Friday, January 31, 2014

A new (P)interest

Study after Richard Emil Miller
1875 - 1943

I was telling you yesterday about my excitement in discovering Pinterest and being able to gather paintings that I find enormously inspiring together in one place. I am also discovering new artists at the same time, like Richard E Miller, an American impressionist. I had never heard of him until I came across this painting of his on Pinterest. He worked for some time at Giverny, and painted lots of 'ladies at leisure', a genre of paintings that I love.

The main thing I notice about my many 'pins' (small images clipped together on a 'board') is the great impact each one has on even a tiny thumbnail size, and the immediate statement that the colour palette makes.

I have long adored pinks and greens together and decided I had to have a play with this high key colour palette. I wasn't trying to achieve a careful copy or drawing but aiming to get the same sorts of colours working together.

Richard E Miller
Reading in the garden

Thursday, January 30, 2014

What I did at the day spa

Ok I have a confession to make - on my day off at the spa I did rather a lot of sketching. There, I feel better now that we've got that out in the open. 

Also I haven't planned my local workshops yet, apologies if you are waiting for the list I will get on to it soon.

On the plus side, tax return is complete- yay! And most of the sold paintings from the exhibition have now been delivered and posted to their new homes. The kitchen is now free from polystyrene sheets, bubble wrap, brown paper and tape.

And I've discovered how to use Pinterest ....finally! Why didn't you tell me how much fun that is? So nice to have a place to gather all your favourite paintings, like an ever expanding notebook! Look me up if you're on there and then I will be able to follow your boards. Fun!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Exhibition portraits day ten


I've only got a few minutes to show you my last portrait from the exhibition, this is Kate. Since the exhibition closed on Saturday night I've taken it all away and spent the last four days visiting admin land. I've got files to update, planning for the year ahead, bookings to deal with, lots of paintings to wrap and post and deliver to their new owners, accounts to update and last but not least the dreaded tax return to file. I'm not finished yet as all this will be carrying on well into next week, so don't be surprised if you don't hear from me again for a little while. I'm just so glad I painted the portraits throughout the exhibition or a month could easily have gone by without picking up a paintbrush at all and that would be pretty grim.
Anyway don't be feeling sorry for me because I've got a much desired day off today - a friend's special birthday and a relaxing day spa are calling... :-)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Nine little jewels

Nine portraits together

What fun it is to see all the portraits produced in the exhibition so far together like this in a photo montage. It's nice to be able to appreciate the differences between them, and they look like little colourful sweets!
Yesterday my model was Jenni, another lovely blog subscriber whom it was a great pleasure to chat with throughout the day. Jenni wore a bright pink scarf which I couldn't ignore, particularly as the pinks were reflected up into her face and neck. 
I knew that such a strong colour would have to be added to the painting at quite an early stage. I really enjoyed mixing the colours for Jenni's hair, and painting her 'hardly there' spectacles. Spectacles are a great lesson in painting what you are seeing and not what you think you are seeing. Don't be frightened of tackling them in a portrait, they usually make really helpful markers to help you see distances between eyes, nose, ears, hair etc. On Jenni's the glass parts were rimless, which was so much fun because I only had to show them by painting the shadow underneath them on her cheeks, and one little slender corner which was catching the light.

Exhibition portrait day 9 Jenni

Stage 1 - raw umber

Stage 2 - getting straight on with the pinks


Friday, January 17, 2014

Exhibition portraits day eight


Desmond was in my portrait hot seat today. Only two more days left of my exhibition and two more ladies will be modelling for the last two portraits. I think I will really miss the portrait sessions next week. 
My exhibition has been a great success and so far twenty-nine paintings are going off to new homes or have already gone. This fills me with much joy, what a great start to a new year! :-)

If you might like one for yourself there are plenty more still seeking ownership, and you can see which ones by following this link to my website.

Desmond in the hot seat
This painting of Staithes is still available, and it's one of my personal 'hot favourites' from the year!
I'm not sure if I told you yet or not but I'm teaching a plein air painting weekend in Staithes this year at the end of June, for the Staithes Art School. We will have an absolutely brilliant time there and there are still a few spaces left to grab - maybe you can join us?
Click here to go to the Staithes Art School website and have a look...

Shadows in the beck, Staithes

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Exhibition portraits day seven

I hope this isn't feeling too much like groundhog day for you! It was another fun day in the gallery in Nottingham with lots of fab visitors and again a very patient model who was often left waiting while I wandered around chatting or handling sales. It surprises me every day that the portrait gets done at all, it's as though it paints itself as I spend more time away from the easel than with it.
Here I am with brush poised chatting to my friend artist Mo Teeuw while Roger waits patiently. Thanks for the photo Gail Tointon, lovely to meet you at last today. 
It was also great to meet Facebook friend artist Jocelyn Roberts from Wales with her husband. My Mum came again too! As did Pipa and Katherine on their day off! And so many lovely others. Every day I have had exciting visitors and I can't wait to read the visitors book next week when I'm no doubt procrastinating instead of working on my accounts and tax as I should be. 

Chatting and painting!
Thanks for the photo Gail

Loose sketching in

Roger with his portrait

I'm sure Roger won't mind me telling you that he's recently had surgery on the eyelid under his left eye. I found the tiny nick and bright spot of red a fascinating addition to paint, but I didn't realise until Roger pointed out to me that I'd also painted some bruising that remains around the eye area.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Exhibition portraits day six

Wow, day six already? Now the time is racing by and I only have four more days to exhibit in Nottingham! I'm really enjoying it, talking to so many lovely people and painting the portraits. I'm also getting tired because the two hours driving a day on top of all the gallery and portrait action and late nights working at the computer... yawn!
I'm getting off to bed now, the right side of midnight :-)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Exhibition portraits day five

Me painting Ant painting me painting...

Well today was a little different because my portrait model of the day wasn't just being painted, he was painting me too! It was a little bit more of a challenge but lots of fun and turned out well. We had about two hours of painting time but with distractions of course. Luckily it was quieter in the gallery today for visitors :-)
I have five more days of my exhibition here in Nottingham left to run, and five more portraits to paint.
The whole exhibition is now on my website and will only be there until the end of the month, click here to view.

First stage - sketching out in raw umber

Second stage - adding colour
I was really quite pleased with the result, and the best fun was painting the moustache! Here is Ant's acrylic portrait of me, I love it! To see more of Ant's work have a look at his blog by clicking here.

Ant's portrait of me

Monday, January 13, 2014

Exhibition portraits day four


I love painting grey or silver hair - so much variety of beautiful colour in it. This was day four of my series of portraits in the gallery, I think the visitors are really enjoying the chance to watch a bit of painting going on rather than just seeing the paintings on the walls. It's tricky for me to concentrate on the painting as I'm also handling all my own sales, watching who comes in and out, chatting to everyone, answering questions and making coffee when occasion calls for it! Fun though, and you know I like a challenge. 
It was another busy day with lots of visitors, and I wanted to show you some of the lovely comments people have been leaving in my visitors book. 

Painting sales are going well too with 18 going to new homes so far... and you can browse the exhibition from the comfort of your own armchair, no matter where you are in the world (the wonders of modern technology eh?) by clicking here.

Working out in raw umber

Adding colour

Lovely comments... 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Exhibition portraits day three


I really enjoyed my day at the exhibition today again! Lots and lots of visitors and yet somehow in the midst of it all I managed portrait number three! Here is Andrew.
I was prompted to take a couple of photos during the process today, I'm so glad I did.

The early stages, applying shadow and rubbing out highlights with a rag
The end of the underpainting, using just raw umber up to now
Applying colour, after a lunch break

Andrew with his portrait
Pssst! The exhibition paintings are now live on my website! Most of them are there anyway, I just need to add another six soon. Click here to view!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Exhibition portraits day two!

Another portrait, another busy day at the gallery and a few more paintings sold! Have had well over 200 visitors now, so as you can imagine that means a whole lot of talking. I'm really pleased with how I've managed to get on and produce a portrait with the many, many distractions - albeit good distractions! Luckily Eileen wasn't in a hurry and was extremely patient and we were both pleased with the result achieved.
I'm afraid the photo flattens the colours and brushstrokes a bit and you can't quite see the painterly qualities. If Eileen gets a better photo in daylight I'm sure she will be happy for me to post it on the blog.
Somebody was asking where the models are coming from and I can tell you that they have all arranged and booked in their day, since seeing my plea on here a few weeks before Christmas. There are eight more days and eight more models.
I haven't managed to get the whole exhibition online yet but it won't be long and I'll let you know as soon as I do :-)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Exhibition portraits day 1


I had another great day at the exhibition - with over 80 visitors and a photographer from the Nottingham Evening Post in attendance! 
I don't quite know how I managed to get any paint on the canvas with all that was going on, but here it is, my first portrait of the ten! I'm going to attempt to paint a portrait from life for each day of the exhibition. I am pretty exhausted tonight though ;-)

The colour of light exhibition

The gallery in a quiet moment - just my mum!
 I promised you photos, and here are some for starters! I've had a really good first day in the exhibition, with over 60 visitors and five paintings sold. I know it looks as though no-one was there except one person (and that's my mum!) but this quiet moment was the exception! When the gallery was full this morning I was too busy chatting to take photos :-)

Two vibrant still lifes with flowers
'French coffee and roses' SOLD
Lots of lovely paintings of boats and the sea!

Such as this one from Bréhat
'Pêche à pied at Port Clos' SOLD today

There are interiors and portraits

There's a Venice section!

Cats and flowers and cakes!
Also lots of people have written lovely comments in my visitors book! And I can't thank you my special blog subscribers, my Facebook and twitter friends for all your messages of support re my exhibition - I'm overwhelmed! And I feel like you are all here with me.

Now you see it, now you don't...
three snowscapes hanging in a row this morning

And only the one on the left is still available to buy now!
Orchard in winter SOLD
North heath lane in the snow SOLD
By Friday I will have all the paintings in my exhibition online and available to buy from wherever you are, so there's no reason for anyone to feel left out, ok? ;-)

And tomorrow I start with my first sitter for the ten days of portraits... I'm feeling this is a pretty good way to kick off a new year, if a trifle energetic...

Trying to show you how big the gallery is!

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