Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Looking over Grantham

Looking over Grantham from Belmont tower

A misty day on Friday found me climbing up to Belmont tower again to paint the panorama looking over to Grantham. Interestingly, I got absolutely covered in tiny spiders while painting, which is a new one on me! When I got back to the car I had to flick a further dozen off the easel. Anyway, this was the best of two paintings I did on the day.
I've been busy framing six 'hopefuls' for the Royal Institute of Oil Painters exhibition. I had a varnishing disaster, when an area of one of the paintings I was going to enter (Galley hill allotments) began to melt away as I applied the retouching varnish, even though it's at least four weeks since it was painted and I thought it was touch dry. So I had to bring on a substitute, and get hold of a frame with only minutes to spare. Now all six are signed, varnished, photographed, framed, labelled and willing to try their best for me with the selection committee. All will be out of my hands after tomorrow.
I've gone through the trough of despair 'none of them are good enough!' and am now in the resigned, calm stage 'I've done my best, there's nothing more I can do'.
Except start work on next year's entries of course...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tuesday, London

Forgive me for not blogging lately, we currently have no Internet at home. After three days I've finally found time to make a lengthy phone call to technical support and at the end of it was told... there is a fault. Oh. Now I need an engineer to visit apparently.
I thought in the meantime I'd send you a pic from my friend's sofa!
Painted this in London on Tuesday morning, 8" x 10".
Then had a great time at the Royal Society of Marine Artists preview. Gorgeous exhibition and lovely chatting to artist friends. Would have been fab if one of my paintings had made it into the exhibition of course - I'll give it another go next year!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Belmont tower

Painting at Belmont tower today

Towards Grantham from Belmont tower

I've not been deliberately ignoring you honestly! I've been busy since Sunday with... portrait commission, framing, wrapping and posting paintings, getting mdf panels cut and prepping them for paintings, preparing for workshops and doing a demo yesterday at Bingham art group. 
Today was my first day out painting. There are fantastic views from Belmont tower on the National Trust Belton House estate. It was a gorgeous bright morning but very windy up there! I had a couple of intrepid companions join me which was lovely, and even a blog subscriber I'd never met before came by to say hello which was really nice!
Here's a picture of the tower itself, which was right behind me (you can see my easel looking tiny on the ground!).

Belmont tower

Also received the November issue of The Artist magazine, which has my article on Williamsburg oil paints in it, so that was nice to see!

Quick reminder to those in my area - I'll be at Brant Broughton art event this Saturday and Sunday, 10.30 am until 4.30 pm. Hope to see some of you there!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Whisby nature park

Had a good day today painting with some other members of Lincolnshire Artists Society at Whisby nature park. Chatting to people all day painting on the Boardwalk behind the cafe and visitor centre and I managed to get two done! This morning the one with the strange white things in the foreground (which seem to be two silver birch trees chopped in half), and then after lunch I looked down into the water more. I was very pleased with that duck! Sadly the blue shows up wrong on the photo! The blue at the bottom middle isn't how it looks on my photo - it's more of a subtle violet-blue but my phone can't pick up the violet hue at all!

Friday, October 5, 2012

London painting

Apologies for blurred photography!

I had a great visit to London today! I was lucky to be able to paint with the supremely talented Adebanji Alade, and it was so much fun painting side by side and chatting! Makes a lovely change from painting alone singing along to the limited number of songs on my iPhone!

When we started the sky was clear and blue, the shadows crisp. As usual I thought I would get a few done but didn't! I worked on this little 8" x 10" for maybe three hours. Adebanji was working at the same size, but he was taking a further view than me and looking all the way up the road to Pall Mall at the top. (That was going to be my second painting!)
By the time we finished I was looking at a totally different scene! The sky was black, the front of the big building was darker than the side - you name it! All change!

Here's Adebanji hard at work with his ever-appreciative audience! 

I had my back to an enormous column so people had to be fairly cheeky to come and see mine!
I will get a better photo of my painting to show you, and I feel I'd like to do a studio piece based on it. I also have a sketch and a couple of photos to support it.
Hope you have a good weekend :-)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hook head - horizon

Hook head
Oils on canvas 12" x 16"

I've been on the computer for about 24 hours (not quite but feels like it!) designing a 'self-publish' book of my latest paintings. I'm hugely excited about it and I think it's going to look great. It's 100 pages long and I've included all my favourite paintings from 2012 so far, plus it's absolutely littered with inspirational quotes about painting and life! I can't share details of it with you yet until I've received an actual physical copy to hold in my hands and see that it's as fantastic as I hope it will be!

I'm also working on two current portrait commissions so I can't show you pictures of those until completed.
I can show you this however! I painted Hook Head back in summer in Ireland with my new friend Lori Putnam painting nearby.
I was really happy with it as it was my best painting of the week but one thing niggled me - the wonky horizon line! Today I finally got around to fixing it, I don't know how hard I thought it was going to be exactly but it took me all of five minutes to sort it!

Before - with wobbly horizon! I'm using masking tape to make a straight edge

I'm off to London again tomorrow, handing in two paintings that have been pre-selected for the New English Art Club (do not hold your breath - I'm not!), and hopefully will be meeting with someone special...

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