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.

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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

Furry Friends

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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!

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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!

Love is in the Air

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My cats decided to send a quick message out to all of you this week.  Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone and thanks for all your support. We love you guys.

One Man and his Dog

Stewart portrait blog

I was asked to do a portrait of a good friend of mine, a portrait if him and his dog.  I was very flattered that his partner asked me on the sly to paint this picture of him for his birthday/Christmas.  Obviously as this was on the sly I painted it from a photograph.  I was a little worried by the photo as it was a quick snap that someone took on their phone and so the detail and focus wasn’t as good as I would have liked.  I had a go and kept with the same dulled down colour palette from the photo which I think worked.  I also tried to keep the background in a slight blur so that you would concentrate on the portrait which I think worked too.

It’s always a little nerve racking doing a portrait of a friend as it means so much more to you as an artist to get it right,  but at the same time at least you really know them so you can tell when you’ve got it right.

It was also the first time I’ve painted a dog, and again this dog means the world to my friend so again this has to be right – scary!

I tried hard. I hope they liked it!

Donkey Work

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This was another chance to do a charcoal portrait.  I did this one at school where I had the opportunity to have a model sit for me for 3 hours.  Sadly I didn’t have 3 hours as I was late!  I gave myself the challenge of drawing from a donkey.  This is a lower bench that you can sit on so that when drawing you can get very close up from underneath the model.  This makes it quite a bit harder as the angle is very difficult.  The usual way of mapping out a face completely changes here.  The nose and eyes and mouth are much closer together and all the shapes change.  Personally I really prefer portraits from this angle – there is something rather grand about the pose.  It can be really hard to get this right.  I wish I had another couple of hours on it.  I love the mood of charcoal portraits.

Ruby

This week has been a little difficult as Kea has been really unwell with a stomach bug.  He has been off school all week poor thing feeling rotten.  Luckily in-between looking after him I have had a chance to carrying on painting while he has watched films or slept.

I’ve been concentrating on a portrait I said I would do for someone.  She is called Ruby.  I had to do this portrait from a photo as I don’t actually know Ruby.  I was given a selection of photos to do it from and the one I chose was this one.

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I double checked with her mother if there were any of the photos she didn’t like so much or one that she preferred and she assured me that she liked all of them.  I chose this particular pose because I felt out of all the photos this was where she looked the most natural.  I got on with the job.

I finished most of it and decided to send a photo of what I had done so far to Ruby’s mother and sadly I got a response asking if I could paint the arm out.  Sadly it isn’t quite as easy as ‘paint the arm out’ as this would totally change the lighting and shadows etc and it would mean making up half of her face which is never easy to do.  I can understand what she means as I know she would like a clean portrait of her daughter, but then on the other hand I rather like the arm, giving it a much more relaxed feel.  It is more unusual to have a portrait like this but I think it gives it something different, a contemporary felt .  What do you think about it?

I can’t paint out the arm and will give her the painting tonight.  I hear that Ruby likes it with the arm, I just hope her mother won’t be too disappointed.