New Watercolours

I notice that it’s been a long time since I last wrote.  Life has been busy with various things going on, a few changes and some holidays. Sorry.

I have been working throughout this time. I have work up in The Stores cafe in Great Waltham, had an exhibition with the Great Dunmow Art Group (DAG), exhibited at the Great Waltham Art Show and have been working towards another exhibition happening the second weekend of June.

With all this going on its been an eye opener as to what people will pay towards work.  Living in London and going to shows and exhibitions, it seems the going rate for a small oil painting framed would be around £375.  This is definitely not the case in areas outside London – certainly not in Essex.  Pricing work is really hard and getting people to understand the price is even harder.  Having spoken to various local people about my prices for my work it appears they are far too expensive even though I have priced them way lower than London prices. It seems they don’t understand the time it takes to paint and then the cost of the materials on top.  I understand that many things these days have become cheap because of mass production but when you are trying to paint for a living you have to calculate the cost of your time.  Many people exhibiting with me at the DAG show are keen hobbyists and weren’t particularly interested in a good price for their work.  This makes things difficult for me.  I am trying to earn a living.  Sadly when you are stuck in a room with very different prices from yours, your sales suffer.

Understanding the amount people were willing to pay at the show made me think that it would be a good idea to perhaps try something else that was quicker to do and less expensive.  My crows were popular and so I have decided to enter completely different work for the exhibition on the 7th and 8th June.  Staying on an animal theme.  Tell me what you think.

These are smaller pieces of work and have been done with watercolour which is a much quicker and a cheaper way to work.  These will be priced from £80 – £125.

Wonderful Singer Sargent

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.

sergeant crocs web

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.

Sergeant fountain web

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!