Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Venice exhibition

Caffè Florian 15" x 19" £495

Pink sky over piazzetta 15" x 19" £495

Santa Maria Formosa 15" x 19" £495

Gondolas on the grand canal 17" x 17" £495

Although I haven't been posting much lately, I have been busy! I've hand painted and finished all these frames above because the paintings are going to take part in an exhibition at the Mine gallery, Carshalton in the London borough of Sutton. The exhibition is on for the whole month of March and I know it's going to be a fantastic show with work by Wapping group members Derek Daniells, Michael Richardson, Karl Terry and John Stillman and other great UK plein air painters such as Valerie Pirlot, Roy Connelly, David Bachman, Tim King... I'm sure there are many more but they are the names that spring to mind!

We all love to paint in Venice you see! It's going to be beautiful work, I promise you won't be disappointed if you can visit.
You might be hard pressed to leave without buying a painting though!

I decided to drive down with my paintings, it should have taken three hours each way according to my sat nav. Actually with roadworks and delays it took me about four and a half hours to get there and then I had to turn around and drive straight back - another four hours! It made me think of my friend Lori Putnam in the US who has just driven eleven hours to paint snow - the things we do! Mind you, Lori was with friends so I'm sure that journey was lots of fun ;-)

Information about the gallery can be found here!

Tomorrow I'm teaching a 'painting cats in acrylics' workshop at Fulbeck, starring my gorgeous ginger and white Charlie (although he won't be there in person!). There are still spaces on several of my day workshops this year, you can see which ones by looking at my website www.haideejo.com


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Santa Maria Formosa

Santa Maria Formosa
framed size 15" x 19" £495

I remember painting this in Venice on a misty and cold afternoon. I wasn't too sure how it was going, as is often the way! I knew I didn't want to put too much detail into the church, in fact I couldn't see much detail because every so often the fog would thicken up making it difficult to see anything at all!
I was attracted to the characterful leaning of the church buildings - I'm pretty sure they were leaning, or maybe I was leaning? Anyway, there was a little bit of life in the square with people passing through in dribs and drabs. And I liked the small touch of colour which was a stall selling glass lanterns.
You know that I don't like to touch a plein air painting afterwards but sometimes needs must. In this case I had a tiny adjustment to make. The young couple on the left shared a very brief kiss which I didn't quite manage to catch at the time. I was determined to remember it for later though as the action seemed to lend a story to the whole scene.

This is the painting as I left the site, with sort of half a girl!

I couldn't really leave her headless, she was too large in the painting to not have a head! 
So I remembered the kiss and brought the pair closer together...

There now, that's better for the lovestruck couple! If you look carefully you can see that her previous body has now become a bit of background interest. I touched nothing else in the painting, for I fear I would lose the freshness. I love the sketchy marks and thin dribbles of paint coupled with larger simplified shapes that make up this piece. And the green greys. Plus a little extra warmth in places. And those lanterns. Sorry, I'm rambling now...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Small adjustment

Yellow morning, piazzetta

Sometimes I find it necessary to make a small adjustment to a plein air painting when I look at it later on. This was one of my favourites from the most recent Venice trip, but after only a couple of days I realised something was wrong and it bothered me, so I have fixed it now.
Can you spot what was wrong? The finished painting is above, and the painting as it left the Piazzetta in Saint Marks square below.
By the way the colours and tonal values haven't changed, that's just the differences in the photography I'm afraid!

Well it was just this area here...

The shadow cast by the Doges Palace (the building on the left) wasn't aligned with the side of the building, it should have been vertical. There was also a slightly dangerous lean on the palace (at the top) so I've corrected that too.
I easily resisted the temptation to fiddle with anything else because you don't want to spoil that excitement and freshness that you got from being in front of the subject do you?

I've now sold this painting and am in the process of framing it in one of six beautiful frames which arrived today. I'm going to be taking three or four other Venice paintings to a gallery in London next week and one Venice painting together with one London painting and one Bréhat painting are heading off to a gallery in Hampshire. Busy times!
I'll probably be showing you some of these in the frames next week when I've got them painted and waxed and fitted.

Looking at this reminds me of my next painting trip - in only four weeks time I am heading to Morocco to paint alongside Ken Howard which I am very much looking forward to.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

SAA Manchester event

Here are some photos from the SAA's Manchester event last Friday and Saturday. It was a very busy and packed two days and I met a lot of lovely people and between us we used a lot of lovely Winsor & Newton Artist's acrylic paints, and my helpers cleaned up a lot of mess and washed a lot of brushes!

All new and ready to go! Friday at 9am

Seven 45 minute workshops throughout the day

Friday and Saturday -lots of lovely people

My name on a bucket! 64 dirty brushes, seven times a day.  Thank goodness for Colin!

Now I'm in the middle of birthday week - three birthdays in our house within six days! Today I've been varnishing paintings ready to frame and send off to galleries. Managed to get the smell out of the kitchen before my daughter's birthday tea! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Self portrait with iphone

Self portrait with iPhone

Try as I might, I can't get a good photo of this recent self portrait! This is about the best I can manage! And here's a closer look...

I rather like it, the way that most of my face is in shadow, and I'm wearing my painty apron. Of course I look serious, it's a self portrait. It's concentration. It's what comes of staring at yourself in the mirror for a couple of hours. Remember this one I did a few weeks ago? I like that too. The pink ear especially with a bit of a glow about it. 

I'm almost ready for Manchester, I have a couple of hours in the morning to pack and get my last few jobs done. I'll try to blog when I'm away...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Belton House gardens in the snow

Belton House gardens in the snow

I do apologise, I honestly didn't realise five days have gone by without me posting - been swept up in one thing and another! Here's another from my recent snow batch, there may be another video to accompany this one soon. I went to the beautiful surroundings of Belton House and struggled to find a subject at first because it was all so pretty - the mansion house and the formal gardens in the snow. Eventually I settled on this side view looking across the topiary garden. I loved the strong contrast of the light snow against the dark green of the hedges. I also like the formal structural element of the stone urns contrasting with the wilder element of the background trees and wide open spaces. I feel the slope of the garden lends this painting a slightly unexpected, unsettling effect which I find really interesting.
I started this not a moment too soon because when I finished and packed up it was five minutes past four and we were almost locked into the gardens, and it was pretty cold by then! (In fact we were locked in but the gardener found us and let us out - oops!)

Now the latest issue of The Artist magazine has arrived in the shops, and it's a very good read as always. Lots of interesting articles! Here's a picture of some of my bits!

You can read the pointers on finding your own style online here, and did you know you can subscribe to the magazine and have it delivered if you live elsewhere than the UK and can't pick it up from a shop. Well worth it for monthly inspiration.

Yesterday I was interviewed on BBC Radio Humberside by Phil White. If you'd like to hear the interview I believe you can by clicking here, I come along after about 40 minutes of the show. Then a little while later there's a funny comment by someone ringing into the show to say that anyone who chooses to go out and paint in this weather needs their head examining, or words to that effect! 

I've a big event on this week, I'm holding back to back workshops at the SAA's 'It's all about Art' event at Event City, Manchester. There's going to be lots going on there so do come along if you're in the area. The  ticket price includes watching demos and taking part in hands on workshops, trying out all the latest art materials, as much as you can squeeze into the day really! You can find the information and book tickets here.

This is completely irrelevant to all the above but isn't it fascinating about finding the skeleton of Richard III in a Leicester car park? I can't wait to find out more about what will happen next... where will he be buried? A lot of people are calling for York minster which makes absolute sense. I've lived and studied in both Leicester and York so feel a real curiosity about this! You can read more about it here! :-)

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