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.
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.
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!
Boiled Egg and Soldiers – oil on canvas 25cm x 30cm available at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well this week I geared myself up to doing a 3 hour still life painting using my new set up in my new studio. I was rather inspired by a still life that I did a few weeks ago of a raw egg on a plate so I decided to do a set up of something similar. I took the challenge of painting an egg, butter and some toast.
As I started, life felt great. The music was playing and the set up looked good. Mr T was nestled sweetly on the bed. It couldn’t have been better. After half an hour or so I needed to get something from downstairs very quickly.
As I opened the drawer downstairs in the kitchen I heard the most almighty crash upstairs. I ran upstairs to the studio to see what the matter was. I found Mr T scarpering in a panic. It was quite obvious that he had attempted to steal the butter and in doing so pulled all the still life onto the floor!
Well it’s a new year and so therefore a new start. I have started to set up my studio properly which is slowly coming together. Thanks to the sale of my artwork recently I have purchased a ‘proper’ easel (a studio easel). I chose a Mabef easel as it seems that these have the best reviews and they are the ones that most art schools use so I’m quite used to the way they work.
I am thrilled with it and have put it to use straight away. Studio’s take time to get right putting everything in useful places but so far it’s working out really well and I’m loving it, enjoying my new space and feeling inspired again for this year. A great feeling.
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.