Wednesday 27 February 2013

Painting indoors this week

This week its been so dark and dreary so I have been working indoors, as soon as the sun shines, everything else goes on hold and I paint, even if I can only have a few hours, I grab them. This week however, there has been no sun at tall, not even a tiny glimpse of it, so I bought a bunch of tulips and hyacinths to brighten up the days.
The smell is divine, its that heady scent that fills the room. You just can't help feeling that Spring must be round the corner.
Sometimes the lack of shadows can be an asset, it means I need to concentrate on colours and shapes more. I enjoyed painting this one, you cant see the pink cloth very well on this photo, but its a loose checked pink and white one, so I exaggerated the pink somewhat, well, why not! The cup wasn't empty by the way, it did have tea in it, but I drank it, and had to make another when it came to painting it.

 This afternoon I am off to Exmouth, ready for a demonstration in the morning. Its going to be a fun one, acrylics on canvas. The society asked for a coastal scene with boats, so I plan to do something exciting and fun! I will show you what I paint for them when I get back.

Sunday 17 February 2013

Splashing about with watercolour

Sometimes it's so exciting to be creative and just spend some time painting what I fancy. I love it when a painting begins to take shape and I can just keep working on it till the light goes and I am forced to stop, I get so impatient with the drying times when Im just itching to keep going, so working on more than one painting can be a solution to my impatience! 
This week I wanted to experiment more with Daniel Smith watercolours, some of which flocculate and separate giving some wonderful results, so I planned to work on a small series of pictures on based on the same theme. I find it can be a good idea to work on a series as it focuses my mind and leads on to developmental challenges which I enjoy.

All Ship Shape 15 x 22 inches

This subject was planned months ago on a trip to Weymouth, the sailing boats in the early morning light really inspired me and Ive been itching to work on them ever since. I did a lot of flicking paint, dropping in strong colours, tilting the board and allowing the paint to run, however its mainly done on the flat.
There are three others, two of which will appear in a magazine article later this year, so I cant let the cat out of the bag!

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Demonstrations at Patchings in 2013

I am delighted to be invited to demonstrate again this year at The Patchings Art Festival 6th - 9th June. This wonderful 4 day outdoor show is held each year near Nottingham and this year it is Patchings 25th Anniversary! Congratulations.
If you like art, painting, sculpting, glass work, wood turning, jewelry making, anything to do with art, or indeed just to have a lovely day out, then this is for you! There are huge marquees (so don't worry about getting too hot in the sun) and a brass band (if you want to sit outside with a cool drink and rest your legs)

I visited Patchings for the first time as a budding artist 18 years ago and loved it, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be painting there in front of so many people!
I will be using Daler-Rowney art materials and demonstrating on behalf of The Artist and Leisure Painter magazines in their marquee.
Previous Patchings demo

I will be demonstrating on each day of the show, my demos are all FREE, just come into The Artist and Leisure Painter marquee and have a seat (get there early because it gets pretty full) Each demo takes about half an hour and the start times are
10.30am, 11.30am, 1pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm
I will complete one painting at each demo, its fast and keeps me on my toes having to paint 20 paintings during the show! I will be using watercolours, acrylics, acrylic inks and pastels (not all at the same time of course)
You can come over and say hello, chat to me, or ask me about painting. You can also have a look at The Artist and Leisure Painter magazines on display and renew your subscription perhaps?
If you take out a subscription, you will be able to take away with you a choice of Daler-Rowney art materials ( Daler-Rowney are supplying these art materials FREE with your magazine subscription)

For more information about the Patchings Art Festival

Saturday 9 February 2013

Who pays the Ferryman?

I have been working on some lovely textures lately in preparation for my next book due for publication in 2014.
I know it seems a long way off, but the photography work all needs to be done in July which doesn't give me that much time to create lots of lovely paintings for it. So, I have had to put my canvas boards away and concentrate on using other water soluble media.

This couple were wonderful, I noticed them on the Dartmouth ferry crossing late last summer, they were totally wrapped up in each other, it was lovely to see and I just had to capture the moment.
This painting could be the start of a story.....

Sometimes when I sit and watch people, I think of their lives, who they might be and where they might be going.

Monday 4 February 2013

Latest Painting Flowers in Watercolour book

Today I received a copy of my new book due to be published on March 15th. Its always exciting to get the first hard copy because no matter how the proofs look, holding that real book in your hand is always a bit special.
So this is it, its a practical art book A5, so, nice and small, easy to fit next to you if you are working from it or to pop into your art bag. I wanted it to be full of small, achievable ideas, lots of  tips and techniques as well as having 10 simple projects all achievable in 30 minutes (well, an hour if you count setting up your art stuff but all pretty easy).

Its flowers, but don't think that means just flower studies, no, there's lots of lovely ideas like this bike with flowers project. All the steps are shown so you can have a go yourself, its much simpler than you might think.

Or this lovely posy of mixed flowers, it looks tricky, but its really not, you can adapt the ideas in the book to make your own paintings but what I really wanted when writing this book was to inspire you to try some different techniques and unusual compositions. 

 This afternoon tea still life might look complex, but just take the whole thing slowly and its not so tricky.

If you think you might like this book its a snip at just £6.99. Please support me as the author and buy a signed copy direct from me from my website from March 15th

Sunday 3 February 2013

Back home and painting

Its a funny thing, but when I go off somewhere, anywhere really, if I want to paint a view when I get back I can only hold the colours in my mind for so long. Taking photos is of course great, but no matter how good we are at taking photos its never the same as actually being there and looking. The light is different, the colours are different and the tonal values are often very different, so I try and capture the feel of the place as soon as I can when I return.
Yes, if I can, I make colour notes, little colour sketches or even memory joggers (I've even been known to scrawl things in Biro on paper napkins) it all helps.

I painted this yesterday, what I like about this is the ice on the canal and the reflections of the buildings. It was bitterly cold in Amsterdam last week and there was no way I was going to paint this one on location, the snow was falling very hard and being blown about all over the place, I really wanted to portray that blustery feeling.
The birds were obviously very hungry and people were throwing bread for them. Actually there was one old chap who I am convinced was throwing the bread AT them. In fairness I think he wanted to feed some swans but the gulls were all taking it before the swans got to it and he was just getting more and more cross with the gulls!
This painting is called 'Feeding the Birds' and is 10 x 12 inches