Over the last couple of weeks I have had a couple of exhibitions which I have been rather worried about. It feels like a big step to go out there to sell your work when you are so unsure of it in the first place. It’s hard as an artist I think to really believe in your work. It’s hard to see the good things. Instead we see all the mistakes and where we could improve.
I have been totally shocked and astounded by the way my work has been received over the last couple of weeks. I have had so much positive feed back and people have been so kind. It’s been quite a learning curve. Somehow its still so hard to believe that people like your work and want to buy it. It’s an amazing boost and helps me to realise that despite all the mistakes I see, someone else likes and enjoys them. Some of these paintings have been around my house for quite a while – I’m so excited and pleased that they have been sold, but I will also miss them.
Thank you very much for your support.
Morning Light on a Felsted walk – 5″x 7″ oil on board
Framed (dark wood tray frame) – £100
I’ve been really busy this week finishing off work for an exhibition I have in Essex UK on the 24th November for a week. Its an exhibition of Essex landscapes of which I’ve painted 10. It’s been great working on these, I’ve really enjoyed it with the challenging light, colours and skies. All 10 paintings are tiny – the biggest being around A5 size. It’s been a learning curve as I’ve never painted landscapes before. I’ve taken it slowly and tried to concentrate on the good old formula of starting dark and then continuing into the lights. I also found out a good tip about giving the sky a wash of pink first which gives it more depth. It definitely works.
If you are around and you can make it to Essex, I would be delighted if you came to my exhibition. The details are below.
Clementines – linen on board 10″x6″ £60 unframed
It’s been a while since I posted a blog I realise. Life has been very busy with styling, people staying, my flatmate leaving and working towards an exhibition I have at the end of November. I’m still managing to paint most days which is good and here is an example of one of my paintings from the last week or so.
The studio has a very dark grey background. It’s painted that way so that you can easily see the intensity of colours and the warmth and coolness of what you are painting. After a while though it can get very boring to paint. For this subject matter it was perfect. The intense orange and warmth was very clear to see. The plate that they sat on was a little more complicated as it was a real mixture of warm and cold. Getting these right is really essential for creating the three dimensional feel of it. From this bowl you can see that the clementines were lit with a warm light from the left, but that there was a cool light (daylight) creeping in from the left. This is where the coolness of the grey background really helps you to distinguish this .
I’m very pleased to say that many of my pieces of work will be in Homes Garden (UK) January 2018 issue which will be out on the 30th November so please do keep an eye out for them leaning up in one the houses.
All my paintings are for sale. You can find them at AlicesArtHouse on Esty.com
Sargent is a hero of mine. I find his work inspirational, exciting and so beautiful. Most of the work I have seen are of his oil paintings and its mainly his portraits that really float my boat. However this last week I have been to see some of his watercolours at Dulwich Picture Gallery.
Yet again I was blown away by his work. He makes it all look so easy yet you know that if you have a go just how quickly you can muck it up. His use of colour is incredible and the simplicity to the work was stunning, so effective. His work really shows you how important it is to remember that everything is a shape and that nothing is a line. His decision in what to define and what to loosen up is key to the work. One can be so tempted to define everything as our eyes tend to want to do that. This takes away the magic. When you see his work it makes you realise how much of what you see isn’t in detail and that you don’t need to see everything in so much detail, it is not important.
His composition is also very interesting. One has a habit of wanting to include everything but instead he chooses very small key areas of the subject which you can see here in the fountain that he did. The whole fountain is not included but that doesn’t matter, the cherubs are the beautiful part of the fountain – the rest is not so important. He also shows this with the background. It can be very easy to get caught up on the background of something you are painting, thinking that it is good to record everything. Here Sargent paints a really simple and washed out background because what he wants is for you to concentrate on the fountain. Painting in a really detailed background would just distract you from the main reason for the painting. This is what I really like about his portraits. Sargent is so clever at putting detail into the most important part of the portraits – the face. The rest of the portraits are so loosely done, with huge brush strokes giving the audience an impression. This really draws your eye into their faces just like you are really drawn into this fountain.
This exhibition is on at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. If you are near, I think its a great exhibition and a must see!
It has been such beautiful weather here in the UK for the last week or two. My mother really kindly invited me for a couple of days away in Suffolk where we could get on with some painting. I haven’t really been able to use my new art box much yet as its been a busy summer with cousins. With my son away we had plenty of time to paint. It was the first time I had ever painted plein air so the whole experience was pretty scary to begin with. There was a lovely graveyard nearby which we painted first. The light was lovely on the gravestones creating lovely shadows.
The second day was spent painting a typical view of the fields in Suffolk with wonderful grass in the foreground, stubble fields with bales and lovely trees and hedges. I decided to use really small canvasses as I really like small paintings at the moment. They are easy to place on bookshelves and great to put together as a montage on a wall. I had never painted this small before and wanted to give it a go. I was quite pleased with the result in the end. I’m feeling thoroughly inspired now by the countryside and every time I get in the car I’m finding great locations. If only I had more time. The art box was a brilliant buy too. I’m thrilled with it.
I have been sharing a room with my son for many years. There just didn’t seem to be much space. Thanks to a great bunk bed I have managed to move him out and so now have my own room – hooray! Time to re-decorate….
Kea wouldn’t let me get rid of his megaladon (shark) which he painting above the radiator so I had to find something that would work with it. I really liked the idea of wallpaper for something a little different. Once I had researched it all I was amazed at how expensive it was. I really wanted a fresh new look to my room which was also calming. I really liked the idea of mountains or a woodland scene and came to realise that I could easily paint one on my wall which would cost me next to nothing. People can be so scared of painting murals on walls but actually they are fun and can be easy to do as well as effective. I just used left over paint that I used in other rooms ages ago and either added some more white or some more black. I think the effect really works and I am chuffed with my new room which feels so calm. I have a way to go with the rest of it now but it feels like I am breathing in much fresher air.
For the last couple of weeks I have been painting a portrait of this women in blue. I thought that it might be a fun thing to show how the process works. It’s often fun to take photos along the way so you can see the all the mistakes you have made and the progression – hopefully!
It’s important to put a wash on your canvas/board first to knock the white away as it can be distracting. Then take your time to draw your portrait in a dark colour making sure you double check your proportions. Then find the shadow shapes and draw them and fill them in thinly. To get the likeness of someone concentrate on the 5 essential darks which are under the eyebrows, eyes, under the nose, top lip and under the bottom lip. Now add skin tone. Start painting in the colour that features the most which would be the middle tone. At this point avoid the shadow shapes as you have already blocked those in. As you go along its alway good to tweak the lines and shapes making sure that all the way along the process you are getting proportions right. Start to add in the highlights and make sure you leave all the details to the last sitting.