Friday, 22 September 2017

Going Nuts!

 "Going Nuts"

I am now working for two Christmas Exhibitions. I do find it really fascinating that I tend to think I am on top of things and then another project leaps at me. When this happens the sensible side of my brain screams at me to say "no". But my heart yells say "yes" and before I know it another project has been taken on!

Actually this time I am over the moon because my recent solo exhibition was so successful with sales that I have received requests from other galleries who now want specific subjects from me for their galleries too.

I leave soon for my USA tour so I am preparing for that, as well as proof reading my new book before it goes to my publisher for its' final stages. It is a long way off being published but it is getting there. And it looks so wonderful that I'm very excited about it.

So with so much to do in my studio you would think my focus would be on the things I desperately need to do. But no. Outside my studio I can see the bird feeder in our garden and birds are flocking to it.  The cheeky little blue tits love the peanuts hanging there and their antics make me smile non stop. We also have a visiting blue tit that sits on the outside door handle to our living room attacking its reflection in the glass every day. Tap,tap,tap  is the sound its tiny beak makes every morning and afternoon. It flies up and down the full length of the glass so I get plenty of opportunities to photograph it and paint from my own images.

This little bird looks as though it is going nuts with the bird it thinks it can see. An image of itself.

And so my painting this afternoon is titled

"Going Nuts"

And I think I enjoyed painting the peanuts as much as the birds themselves!


"Going Nuts"
Blue tits feeding on a string of peanuts in our cottage garden.


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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Christmas Exhibition at The Frame Gallery 2017

"If I had Wings to Fly"

Following the success of my recent solo exhibition at the Frame Gallery I am delighted to have been invited to show in their fabulous Christmas small painting exhibition. Other artists include Pip McGarry, well known for his stunning wildlife paintings.

You heard it here first as the dates have only just been announced. 
My new work will be on show.

Details:-

Christmas Exhibition  2017
The Frame Gallery
81 High Street
Odiham
Hampshire
UK 
RG29 1LB
2nd - 9th December 2017
 Private View Strictly by invitation only.
Friday 1st December from 5.30pm to 8.30pm. 
 Please contact the gallery to request  to be placed on the invitation list.



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Charlfred Fine Art Exhibition 2017 , St Johns Wood, London

 "Famous Winner"

I am delighted to have been invited to exhibit in the following exhibition taking place in London next month.

Charlfred Fine Art Exhibition, 
St Johns Wood High Street, 
London 
UK
NW8 7SH

Saturday 7th October - Sunday 15th October 2017
Opening times Mon-Sat 9.00a.m - 6.30 p.m
Sunday 10.00 a.m -6.00 p.m. 


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Monday, 18 September 2017

Figures in Watercolour

 "Friends"

I find it amazing that I was recognised as one of the figures in my earlier street scene blog post from Florence, shared today. I used to paint figures all the time but then they lost their magic for me as other new favourite subjects took over. But when I painted them as a break from my scheduled painting week I found I had fallen in love with them. All over again.

I started painting figures when I lived in Dubai. I loved the markets and souks there so much and often wandered around with my camera collecting images to paint. Market scenes became my best selling work in exhibitions at that time along with portraits. But I later moved to France and continued with my market theme in watercolour there. Of course the clothing was different. Gone was the dish dash and in came Western clothing.

I still don't sketch before I paint when working on figures. I find my starting point. In this case one head shape, and I added the other heads in a row. Like paint blobs but with character!


 Paint blob heads in a row

Next I begin to add clothing. I look at the leg positions for the men in my painting as this will guide my brushwork on where to add colour. This group of friends are walking close together and I want to show that they like each other by connecting them with colour. As they are in bright sunlight I will leave a lot of paper white.

Adding clothing to the head blobs of colour is the next step.

Once I am very happy with the composition and proportions I strengthen colour in places and add details . From here I can add sunglasses, hats, a background or foreground. The choice is mine and I will have so much fun deciding. I just thought this could be a fun blog post as it is such an interesting way to work.


 Detail begins to be added to my figure painting.

My best tip for painting figures in watercolour is to sit in a busy shopping centre, market or airport even. Observe  and  sketch shapes. then try painting what you have seen with simple blobs of colour.

Be warned, this is addictive as a hobby! 

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Standing Out from the Crowd

 "Just Shopping"

I face another week working in my studio, painting outside when I can, and catching up on my new book which is looking so wonderful. I'm also looking forward to my USA and Canada workshops which commence next month. Already behind the scenes preparation is in hand, My paper and brushes will be sent over in advance and any samples I wish to use in my classes which isn't always possible but I love it when it does.

I remember my Stepmother telling me that time feels as though it slows down when you get older. I'm obviously not old enough yet as time seems to be flying by and speeding up as it does so for me. I pack so much into my days and love each one because I never know exactly what is going to happen. But I did feel like a break yesterday. And to everyone else that might be taken as having a break from painting. But for me painting is my escape, my relaxation. my therapy and yoga all rolled into one. And so I chose a completely different subject to paint so that my brain had a good work out on what to put where and why in this city scene of shoppers.

My resource photo is my own. I always prefer to paint from  my own images, things I have seen and fallen in love with. This particular shot almost gave everyone in the crowd halos as they were bathed in strong sunlight. The scene was in Florence and I loved my time there.





I started by painting the three main shoppers in the foreground, I then added the crowd disappearing into the distance behind them. And finally I added the buildings. Everyone on my recent workshops will know exactly how I painted the buildings, not with my brush, but with my watercolour paper.

This was great fun. The piece feels a little tight as I haven't painted a street scene of figures for quite some time which is why I chose this as a subject. We have to realise that if we paint the same subject repeatedly in the same style we are, in a way, standing still with our art. Even we feel more comfortable painting what we know, we are not allowing our inner artist to stretch their talent to  reach our full potential.

So my artist tips for  today are:-

1) Every now and then choose a subject you don't normally paint 
2) Every now and then, make yourself paint something you feel you will be a disaster at!
3) Then explore how your new painting works or does not work

Afterwards, go back to painting what you like painting. It should now seem easier to create, be more enjoyable and perahps more fun.

Do keep pushing yourself because that way your artistic skills will consistently improve and you will become a more talented artist.

Have a great week ahead and happy painting

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Sunday, 17 September 2017

Dream Catcher Dreams

" Essence of a Dreamcatcher"

This certainly isn't a painting I would dream of selling but it is a very strange how this piece came about this morning. 

I started my day by painting a few new washes. These pieces are for me to experiment with colour, relax through and hopefully discover new ideas for future work. This morning on one wash a spider web seemed to appear. So I aided it with a few brush strokes. As seen below. But where the colour had bled and merged beneath the web I could see a feather effect. Immediately I thought about Native American Dream Catchers.


Spider web or Dream catcher.

The next thing I knew I had left my painting completely and I was reading up about these wonderful items. Said to allow good dreams to pass through but trap bad dreams in the webbing. I love the idea that negativity could be entrapped if a dream catcher was placed near your bed whilst you were sleeping. In fact I love the history behind them completely.

I added to the wash making bolder marks on the feathers below. But I have left the web quite quiet, so it will be easier to trap anything negative in it. Bad dreams or negative thoughts.




What a very odd painting day but so rewarding learning about something, a tradition so ancient and so magical.

I know I want to learn more now.


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Saturday, 16 September 2017

Blackberries and Rosehips 2017




 
 Autumn Hedgerow

 Today has been the best painting day for such a long time. I have painted from my heart ,whatever subject I felt like and when I felt like it. No pressure from preparing for exhibitions. No pressure form having to write magazine features or my new book.

Just fun.

So you could say today was my day off and I could paint whatever I liked and oh boy, I did!

I started the day with washes, then painted the soft rose I shared on my blog earlier. But it was the simplicity of the last blog post that really turned on my artistic "buttons".I loved creating it so immediately grabbed my uncompleted blackberry paintings and added to them. Putting in more branches and an overall wash to give the feeling of another dimension to each piece. I should add that I now paint with my fingers so much and I am literally covered in paint at the moment but I feel great.

My easel looks like the image below and I will walk into my studio tomorrow and love seeing these two works in progress.
 

 
 Autumnal hedgerow complete with blackberries and rose hips.

My favourite painting is the one below as it has a gorgeous 3D effect. The upper berries seem to be leaping off the paper which is terrific. I love it so far. In fact it might be finished but I am in that painting zone where I am so happy that I don't want to leave either of the paintings.

"Hips and Berries"

The painting below has drama. It is exciting and so vibrant in colour. I am using many Daniel Smith shades with a few new techniques in building up colour that I have loved discovering over the summer months whilst I have worked diligently on my new book.


 "Autumn Drama"

I now cannot wait to see what tomorrow will bring in my next painting session.

Who knows?

Not me!

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Artists tip for the weekend?

1) Get out. 
2) Go for a walk. Not only will the exercise do you good but you will discover so much new inspiration that you can bring back to paint at your leisure. 
3)Look for treasure in subjects to paint that will be really fantastic to work on. 
4)Remember not all paintings have to be complicated. Some of the simplest paintings are the best.

Have fun and happy painting

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