The January Blues

Happy New Year! I have been so lucky having had the opportunity to spend Christmas with my family in Kenya.  We had the most amazing time. I didn’t want it to end.  My sister was amazing at organising some lovely exciting experiences while also giving us a lovely chance to relax.  I didn’t manage to bring out any art materials as my bag was full of Christmas presents.  I did however get some lovely materials as a present from my sister in law which went down a treat and I had a go at sketching a few things between the madness and fun.

A tree while eating breakfast,  hippos coming up for air, milk churns with water and our bell tent.

Goodness it’s awful being back now in London.  The mornings are so dark and the skies are so very grey!  Having had 3 weeks off painting it’s hard to get back into it so I’m taking it slowly to get my eye back in.  I have a portrait to finish but felt that it would be best to get my eye back in and start with something simple.  A simple rose in a vase.  Obviously this is for sale so get in touch if you are interested.

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A one stem vase. 10″x12″ oil on board –  £100

Happy New Year!  Let’s hope 2019 brings lots of fun and laughter.

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My Website is Live!

I’m feeling rather bad as I have sent my son outside in the pouring rain to play football for a couple of hours while I sit in a rather lovely warm cafe with a nice hot cup of coffee.  What a horrible mother!  Let’s hope he doesn’t hate me when I come and pick him up later.Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 09.37.04I’m really excited to say that my new website has gone live.  There are a few teething problems with it still but it’s up and running and most of it has been done.  I really hope you like it.  It has taken me a really long time to do.  I had no idea that it would take so long but I’m pleased with it now so please take a look. www.alice-ridley.com.  There are also some potential Christmas presents there!  Please do get in touch.

I hope you all have a lovely first day of December.

www.alice-ridley.com

It’s Nearly Christmas

I’ve been beavering away this week with my website which I’m dying to share with you but sadly it isn’t ready yet.  It’s coming up to Christmas and has been a really busy time for me with various things like getting the Christmas Market happening at my sons school and finishing my website and just everything in order for potential buyers which I hope will come my way over the next few weeks.  One thing I am happy that I have managed to complete and get ready are my new postcards.

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I’m thrilled with my new cards that arrived a week ago.  They have some of my favourite flowers on and the finish of them is really excellent.  I can’t wait to start selling them.  As soon as they were delivered I had my first order which was fab and always makes me feel like it’s worth while.

Anyhow here is a picture of the new postcards.  If anyone is interested in buying any please do get in touch.  There are 5 different cards in a pack and cost £5 including postage and packaging (around the UK).  Spread the word.

Thanks.

Something Different

Sorry it’s been so long since I last wrote on my blog.  It’s been a mixture of being stuck ( having broken down) in France over the holidays and being incredibly busy with the PTA at my son’s school.

Well I’m back now and with something slightly different.  I have been given the opportunity to display my work with two other artists in my local cafe in Clapham/Battersea called Il Molino.  Their will be a collection of work up during November and December,  pieces that are affordable for easy Christmas present options for local customers.  This has given me a great opportunity to do something slightly different.

I visited The Mall Gallery last week with a great friend and was thoroughly inspired by some beautiful work on wildlife.  The artists there captured their subject so well, showing all the wonderful characteristics in so many different mediums.  I have a great interest in wildlife and this exhibition gave me the inspiration to try something different.

London is full of crows.  However much people dislike them there is a huge presence everywhere you go.  They have a sinister beauty about them.  Their vicious beaks and sleek dark feathers give them an evil edge but one that deserves respect.  The exhibition at The Mall Gallery and walking through Clapham Common inspired me to have a go at painting these wonderful birds.  I really enjoyed working with some really inky blues and wonderfully deep dark blacks.  I was pleased with the outcome and very chuffed to see that others liked them too on Instagram.  What do you think?

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I’m going to explore some more in this medium and subject matter in and around my normal work.

Cafe Work

Over the last month, this month and the following month my work is in The Stores in Gt Waltham in Essex.  I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to display and sell my work.  Many people have been very sceptical about the idea of selling and displaying work in cafes.  They have been very negative about whether or not people manage to ever sell their work that way.  I decided to give it a go and see what happens – it can’t hurt can it?

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The second month’s display of work at The Stores in Great Waltham – sorry about the slight shake to the picture!

I’m thrilled to say that I have managed to sell 3 paintings from The Stores!  I am so very excited about it and the fact that one was bought by someone and she liked it so much that she came back to buy 2 more is wonderful.  This is a huge encouragement! This weekend I’m getting myself ready and finishing things off so that I have more to put up on Monday.

I have decided to approach one of my local cafes in London to see if I can display my work there and they have said yes which is brilliant.  I thought this could be a perfect opportunity to display some of the work that comes from the school around the corner that I’ve been going to for a morning a week. The idea would be that a group of artists  would rotate each month. Some of my friends see it as a good idea but I’m so surprised and saddened by others who again have this snobby feeling that it is a cheap way of selling work and not prestigious enough.  I feel as long as you are realistic about your work, perhaps don’t put it in amazing frames to keep costs down,  you can make your work accessible to everyone.  One thing to remember is that people seem to have a habit of surprising you.  Just have a go.  Let see what happens…….

Fingers crossed I manage to sell more paintings this month.

It’s that Peony time of Year

This time of year peonies are in abundance.  They are one of my favourite flowers and the season for them is very short.  They are so fluffy, full and smell amazing.  Their usual colour is a lovely light creamy pink but this year I was given some wonderfully dark deep pink ones for my birthday which I couldn’t help but try and paint.

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Peonies are so very beautiful but also so very hard to paint.  Unlike most flowers that are quite obedient and don’t move much these can’t help but move all the time.  Once they start to open they move so quickly in front of your eyes.  If you start painting one when it is slightly open, by the time 4 hours is up they completely blown out and are a different shape and colour from when you started.  You have to work so very quickly.

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I found the dark pink peonies harder than the light pink peonies as the day I painted them was particularly hot which didn’t help matters.  It helps if you keep your painting style loose and fluffy like the flowers themselves.

I’m pleased to say that within a day of putting the light pink peonies on my Etsy page I sold them to someone in Las Vegas!  I’m really chuffed.  Keep checking out my Etsy page (AlicesArtHouse) for more additions each week!

The Importance of Framing

 

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.

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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

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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.

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Mrs Chicken – 30cm x 30cm oil on linen board – £100 available at AlicesArtHouse www.etsy.com