Magic Avebury by Moonlight.

Magic Avebury by Moonlight.

I think this is wonderful. Like you I did a painting of standing stones on Orkney recently and thought it was dull and boring; it somehow didn't capture the magic of the place. Changing it like this is a brilliant idea and the figure really adds mystery to it. Just one small point- with the moon where it is, have you got all the shadows in the right direction? The distant ones are right but I wonder about the three closer ones.

Oh dear!!! I did wonder about the shadows but I thought no-one would notice! :-) That's one of the hazards of changing the weather/time of day etc. on a painting. I'll have another go and see what I can do to alter the shadows. I may have to darken the ground all over a bit more. In the meantime this is my explanation:- the shadows are caused by the headlights of a car parked off the scene to the right. The girl on the ground is called Tracy and she is on her way back from a Rugby Club dinner with her boyfriend Ewan who has drunk far too much beer (Tracy is sober and is the designated driver), They have pulled up ny the standing stones for Ewan to have a wee. He is weeing behind the tall stone on the right. Tracy is just sitting there and looking at the moon and thinking, "There must be something better in life than this. Ewan is a drunken berk!"

Margaret, I love the painting and I love the story! You could make it into a series, are you sure she was looking at the moon whilst the thoughts of a better life were passing through her mind?! Love it!!

Yes she's definitely looking at the moon. That's all there is worth looking at - Ewan is no Linford Christie (that is also part of her general disatisfaction.) Anyway the shadows have been altered now. It proved surprisingly easy to do after all - and they say you can't alter watercolour! I'm not going to re-scan it and post it though. You'll just have to take my word for it. Tracy is still sitting there. She told Ewan to get lost and off he went in the car leaving her. Fortunately she had her mobile and she's now waiting for a taxi to arrive and pick her up. Ewan, however, has just been stopped by the police on the motorway and breathalised. He was well over the limit.

I love happy endings, especially when the bad guy gets what's coming to him! Re: the watercolour, I wouldn't have the courage to go back and wash out, or alter, I would just start again. May be I should have a go on my next failure......shouldn't have too long to wait!

You don't need courage to alter stuff if you're only going to throw it out as it is. I didn't like this as it was, so I'd nothing to lose. As for starting again - out of the question in this case as painting those stones took ages. I teach art and run watercolour classes 5 times a week. I teach various techniques and this was a demonstration piece when we were doing a project on painting rocks, pebbles and stones using all sorts of different techniques. To paint those particular stones I used wax resist, granulation medium, masking fluid, texture medium and texture paste! They are practically 3-dimensional. As I say I was pleased with the stones but it was the picture itself I found so boring. It was a lot easier to try to change it than to start again and go through all those procedures with texture paste and what-not. I often alter paintings though. Quite often I just run the whole thing under the tap or stick it in the bottom of the shower, Then I dry it off and build it up again.

Lovely moonlit scene Margaret and I enjoyed the story. Glad you were able to put everything to your liking!

ROFLOL you just killed my vision of that lovely mystical scene! Sorry for mentioning the shadows. I painted a local scene and changed it from daylight to dusk until someone pointed out that the sun simply never sets where i put it. Wrong direction completely.

Yes I made a similar mistake with a painting I did of children playing on a beach. There was a headland in the distance to the right of the painting and, on a whim, I decided to put Scarborough Castle on the headland - so changing it unmistakeably into the North Beach at Scarborough, Unfortunately there was very strong sunlight in my painting (also unusual for Scarborough) and the light was all coming from the LEFT - or due north. Totally impossible.! No-one noticed it though and the painting was bought by a hotel owner at Scarborough and now hangs in the lounge there!

Margaret, this piece would be the perfect present for my mum - she's having a hard time at the moment and shes been a rock for so many people and finds comfort in places like Avebury - is there any chance i could buy a replica/copy off you? Please let me know xx

Gemma - Of course. I would be only too pleased to let you have a print for what it cost me to have done - £5 plus postage. Get in touch with me through my website and send me your address. The original is also for sale - framed or just mounted.

lovely captures the mood ...........great texture on the stones

Hang on Studio Wall

I painted this first about 3 years ago. I just painted it "straight", as a landscape - Avebury stone circle on a summer day with green grass and a blue sky. I liked the painting of the stones themselves but found the painting as a whole bland and boring and put it away in a cupboard. A couple of weeks ago I came across it again and decided to try to make it a bit more interesting and atmospheric. I changed it to moonlight and added the enigmatic figure. I feel much happier with it now.

About the Artist
Margaret Ellis

A professional artist and art tutor. Also a Prifessional Associate and demonstrator for the SAA. Lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, on the edge of the Peak District National Park.

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