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Old Wednesday 21st November 2012, 20:50   #1
buzzard12
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Alan Dalton-Birdart from the Basement

A new thread to mark my finding a new studio to paint and develop my fieldwork in, it has taken some time to find a suitable space at a reasonable price..
The studio is a small space in a basement apartment at Hägerstensåsen in souther Stockholm, which is five stops on the tube for me, about 17 minutes door to door, so very convenient indeed. The apartment consists of two large rooms, a small kitchenette and a small toilet area. The two rooms are occupied by eight artists, a corner each, basically. There is, in fact, ample room to work within. There was a basic desk and small chair present already, I will endevour to find a drafting table, some shelving, a rack of some sort for canvases and drawers for sketches, paints, art supplies etc. This will take time, for the moment I will make do with what is there...
Having spent the last few days dragging over supplies, easels etc. in my free time, today was my first full day free and I decided to spend it painting. Not an easy decision with the chance of Hawk Owl near the airport in Stockholm!
The day went well and I spent the first hour priming a few canvases with gesso, whilst they dried I decided to do a quick painting on a small panel I had already prepared at home. I didn't give this a great deal of thought, a few quick thumbnails and off I went, nothing too technical and I kept it loose and added paint quickly. The gesso on the panel was soon dry and I began on a largish canvas of a subject I have wanted to paint for some time, Great Grey Owl. I saw a few earlier in the year and they made a big impression on me. Here's the work from today, very nice to be painting in this manner again. There's something off with the owl, I think it's the position of the eye on the left, which will need a tweak...
Being able to simply clean my brushes and walk out the door was a real pleasure, leaving everything set up and waiting for my next session. Another huge plus at the studio is the lack of distractions, no TV, no internet, phone or nagging choirs. Very nice to be surrounded by other artists too, there are four painters, a textile weaver, a printer and a sculptor.
My immediate aim is just to paint what I want, with no distractions. Hopefully the winter will result in a good body of work, which will hopefully lead to a show. I have so much field material to work with from the past few years that there will be no shortage of ideas for paintings...

Goosanders; Acrylic on Masonite Panel (40cmx30cm)

Great Grey Owl; Acrylic on Canvas (Work in Progress)
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Old Wednesday 21st November 2012, 21:49   #2
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Wish you the best with your new studio Alan!
These Goosanders looking fantastic and GG Owl very promising too..
My best wishes to your new thread too!

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Old Wednesday 21st November 2012, 22:38   #3
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Your excitment is zinging through the intro here!! Wonderful to see the new studio + what you are working with + on, really interests me as I'm trying to set things up here, blushes!!
The owl is looking great, really good to see how your workingon this piece.
The mergansers are lovely, one of my favs, esp to watch, such characters - as you show.
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Old Wednesday 21st November 2012, 22:52   #4
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Goosanders are great...but i love the owl.
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Old Wednesday 21st November 2012, 22:54   #5
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Oh yes - this is quite clearly the way forward for you. And if these first imaes are to be the founds for what's to come, then you (and we) can look forward to some very exciting times to come.
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Old Wednesday 21st November 2012, 23:25   #6
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Oh yes - this is quite clearly the way forward for you. And if these first imaes are to be the founds for what's to come, then you (and we) can look forward to some very exciting times to come.
I must have misunderstood your previous postings- thought you were going offline for months, maybe even years to paint..but here you are already. Great looking atmospheric Scandinavian artists kommune!
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Old Thursday 22nd November 2012, 10:45   #7
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I must have misunderstood your previous postings- thought you were going offline for months, maybe even years to paint..but here you are already. Great looking atmospheric Scandinavian artists kommune!
Not quite Ed, though will have to discipline myself not to go charging out birding on every day off and get to the studio instead. Easier said than done at times, though the winter should see a few hundred hours painting time easily enough. There is a Hawk Owl invsion here at the minute and I will have to allow myself to catch uo with a beast or two of that species, for artistic purposes you understand...
Spring will be more of a challenge, though I hope to start painting in the field in earnest in 2013 and use the studio to build on this work too. The lack of distractions at the studio is a major plus, all there is there are the basics and the work in front of you, should of done this some time ago..
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Old Thursday 22nd November 2012, 19:51   #8
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I like Ed didnt expect such a quick thread change, The Owl looks a stunner in the making and I love the water the Goosanders are on. Thankfully you have given away secrets to excellent art. I have had no such luck producing anything worthy of this forum and now I Know why. Ive been using the wrong blady hand
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Old Saturday 24th November 2012, 12:57   #9
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I like Ed didnt expect such a quick thread change, The Owl looks a stunner in the making and I love the water the Goosanders are on. Thankfully you have given away secrets to excellent art. I have had no such luck producing anything worthy of this forum and now I Know why. Ive been using the wrong blady hand
Yes the change has been a bit more quick than expected. But that's probably the best way to switch threads and more importantly the best way to change direction with your work.

It looks like you've made the right decision. It reminds me of the various times I've had a separate studio somewhere, free from all the distractions. Every once in awhle I'd miss the distractions or have a hard time dragging myself, especially in winter, over to my studio, but most of the time I just got a lot more work done.

I look forward to seeing your new work. As you've said you have a wealth of material to work from.
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Old Monday 26th November 2012, 00:16   #10
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Wonderful way to break in the new space. Great starts
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Old Monday 26th November 2012, 07:53   #11
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Looking forward to the lorry loads of delights from this new thread Alan. If the goosanders and gg are anything to go by we can expect great things indeed!

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Old Tuesday 27th November 2012, 13:04   #12
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I really like the great great gray!!!!
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Old Tuesday 27th November 2012, 15:34   #13
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I prefer the Great Grey Matt

Great to've found a studio like this Al......prob could do with something like that myself to get out of this bloody unable-to-be-bothered-to-paint phase I'm currently stuck in: ideas nil, motivation nil. Working around others does get the creative juices flowing again....
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Old Wednesday 28th November 2012, 20:44   #14
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Great work, Alan.
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Old Wednesday 28th November 2012, 21:27   #15
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Great Grey Owl; Acrylic on Canvas(80cmx60cm)

Apart from a few minuscule tweaks, perhaps, all done..
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Old Wednesday 28th November 2012, 21:31   #16
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The next canvas, a Great Grey Shrike, from a recent fieldsketch. Autumnal scene on a windy day...

Progress so far...will be careful not to overwork this one.
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Old Wednesday 28th November 2012, 22:45   #17
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Great work Alan and Im looking forward to finished Shrike one of my favourite birds
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Old Thursday 29th November 2012, 10:40   #18
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looking forward to the great work and more coming from your new location Alan
Love the autumn colours.
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Old Friday 30th November 2012, 14:17   #19
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Well, winter rrived overnight here and I awoke to a white wonderland. Very cold right now, minus seven or so....
A few hours at the studio to finish this piece, think I should stop here, nothing to be gained by to much detail. Happy with this one...

Great Grey Shrike; Acrylic on Canves (80x60cm)

Apologies for the coour rendition, all shot with iPhone under artificial light. In reality a good deal deeper in hue...
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Old Monday 3rd December 2012, 04:05   #20
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Congrats on the new studio! The owl is a stunner!
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Old Monday 3rd December 2012, 22:07   #21
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A few hours yesterday, followed by a full day today working on this piece..

Black Throated Diver-acrylic on canvas
65cmx65cm

A painting that has long been in my mind, this one. The foreground bird is straight from my sketchbook, the other a fiction of sorts in that I simply penciled it in where I needed it for the composition. My earlier mistakes with painting this species saw me adding the strong darks early on, whilst a limited palette was employed. If I was only to paint one species alone, it might well be this one, these birds have it all...
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Old Monday 3rd December 2012, 22:20   #22
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A small piece here, a work in progress, this one also directly from my sketchbook. I quickly sketched it in grey coloring pencil and blocked some colour in whilst I was waiting for paint to dry on the above canvas of the divers. As such, something of an afterthought and I'm not sure about the bird not being completely within the frame, though I think it's worthy of a little further attention...

The canvas is about 35cmx35cm

Minus 16 degrees here today, first real deep chill of the winter!
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Old Monday 3rd December 2012, 22:38   #23
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Hi Alan!

Congrats on the new studio! The quality of the work you've produced from it is outstanding. The Great Gray Owl is my favorite - I have yet to see one in the wild, despite multiple trips to do so.
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Old Monday 3rd December 2012, 23:06   #24
buzzard12
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I prefer the Great Grey Matt

Great to've found a studio like this Al......prob could do with something like that myself to get out of this bloody unable-to-be-bothered-to-paint phase I'm currently stuck in: ideas nil, motivation nil. Working around others does get the creative juices flowing again....
Hi Adam,
I can certainly recommend trying it. For me, working at home just doesn't work. I need to get out of the house and need that workspace. At home it's to easy to start after a cup of tea, turn on the tv or computer, get too comfortable on the couch. Even if we had a bigger place with a spare room, getting out of my living space seems to flip a switch for me, it feels like a work environment on arrival and I'm soon immersed in the painting..
It's good of course to see the progress of the other pieces being worked on around me. One of the guys had a frustrating day today with a portrait he's been on for a little too long and there was a mini conference over it.
It took me a long time to find a place with a reasonable monthly rent, the studio here was begun by eight art students some years ago and has rolled on from there. Someone leaves and the space is taken by someone else. It's a basement apartment shared by eight people for painting, which makes it affordable to me.
I've heard of government sponsored studios here, but there was much form filling and need of contacts and references etc. I got a bit bogged down along that route and decided a communal share was the way forward for me. Naturally, everyone is different and what works for one does not necessarily work for another..
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Old Tuesday 4th December 2012, 12:59   #25
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A small piece here, a work in progress, this one also directly from my sketchbook. I quickly sketched it in grey coloring pencil and blocked some colour in whilst I was waiting for paint to dry on the above canvas of the divers. As such, something of an afterthought and I'm not sure about the bird not being completely within the frame, though I think it's worthy of a little further attention...

The canvas is about 35cmx35cm

Minus 16 degrees here today, first real deep chill of the winter!
Intriguing piece here Alan. It will be nice to see how it develops. So far those divers are by far my favorite. Very nicely done.
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