Monday, July 30, 2012

Art in the Open

Here I am in Ireland for the Art in the Open plein air festival! Am hoping I can blog while here although I've been trying to send this for the last hour and a half with no success yet!
Last few days I've been packing and travelling and I arrived here last night in time for the welcome meeting in Wexford. What a friendly bunch of people! There are artists here from all over the world and the organisers are super.
We were painting in Inistioge today (pronounced Inish-teeg) and were extremely lucky with the weather as you can see- had sun most of the morning! By three o clock though the sky had clouded thickly and by 5.30 the rain started!
I attended a workshop with Michael McGuire about painting moving water and we all set up to paint next to this bridge.
This afternoon I found this family having a picnic by the riverside. I could have done with a bit more time but I think I got the impression. It didn't take the children long to spot what I was up to and they didn't sit down again, they were more interested in watching me painting than being in the painting!
I've looked at the weather forecast for the rest of the week... and I really wish I hadn't!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Field with daisies

Field with daisies
Oil on canvas panel 8" x 10"
This morning the sky was hazy and cloudy, but by lunchtime it was starting to lift and clear and the sun returned. I was driving along between various tasks and the corner of this field caught my eye with all it's gorgeous daisies and other wild flowers. Lunch could wait!
Click to bid :-)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Private view

The front of the gallery

It's been a long day hanging the exhibition and thank you for all your help Pipa. It all came together just in time for a lovely private view! Oscar and Matthew did a great job as 'assistants' and Tim was in charge of topping up glasses, not to mention the cheese platters and home made crackers! It was great to see everyone, thank you so much to those who came I do really appreciate it. I'm afraid I almost forgot to take photos of the Private View as I was so busy chatting but here are a few! Four paintings have chosen new owners this evening so I'm sure they will all be very happy together!
If you can't make it to Nottingham you can now view the whole exhibition online at my website
Just click on the 'Exhibition 2012' link in the side bar and you can see in the comfort of your own home what we've got up on the walls here in Nottingham, and should anything take your fancy just send me an email and I'll put a red spot on the label straightaway! :-)

To see the paintings click here!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Douarnenez triptych

Douarnenez triptych
One drizzly grey morning in Douarnenez... (could have been any of them to be honest!) I found myself at the end of this jetty spoilt for choice with subject matter and such a peaceful spot to set up and paint! I was most drawn to the large boat moored up in front of me but I also liked the footbridge in the distance and the masts of the modern yachts to my left, and looking further right I liked the contrast of the very light canopies on the wooden structure against the trees behind. So I decided to work on three panels all at once, in the hope that all three would work together as a triptych or even on their own as three separate paintings.
This is my spot at the end of the jetty -

The main difficulty I faced was that two of my boards had been undercoated in cadmium yellow deep and the third was a pale pinky umber. I knew I would have to cover much more of the underpainting than I normally would in order for the problem to disappear! I immediately set to work on all three boards -

As I worked I rotated which panel was on my easel at any one time, changing every ten minutes or so. Often I would lay them down on the ground to see how they were looking together.

I had the opportunity to practise my little bit of french with a few curious onlookers! My other difficulty is that I usually step back about six or seven feet every few minutes throughout the painting process but in this place there would have been a very big splash, so I had to stay put!

The panels either side are 24 x 30 cms and the centre one is 30 x 30cms.
I think whoever buys it one day can choose whether to hang all three together or separate them if they fancy a change! Here's each one a bit closer ...

I can't sell it just yet as it's currently in the selection system for the RSMA (fingers crossed), but it will be on show in my exhibition. Everything is looking gorgeous in frames, I'm very excited about how the exhibition will look. Sunday is the big day of hanging and private view, let me know by email if you'd like an invitation. Please come if you possibly can!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rectory with delphiniums

Rectory with delphiniums
50 x 60cms

I've finally got around to finishing this painting just in time for entry into the exhibition. I started it in acrylics back in early March and have finished it in the last couple of days in oils. (This doesn't work the other way round, but oils over a layer of dry acrylics seems generally ok)
I've also been trying to finish off my Douarnenez triptych which I painted during my week there. Although I came away with the middle panel looking finished enough for my liking, the right hand side panel looks a little stiff and the left hand side panel only really has the bare bones in place.
It may end up as a one piece after all!
I hate the phrase 'finishing off'! When I say it to myself my shoulders stiffen and the hairs rise on the back of my neck! I would far, far rather get everything up to a state of near-completedness (which is good enough for me!) on site and never lay a brush on it again!

Thought you might also like to see this one I did a few years ago now. It also has delphiniums in it, but the mood is softer....

Humphrey in the shade on the terrace   Sold
I absolutely love the colour palette used in that one.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Shipwreck before downpour, Brehat

Shipwreck before downpour, Bréhat
Owww! My right hand is really hurting from rubbing wax into frames all day! On the plus side eight more paintings are now beautifully dressed and looking lovely for the exhibition, including this one which the ladies from my painting holiday will remember from May. Another rainy painting session!
I like to have frames made in untreated wood, and then I give them two or three coats of Farrow & Ball paint, in a colour that suits. When that's all dry I coat the frame in beeswax and then rub it all off (that's the hand hurting/time consuming part!) which means that not only is the frame a gorgeous hand painted colour but also better protected against dirt or damage! :-)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Under the bridge, Bayeux

Under the bridge, Bayeux
Oils on canvas board 6" x 8"
A very quick study from my day in Bayeux last week. It was a very unassuming bridge but I loved the abstract shapes forming the stonework and reflections in the water. It only took twenty minutes, I was on my way to meet some of the others for lunch (regular meals and coffee breaks are important to me!).

I've been sending out lots of email invitations to my exhibition and private view on Sunday. If you'd like one and haven't received one please let me know, and if you've received one please could you give me a quick reply so that I have an idea of numbers. Thank you!

Some nice bits about me and the other Jubilee artists in the latest edition of Paint magazine - special thanks to Sue Millington! That really made me smile :-)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sunset in Douarnenez

Sunset 1, Douarnenez
Oils on canvas board 6" x 8"

Sunset 2, Douarnenez
Oils on canvas board 8" x 6"

Here I am, back from the trip but rather exhausted and full of cold! I used Rover at last, my mini pochade box, for these two small paintings of the sunset looking towards the island of Le Tristan from the edge of the hotel garden.
I'm starting to enjoy using Rover although I do find it difficult working so small. I forgot to bring my extra 6" x 8" boards with me but I was able to buy some from my new American friend Bobbi Heath, a fellow blogger!
These two paintings will be available for sale in my exhibition in Nottingham which is happening very soon, from the 16th to the 23rd July. Please visit if you can!
I'd like to put all of the paintings in the exhibition online with prices, does anybody have any ideas on the best way to do this?

Here's a picture of Rover in use when I got up really early on Sunday morning in Port en Bessin...

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