|Painting at Sutton-on-sea on my birthday in November!|
Pop yourself down in a cosy armchair with a mince pie for the last instalment of my 2012 review!
The beginning of October found me heading back to Sutton-on-sea, London and Belmont tower for painting days, plus a portrait session with two teenagers which I then finished in the studio. I was really busy getting paintings varnished and framed and signed and posted and six of those given to the courier to try their luck at the ROI, the others for clients. I also had a day painting and chatting to the public at Whisby natural world centre which coincided with an exhibition there, and then a weekend art fair in a local village. All that was just the first two weeks of October!
|Towards Bohemia promenade, Sutton on sea|
|Towards Pall Mall|
|Painting at Whisby natural world centre for The Big Draw|
The end of October I was busy writing an article for The Artist magazine, teaching a mystery challenge workshop, having a great time at the Royal Society of Marine Artists preview in London and spending a week with the family on the island.
|October, Guerzido beach|
|Painting the view over Grantham at Belmont tower, National Trust|
An article that I'd written in the summer on painting with Williamsburg handmade oil colours was published in The Artist magazine.
|The Artist magazine|
Back from Bréhat in early November I gave three demos to art groups including this tea party still life a couple of days before my birthday, and a chocoholic painters anonymous workshop :-)
I then had the fantastic news that one of my paintings, 'Incoming tide at Hook Head', had been selected for the 125th annual Royal Institute of Oil painters (ROI) exhibition!! When ever I have work selected by the ROI it means the world to me.
Then after my birthday which I spent painting at Sutton on sea and then celebrating with friends in the evening, it was time to pack my suitcase for Venice. I stayed in an apartment with fellow UK painters David Pilgrim, Valérie Pirlot and Tim King for a week, but many other painters that we know were there at the same time. We had a couple of great get-togethers!
The weather was a mixed bag, involving a lot of fog. I'd never attempted to paint in thick fog before so it was a new experience! On the first morning I was really excited by it, painting in Saint Marks square with the buildings disappearing and people emerging as they came towards you, but by day three I was saying 'noooo.... no more fog now, please!'.
The days were very short so we left the apartment by 7.30 every morning. By 4.00pm it was completely dark!
|Painting on Ponte dei Pugni|
|Santa Maria della Salute, early November morning|
|Looking towards Campo san Barnaba|
|Gondolas on the grand canal|
|Pink sky over Piazzetta|
|Yellow morning, Piazzetta|
|Inside Caffè Florian with Valérie|
|Big dinner with fellow PAP's!|
Back in England in early December I heard the fantastic news that I'd won The Artist magazine's charity Christmas card competition with a painting called 'Sunset over snowy paddock' that I'd painted when we had snow back in February. The winning painting featured in the magazine's Christmas greeting and £200 was donated to a charity of my choice. I chose the Rainbow Trust for their work with families with terminally ill children.
|Sunset over snowy paddock|
It's a small and simple painting, with a nice impressionist feel to it. I remember I had to work like billy-o to get it down quick as the sun dropped behind those trees!
On the 11th December I was back at the Mall galleries in London for the preview of the Royal Institute of Oil painters exhibition, another very enjoyable day and a fantastic exhibition.
|Me and Hook Head at the ROI exhibition|
Within a week I was at the gallery again for the annual ROI painting evening. They sell tickets to paint from a model and also to come and watch, have a glass of wine and a mince pie. It's a fun event!
|Discussing spending my prize with Winsor & Newton!|
|My painting from the evening|
Ok, so all this only happened a couple of days ago and you probably know all about it but there could not have been a better ending to my year than this. My painting won the first prize for the best painting of the evening (by a non-member of the ROI - the members vote!), and my prize is £200 worth of Winsor and Newton art materials which I love, love, love!
It's been an absolutely amazing journey this year! Many thanks for coming along with me, I really hope you've enjoyed reading the review as much as I've enjoyed putting it all together. I'm going to take a week or two away from the blog now to crack on with festivities as well as writing a few magazine articles and making plans for next year. I wish you all a healthy and happy festive season, and I look forward to catching up with you again early in the new year! xx