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.

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Breakfast Disaster

boiled egg blog

Boiled Egg and Soldiers – oil on canvas 25cm x 30cm available at alicesarthouse@etsy.com

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.

smashed egg blog

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!

Bad cat.

Pop up Exhibition

pop up exhibition

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.

Exhibiton pop up 2

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.

 

Exhibition Time!

Ploughed Field

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.

Exhibition flyer

 

 

Clementines

Clementines web

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

Beetles and Hot Wheels

This week we had a chance to go to another brilliant exhibition in London.  This was at the Wellcome Collection in Euston.  The exhibition was really lovely and something that Kea and myself thoroughly enjoyed.  It was called ‘A Museum of Modern Nature’.  The exhibition was all about modern nature and what it means in todays life and times.  Londoners were asked to bring in things from nature that meant something to them.  There were exhibits from all ages and all aspects of life.  There were some really beautiful objects and some really bizarre things too.

carsbeetles

One of the items that a graphic designer brought in was a load of hot wheel cars.  He said how he always had this urge to collect them and put them into a pattern. He couldn’t quite understand why he was doing it and what it reminded him of.  He then realised it reminded him of when he was young when he used to collect beetles and put them into beautiful colourful patterns.

Kea loved the idea of the patterns that could be made out of the cars and or beetles.  He hadn’t really thought of the idea of putting his cars into patterns or even thinking of them in terms of colour.  This inspired him to look at his cars differently.  He came home and immediately started playing around with cars and patterns.  This is what he created.

Kea car pattern web

Cars are not just for racing and life is full of colour wherever you look.

Back to School

Well its back to school now.  I go to art school two mornings a week.  It’s good to go to school so that someone can keep an eye on what you are doing ;).  Everyone needs a little guidance now and then and someone to give you a good critique and get you back to basics if you are straying in the wrong direction.

This week my teacher wanted me to get back to basics again and make sure I knew what was dark and light, making sure I wasn’t being wowed by the colours and getting in a muddle about what was the darkest object and the lightest.  I was only allowed to use charcoal and I brought in with me a pear, apple and a plum.

Pear, apple and plum

Charcoal pear, apple and plum.  I was quite pleased with my charcoal handling which can often be a nightmare!

You can easily get in a muddle when you paint with colour because colours can be so vivid and saturated that you can often be tricked into thinking they are light.  One of the ways to make sure you have the light and dark correct is by using your phone.  Take a picture of the objects in black and white and you will soon realise that a lot of these colours that we see as bright colours we automatically think are light but actually they can be quite dark.  A great example of this is to take a photo of a lemon and an orange.

The other lesson on Wednesday was to decide on edges. Which ones should be blurred and which should be sharp.  Our eyes think we see everything very sharply but actually there is a lot our eyes make up.  As I’ve said before this is something that Singer Sargent does really well.  I love soft edges.