Thursday, 29 August 2013

30 Paintings in 30 Days

A while ago I subscribed to a blog by an inspiring artist Leslie Seata. She really knows how to motivate. Her latest email threw out the challenge to paint 30 paintings in 30 days. Wow! Can I do this??
Well if you don't try you'll never know so I've taken up the challenge and signed up.
Each day the artists involved post their painting to Leslie's blog. I am number 238 to sign up.
It will be interesting to look at the paintings every day and see what the others are coming up with.
I wonder if how many will be able to fulfill the task?? Will I be one of them??
I will post my paintings here as I do them so watch this space. If you feel you'd like to have a go here is the link

30 prepared panels and boards

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

New Web Site

I am delighted to announce that my new web site is now live.
For many years now I have designed and built my own site. Oh the frustration!!! I've tried three different hosts that offered the web building packages. I found that if I didn't use them on a regular basis, it was like starting from scratch every time. Photos wouldn't load, and when they did, they were in the wrong place. Fonts magically changed and resized.
Was it worth it I asked myself? Well, yes. I think for an artist, web presence is very important. For me it is. For a start, I value the feedback of fellow artists. I am able to tell people when I have an exhibition or workshop and, through the powers of social media, I can share work of other artists that I admire.

So - the new web site.  What did I want from it?   To show pictures, information of painting holidays, workshops and demonstrations. Plus a bit about myself for anyone that might be interested

I started to look at other artists' sites and decided that a simple layout was the best. My friends Felicity House and Paul Banning were using   I contacted Andrew that owns artonweb and after an initial chat I sent over photos and information. The rest was pain free (for me).
Even the cost is painless when I think of the hours Andrew has saved me.
Initial setup and design plus a year hosting - £170 and then it will be £30 per year for up to 2 hours work.
A bargain I'd say.

Please do leave any comments you may have as I do value the feedback

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Demo at Carlton

It was an early morning for me today. 
I had to go to Carlton le Moorland, forty seven miles away, to give an oil demonstration and hadn't done any preparation. I'd spent yesterday in the garden trimming and tidying (Frank loves to clear up the heaps I leave around the garden) That done we struck up the BBQ and opened a bottle of wine. 
Needless to say, not a lot was done after that.

Car packed, I set off at 8.45am. A couple of detours en route (yes, I got lost) and arrived at 10am. Lots of willing helpers to unpack the car, a swift, warm introduction and I was off.
There were lots of familiar faces in the group as I've done a couple of workshops for them in the past. 

As usual, I chatted about my methods, materials etc. for a bit. (delaying the moment of putting paint to canvas) I'd taken three different coloured frames to illustrate the difference a frame can make to a painting. They were amazed at how the colours of frame can bring out different colours in a painting.

Carlton Art Group

The subject was figures in the landscape or in this case, seascape.
My pallet was Permanent Rose, Cadmium Yellow, Ultramarine & Alkyd Titanium White

Working on a canvas covered board I blocked in the sky, sea and beach and then added the figures in a dark  mix of the three primaries diluted with turpentine.
Next step was to add more paint and scumble over the beach area, working from dark to light. 

After 3/4 hour we stopped for coffee, I stood back and decided the sand was too green ( I do have a problem mixing under artificial light) So, in the break I scraped back and changed the colour. The underneath colour comes through in places and adds to the layered affect.
Next stage was to add more paint to the figures and to cut in around the ones that were too fat.
Finally after dragging more paint on with the pallet knife, I splatted across the foreground and this is the result

Having a joke

The finished painting

At the end of the session I had some lovely feedback more than one person said that they couldn't wait to get their oil paints out again and others were inspired to go out and buy some (encouraged by the fact they need only buy four tubes)

I am happy to say that I have been invited back to run another workshop for the group.
I look forward to seeing everyone again.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Repainting and Reframing

Spend all day Friday painting frames and framing my work to take to Norfolk. Packed them into the car and set off Saturday morning. Had to brake sharply and the whole lot fell over. Lesson one, secure paintings with seat belt! Carried on with fingers crossed.
Gallery owner was pleased to see me as he'd sold all but one of the paintings he took last time. He did warn me that he'd probably only take a couple as he's got so many new artists on his books and he can only hang so many paintings. OK, I can handle that.
We took all six through into the gallery to discover that one frame was chipped and the others had scratch/ rub marks on them. Lesson two. Don't use cheaper paint.
In spite of the marks Stuart selected five of the six. He approved of my colour choice for the frames so the paintings were then packed back into the car to be 'sorted'.
A quick trip to B & Q to buy expensive paint and most of Sunday spent reframing and painting.

All done

Friday, 9 August 2013

Getting into the swing of it

Having finally got back into the studio on Tuesday. I was really keen to get going again on Wednesday morning. I wanted to get cracking on paintings that I'd been thinking of doing for a while.
So, after messing around in the kitchen, making numerous cups of coffee, I couldn't delay the move through to the studio any more. I'm sure all the artists reading this will know what I mean. Once in there 'wild horses.....'  and all that.

This is the first picture of the day

On the Beach, Cromer

Second picture of the day

Boats at Blakeney

Thursday, and today I have been going through all my old frames.
 I have, over the years played around with different colours and mouldings. Finally, I found what I was looking for. The idea being that it would be my signature frame. Unfortunately a lot of artists seem to be using the same now so, time for a change. 
I'm trying a dark grey and a black frame and I'm amazed at the difference it can make to a painting. I shall be taking some into one of my galleries at the weekend so, it will be interesting to see the reaction.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Back in the Studio

Phew! After two months of being busy with a wedding in Scotland, teaching in France, Greek holiday to celebrate wedding anniversary, another trip to France to check out new painting venue, decorating entire inside of our Norfolk cottage and refurbishing our lounge at home - I am finally back at the easel.

 Cooling off at Cromer

This is the first painting of what I hope to be many.  It's wonderful to have the smell of oil paint permeating the house again. I have been sorting through older work and am painting over quite a few which is very satisfying especially as there is a ready made frame waiting for it to be popped in