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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mr T curled up and asleep in his favourite spot – oil on canvas
I thought it might be a good idea to introduce you to one of my cats this week. Mr T is a big part of this family and hasn’t really been himself. He went to get some teeth out not long after a nasty cut down his tongue. Life feels good and normal when he is sitting on the sofa in his place, biting my bottom to wake me up in the morning, but this week he hasn’t been there which was worrying. After an operation earlier this week he has been very wobbly and has been hallucinating. Goodness knows what he has been seeing but there have definitely been times when I thought he was laughing his head off!
I’m pleased to say though that things are now back to normal and he is now back again sitting in his favourite spot and he bit my bottom to get me up this morning. Phew!
The twins playing in the park – oil on canvas.
It has warmed up here and it feels like the summer has truly arrived. We have been spending huge amounts of time outside after school. The parks near where I live are large open spaces with a few trees. We have been playing amongst these trees which reminded me of this portrait I did earlier this year. These girls are great and I love the gappy teeth look 😉
This picture is not for sale as it was a commission. If you are interested in a commission please do get in touch. Thanks.