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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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.

light pink peonies

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!

A different Subject

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.

hotwheels setup

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.

hotwheels

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.

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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!

Spring/Autumn

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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.

autumn 1

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.

Furry Friends

Bear web

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 web

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!

Baby it’s Cold Outside

life drawing man web

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.

Love is in the Air

Valentine's cats

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.