Never underestimate the importance of what framing can do for a painting. I made a big mistake by getting a painting framed in the wrong frame and was so very disappointed with the result. This was partly my fault and the framers fault as we had both agreed to a frame but sadly the framer couldn’t get it and decided to put it in another frame.
Mr Cockerel in the original frame done by the framer.
He looks very small and insignificant in this frame – 30cm x 30cm oil on linen on board available at AlicesArtHouse on Etsy.com
Second frame I chose. Framed this way he looks far bigger and more important.
Framing can be very expensive which is always a little worrying when buying a painting, but I’ve come to realise that it can be worth the price. Framers can be great at picking various colours and styles for you to help you make the most of your paintings. Find a good framer and stick with them. I won’t be going back to my original framer.
Mrs Chicken – 30cm x 30cm oil on linen board – £100 available at AlicesArtHouse www.etsy.com
I’m so pleased to say that my work is on the wall in a cafe in Great Waltham in Essex called The Stores for the next 3 months! Its a rather lovely new cafe in the area which sells great coffee for somewhere out of London and some delicious homemade cakes as well as some fab paintings for sale. I’m really pleased to announce that this is on for a three month period. I have been working hard to produce work for it alongside some commissions and the plan is to change the work around each month so people don’t get too bored. Fingers crossed some of them will be sold anyway so it will be just a matter of replacing them.
It was quite hard to know what work to display in a cafe. Its difficult to judge the size or pricing of them. Some of the work there had clearly been done by hobby painters and so the price was mainly irrelevant and so they were charging a really low price. A particular artist displaying there sold loads of artwork as they were only £25 each! Sadly this puts me in a difficult position as I have become fully committed to making a living out of my work. I hope the general public find my prices reasonable. One of the hardest things I find is knowing where to price your work. It’s a fine balance between selling your work and getting what you want for it.
If you are someone who lives near Gt Waltham in Essex please do pop into the cafe to have a cup or tea or something. Tell me what you think of my work and pricing. Also a quick heads up, I will be exhibiting at the Stebbing Open Gardens this weekend in Essex too. Pop along if you are around.
In the occasional classes I go to at an art school around the corner I was asked to bring in something that I could paint over 2 weeks. The usual subject matter for these classes are flowers, vegetables and fruit or whatever happens to be lying around.
I did what I was told and brought in some things what wouldn’t perish. I wasn’t too sure what to bring with me as I ran out of the door. I had thought a while ago about doing series of paintings of toys as something different and so grabbed some of my son’s American muscle cars as I love the wonderful colours with flames along the sides.
Hot wheels set up
When I produced the cars everyone thought I was mad. Totally mad. What a strange subject matter and how sweet that I wanted to do a painting for my son. I wasn’t doing a painting for my son – no! I thought a painting of Hotwheels would be rather cool and Pop Art.
After one week
After lining them up, with the odd one on its back, I realised that I WAS mad. I was totally mad. The difficulty struck me and I suddenly felt very depressed by not even knowing where to start! It was so important to get all the angles and the colours and perspective right. A nightmare! Thankfully I had my teacher to point me in the right direction.
The finished article
After two weeks I was quite pleased with it. My son on the other hand said it was a good effort but some attention to detail was lacking and that some of the curves were wrong. There is no pleasing some people!
While spring is in the air and finally the trees are blossoming and the daffodils are everywhere, my main thoughts with styling are in autumn. It can be quite hard to think 6 months in advance but in styling that is what is needed. Just before Easter I was asked to style a house outside Hungerford for an autumn edition of the magazine. It was time to think of an autumnal table.
This year I decided to go with autumnal fruits. Crisp juicy apples was the line I was going with. I bought a bag of deliciously red juicy apples which I chose to place along the centre of the table along with some cape gooseberries and some cut olive branches in a relaxed fashion. These then looked great with red candles, red and orange roses and tea lights. This is a very cheap way to decorate a table for a dinner party just before the nights start really drawing in.
Bearsie 8×8 inches oil on linen on board
I have been really inspired these last couple of weeks by an artist called Jennifer Gennari from New York. She is an amazing painter and I particularly like the paintings she has done of animals. She paints cats, dogs, chickens beautifully and so these last couple of weeks I’ve tried to have a go myself. I really love the way she is so careful of brushstrokes which really add to the smoothness and texture of the different animals. She does have one advantage though as she paints from some extremely good, well taken photos which makes a difference.
Here is my first attempt at painting my cat Bearsie. I know it looks like he has a small nose but I promise that he does in real life – honest! I was quite pleased with him I think!
Winston 10xb inches – oil on canvas
A friend and neighbour has the most ridiculously characterful dog called Winston and so thought I would try and paint him too. She had taken a rather fun silly photo of him. I have a long way to go if I want to end up painting like Jennifer but its a start.
Commissions are welcome of any kind of pet – get in touch!
While it’s been cold and snowy outside here in London and elsewhere I have been working on a two week figure pose. It has been a while since I did figure in my weekly classes and I have been feeling a little rusty. Yet again I get bogged down in detail which seems to be what I regard as my biggest problem. I found it very hard to let go in this charcoal drawing. It was hard to decide what was important to say and what not. Sometimes it feels like a big jump into a black hole. To lose some of the work that you have put in, feels wrong and hard but once you try and move things about you realise that you have to have some kind of faith in yourself and your decisions about what you want to say. To progress my work, I need to make more decisions on what I want to say and have the conviction to lose what is not important.
I really need to apply this to my paintings. There is so much to learn.
It’s pretty cold out there, but there are definite signs of Spring which is really exciting. At last there is the light at the end of the tunnel of Winter and soon things will warm up. I’ve become so excited that I have been painting flowers non stop all week!
I find flowers very difficult to paint most of the time. Its so very hard as there is so much detail. The difficulty is to know where and when to simplify. It’s often best to squint your eyes to see what needs to be in detail and what not. Our eyes can find detail in so much of what we see yet most of us prefer paintings which aren’t always in focus throughout. It’s similar to when and where to lose edges and where and when to accentuate them.
‘Snowdrops’ – oil on board 10″x8″ – £65 from Alicesarthouse shop at Etsy
I tried an impressionist quick way with the snowdrops which has a blurry style which I probably like the most. For the other flowers I tried to concentrate on only parts of the flowers which I think works on the the large bunch of flowers rather than the smaller flowers. For the larger bunch of flowers I tried to use a larger brush throughout. It’s nice to try different things/styles/brushes etc.