Thursday, November 27, 2014

Hanging out the sheets

Hanging out the sheets
Oils 12" x 16"


This is definitely one of my favourite paintings (and subjects) from the last trip to Venice. Parts of this were reworked a little bit back in the studio, and I find there are some very pleasing passages. I have photos of this scene including passing gondolas so I don't think I'll be stopping with this motif yet...

But I'm driving off to London today to deliver this special one along with two other Venice faves and a couple of London scenes to the Russell Gallery in Putney for their winter show.

I'm also meeting a couple of artist friends for lunch who I don't see very often so that will be a great treat!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Last hour

Last hour on the beach
Oils 16" x 20" SOLD

I painted this en plein air on the French island of Bréhat this summer. It was fairly late afternoon when I got started, a very hot day, and the tide was going out. It was the usual race against the clock, and it was important to get a statement down quickly about the sea and where it reached to on the sand and pinky rocks. 
I was very grateful for the can of cold drink on my easel that Tim brought me. Some local and Parisian friends stopped to say hello. I didn't want to take my eyes from the subject!
So funny, the things you remember. Every plein air painting has a story like no other. This one takes me right back to lazy hot August days on the island.

I'm very happy to say that this painting will be exhibited in the forthcoming Royal Institute of Oil painters exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London. The exhibition is open from the 10th to the 21st December, closing at 1pm on the final day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Portrait of Shirley





Shirley




I painted a portrait demo today at Patchings art centre, in the middle of my exhibition. Shirley was my patient model, and a really lovely crowd of people came to watch. Matthew in the gallery looked after us well as always. I have just one more painting session in the gallery, it's on Saturday 22nd if you'd like to join me.
I also met a few Facebook/Twitter friends for the first time in person today, thank you for coming such a long way John and Chris, I really appreciate it and am glad to have met you. I might pop back on Facebook for my birthday at the weekend - a birthday treat!

Now I really must say a big hello to Shirley's friend Dimitra who lives on Spetses Island, which sounds like a gorgeous place! Hello!

And now I find myself on a train to London in the dark to meet my husband to catch a train to Paris! How fun!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Oasis in Chelsea

Oasis in Chelsea
26" x 28"

This is a recent studio painting, the inspiration for which came from my visit to Chelsea in July for Pintar Rapido. This is the market place that I painted but the day before the event there were no market stalls and instead children played in these water jets. I was absolutely captivated by the subject with the bright sparkling water seen against the dark buildings in shadow. 
I really enjoyed building up glazes of colour for the darks, something that is only really possible in studio paintings with the benefit of drying time. The wet and dry, sunlit and shaded pavement area was a challenge! I tried to give the children's figures a loose treatment, to add an element of confusion, movement and splashing water.
I'm not altogether decided if it's finished, but it is hanging on my studio wall so I can glance at it occasionally and maybe I'll dip back in.

I'm taking a little holiday from Facebook so I am sorry if you are used to seeing me on there. My blog posts will still automatically update to it because frankly I can't be doing with figuring out how to stop that right now! I will be popping back on from time to time. And if you miss me you can still find me on twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Why? Well I find those easy to dip in and out of, they just don't take up my time in the same way. 

Today (Wednesday 12th November) I will be painting a portrait demo at Patchings art centre. Still a few days left if you haven't seen my big exhibition there yet - it finishes on the 23rd.
Thank you Paul for coming all the way from Canada - you should really get a prize! :-)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

San Giovanni e Paolo

Morning shadows San Giovanni e Paolo
Oils 24 x 30 cms

It has certainly turned chilly here this week! This is one of the plein air studies that I brought back from Venice in October. I was standing on the bridge looking down at the Campo San Giovanni e Paolo in the morning. I really liked the long shadows cast by the Colleone statue and buildings and posts, and I knew I would have to act quickly to get them down and in so doing not worry too much about the drawing of the statue and column. The facing buildings, all in shadow, could be described quite rapidly. I just needed to be fairly careful about the rooflines and how they all fitted together, and then I could block in the dark shapes with just a suggestion of windows.
This was painted in oils on a small panel, 24 x 30 cms.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Autumn at Pull's ferry

Autumn at Pulls ferry

My final painting from the Paint Out Norwich sessions was to paint at Pulls ferry, which was very convenient as it's just near the Hostry where the exhibition was being hung as we painted. Again this is a pretty little area which I'm sure is often depicted in paint. In fact, one of the other artists told me at lunchtime that there are only two views here. So, I wanted to do something a bit different. As was becoming usual me and Mo arrived here late. But at least we did get lunch this day.
And I'm happy I found a slightly different view when I focussed on the reflection in the water. I loved the stillness giving a crisp clear reflection and the autumn leaves scattered on the water like confetti.
It also amused me to hear all the spectators saying I was painting upside down - which actually I wasn't, but I can see why they would think that.
Luckily, the hanging team got it on the nail the right way up.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

City fish

City fish
14" x 18"


Work in progress

This was my first painting of the four sessions at the Paint Out Norwich event. It was a really chilly morning but dry, and I was happy in my woolly hat and fingerless gloves. I'd chosen my viewpoint when I'd had a quick recce the afternoon before which was a really good job, as it happens! Me and Mo were caught up in lots of traffic on the drive in to Norwich that morning, and by the time we'd parked up and got our canvasses stamped and down to the market place and set up (in my case fetching a nourishing breakfast cappuccino on my way to my painting spot) there was only about two and a quarter hours left of the three hour session.
I don't mind a bit of time pressure, you know! In fact I had a great morning and really enjoyed painting this, and the banter with the passers by and the workers from the fish stall. It was quite a complicated subject because of the variety of natural and artificial lighting, and polished reflections. I did my best to simplify what I was seeing. The customer with the flat cap appeared quite early on and I'm really pleased that I managed to note him down quickly, and I think that he has a pleasing sense of weight and character about him.
If you can get to Norwich the exhibition continues at the Hostry only until Saturday, and is well worth a visit. In total there are 110 paintings there all created during the two day event, including this one and my three others.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Huge excitement, Paint Out Norwich

Work in progress, Elm Hill

Work to be done, Elm Hill
Oils 16" x 20"
SOLD
And breathe... it's all been a bit of a whirlwind week so here's a bit of an explanation...

On Tuesday the selected artists for the first Paint Out Norwich event met together with the organisers and volunteers, which is when I last spoke with you (enjoying the chips and sweatshirts!).
On Wednesday morning I painted in Norwich market, it was heaps of fun but the constant chatting with onlookers meant the three hours passed quickly... at lunchtime I just had time to get the painting framed up and ready for the afternoon session and missed out on lunch. In the afternoon I painted here on Elm Hill, again, within the three hour time frame. This was a pretty big canvas for plein air, at 16" x 20". When I arrived I was surprised to see the scaffolding and the road closed signs. There was also a white van and a slightly bashed blue car parked right in front of the lovely yellow house. At first the sun was out and the plane tree was casting wonderful shadows across the building's facade. Well, you know I love a challenge so I had to give it a go... roadworks and all!
The blue car left after around twenty minutes, so I had to try to paint over it and ignore the fact that it was there, although you can still see the ghost of it. Somebody leant a bike up against Stamp corner so that went in. The sun went away but I'd already placed the shadows early on. The foreground was always in the shade and constant (apart from all the vehicles coming and turning!). The lady in the craft shop came outside and said she wasn't happy about me being there but no, she didn't want me to move 'as I had already started'. I was heartened by visitors who enjoyed what I was doing, especially the lady from the Britons Arms coffee shop who was delighted that I was including the scaffolding rather than painting a typical 'picture postcard' view of Elm Hill. 
At 4.30 my time was up and after cleaning up it was time to head back to the Maddermarket theatre to get this one signed back in and framed. Ended up having a lovely dinner in a big group before driving with Mo back to the cottage and getting up early to do it all again on Thursday.
Thursday morning found me and Mo painting at the Roman Catholic cathedral, back to the Maddermarket for a quick soup lunch and then on to Pulls ferry for our last painting session of the event. 
When we returned with our final paintings the exhibition had mostly been hung at the Hostry, with the hanging team waiting for the last paintings of the event to arrive. We left them to it and went for a bite to eat nearby. Had a quick change from my painting clothes when we got back to the Cathedral, and it was nearly 7 o clock and people were arriving for the evening auction. I think you're starting to forgive me for not having time to blog?!
After an hour or so of chatting it was time for the auction, which included one painting from each artist. It was pretty exciting but a bit nervewracking too! I will definitely come prepared to bid next year.
And after all of that it was soon time for the prizegiving, and I was absolutely amazed and over the moon to be awarded the first prize of £1000 with my painting of the Elm Hill roadworks!!!  
Then all those photos to be taken while I was in a state of shock... then driving back for two and a half hours in the middle of the night... still in a state of happy shock!


The prizewinners
Chris Daynes, me, Roy Connelly

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

On the road again!












It's been a busy and fun couple of weeks including the Royal Society of Marine Artists exhibition preview at the Mall Galleries which is always one of my favourite days out! This is a demo painting from last week at Kirby Bellars Group of Artists, an extremely enjoyable evening. Thanks very much to Ray for being a super model. I will be painting another portrait demo at Patchings art centre on the 9th November, I do hope you can join me there.

And now I have arrived in Norwich for the first Paint Out Norwich event. Twenty eight artists are here to take part and you can read all about it on the website at http://www.paintoutnorwich.org/about/
I think the photo below was taken by Helen, it makes me laugh because I look very relaxed and as though I have completely settled in! We had just been spoiled with our Paint Out Norwich sweatshirts and plates of tasty chips though :-)
Today, lots of chatting, and tomorrow we start the work. In the morning (22nd October) I'll be painting at Norwich market from 9.00 until 12.00 so do please come and say hello if you can get here. In the afternoon I will be painting on Elm Hill. Artists will be delivering wet paintings to the Maddermarket theatre throughout the event. 
And I will try to blog pictures tomorrow!




With Gerald Green, Janet Poole, Roy Connelly, Mo Teeuw & Richard Bond

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Portrait of the artist's mother






Meet my sweet little Mum! On Saturday I painted her portrait in the middle of my exhibition in the Barn gallery at Patchings art centre. We had such a lovely day and so many friends came to watch the painting take shape. It was a lovely atmosphere, thanks to everyone who came and to the brilliant team at Patchings as always. We had a really great day.
Although I've sketched her over the years I think the last painting I did of my mum was the one below, painted when I was still a student 22 years ago!
I am really enjoying the quick portraits that I've been able to do this year, I hope to get some more done this winter so let me know if you'd be interested in sitting for me.







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