Pretty in pink

My second post that ties in with the Festival of Flowers blog. A great idea and very inspiring. Find out more – and take part, on http://festivalofflowers.wordpress.com/, (or click the logo below). It was one of those perfect late summer days yesterday, so I took my pens and watercolours into the garden and made some drawings. The two I liked best were of the Japanese anemone, which is so delicate. Unlike the hotter-toned flowers that blaze at this time, the anemone gently leads the garden towards Autumn. Gorgeous! Here are my drawings:

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Snow into Spring

The winter in Britain this year has been exceptional, one of the worst in recent memory. This week we’ve seen farmers desperately trying to rescue their sheep and cattle, buried deep in snow drifting over the hedges where they sought shelter. Where the sun breaks through there is a slow thaw, but in the hedgerows it hangs on. The nights have been crystal clear and bitter cold with bright moonlight. The clocks change to British Summer Time tonight but the summer seems a very long way off. Last night, the moon called me at 3 o’clock and as always, lured me into getting my paints out. The white snow line under hedge was still bright, like the moon. Here’s my painting:

Maxine_Dodd_TheSnowLine_Low
The Snow Line by Maxine Dodd, Acrylic on board, Good Friday Night

Six Nations under a groove

Six Nations Rugby Union starts today. Wonderful tournament of rugby – my favourite in fact. I’ve just watched and sketched Wales and Ireland, the opening contest this year. In 10 minutes or so, England and Scotland play for the Calcutta cup. So pleased to be back to drawing some sport – feeling very rusty and challenged to high heaven trying to keep up!  Here are my drawings:

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January blues

Food under the plum tree, (January 2013), Maxine Dodd

This week the weather steadied – snow bedded deep and days were cold. The whiteness is wearing and we’re all tired. I ventured out  to meet my friend Sheila who was painting nearby, but mostly continued work in the garden. Along with my usual pen and watercolour, I changed to oil paint on board for the first time in a long while. I felt that I needed paint with substance to convey the scene. I made four small paintings of our trees, birds and hedgerow at the end of the garden next to the field, making wilder marks as I became increasingly cold… Brrr!!! Here are my paintings and drawings:

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Winter white?

Maxine Dodd, orange and lavender dawn

Following on from last week, the winter has begun to bite deep into the countryside. We’ve had days of hard frosts and now today, the snow is falling. It was too cold to hang the washing out, so instead, I festooned our garden trees with food for the birds. Colour arrived in the form of one fleeting but spectacular dawn and a fieldfare bossed all the birds. Here are some of my drawings:

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Beautiful, cold January

Winter has arrived in middle England – it’s been cold and foggy, with the exception of one day when the sun came out. I hung washing on the line and couldn’t resist setting up outside to draw. It was wonderful to be outside in the fresh air. The rest of the week has been cold and foggy but just had to go out and draw the branches of trees in the mist. Not for long as it was freezing – Happy New Year! Here are some of my drawings: