Monday, 25 November 2013

My Exhibition and its' visitors

I made my first visit to the exhibition last Saturday... some friends had said they would like to come so  made their way over from Huddersfield early Sat morning for us to get to the centre at just after 11.00am. I was very surprised to see my sister there with her husband John Robinson... I hadn't known they were going to be there so that was a lovely surprise. I then started to have a look around the exhibition when I recognised someone in the corner, Mike and then bumped into his partner Carolyn whom I used to work with... she had seen the e-mail I had sent round to my contact list and decided to come up with her Mum for a look round. I know I had sent the information out to people but hadn't really expected anyone to come so am really grateful to everyone who has made the effort to visit!!

I would also like to thank Dave Hendry and Elise who left some delightful comments in the visitors book which told me they had been, am really grateful to you both!!

I had to unframe a painting for a customer who wanted to buy the painting but not the frame which didn't suit their decor so had just finished that when Sharon Whitley walked in. We had talked about the possibility of them stopping by on their way back from the lakes but even though I was expecting them it was still lovely to think they had actually made the effort to stop by. Sharon and I chatted non stop (well I think it was probably me who chatted non stop while Sharon and Gary patiently sat and listened!) and we set the art world both online and off to rights. Sharon and I have known each other for some considerable time now as she has been a member of a group I run on PMP for loose painting and it has been a pleasure to watch her progress into the special unassuming artist she has become!!

Gary also saved the day..........I realised after John had left, that I had forgotten my camera (what a surprise!!) so I prevailed upon Gary who as ever had his trusty camera in the car to take some pics of the work on display... I also asked him to take one of Sharon and me which I have to say is a fab photo as I am not known for being the most photogenic of beings and was very likely to have spoiled things... here are the photos Gary sent

I am both delighted and impressed by the hanging of the exhibition.... the ladies work there voluntarily and it is usually one particular lady Melanie who does the hanging and I have to say she has done a fabulous job hanging work in a very complimentary and sympathetic way, something which, like framing, can make a big difference to an exhibition. So a big thank you to you Melanie for the hard work you put in!! Will be there again tomorrow replacing some of the cards which have sold.....

I also did a demo at Preston Art Society last Tuesday and have been along to a group called Grove Artists in Burscough today... don't know about them but I had a ball at both!! Am running the session at my own group on Thursday.. we're doing xmas cards, one of may favourite ones to teach, so very busy but in a good way and as always loving every minute!!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

New Opportunity

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Marion Dutton,  an artist in my home town of Bolton who has been working hard to build a business not only for her own work and teaching but to promote other artists whom she invites to run workshops at her very busy Mazart studio.

I do know my lovely friend Joanne Boon Thomas mentioned my name to Marion... Joanne is running some Brusho classes there and dropped my name into conversation as Marion is always on the lookout for new people to run classes....... truly grateful Jo!!

Marion contacted me to run some beginners watercolour classes and we agreed on 2 dates one in March and the other in December. My classes will be specifically designed to give people a taste of watercolour with tips and techniques for them to take away and hopefully be able to practice at home and build up their confidence in using this fantastic medium ( I know......... I never seem to tire of watercolour as I am still only touching the surface of what it can do!!).

My classes and Joanne's will be different to the other very popular classes Marion has running for next year as we won't have a particular painting for the class to produce but both classes will be more about exploring the medium and best ways to use it (especially the Brusho which, with some of Jo's expert guidance, will amaze you!!! Check out some of my other Blog entries about Brusho) ... I know the Brusho classes will get booked immediately and am hoping mine will prove as popular!! My previous beginner classes did get booked up quite quickly, which amazed me, but now gives me confidence to say if you would like to come book early to make sure you get a place!! 

You can go to Marion's website here to book your classes  and you will see what a range of media are offered.  If you would like to have a chat with me about anything please don't hesitate to get in touch. If you have a look at my website you will see I am running classes all over the North West and will be updating the schedule for 2014, including the workshops I am running for Marion, shortly.

What I am so loving about this journey is I never know what is going to happen next... bookings for workshops are coming out of the blue and I am delighted whenever someone gets in touch!! Far from having Monday morning blues syndrome (which I definitely had before) I can't wait for Mondays especially if I have a workshop booked!! I get messages from my website, people are getting in touch to buy paintings and request commissions and I am one of the artists showing work at Galleria where I will be delivering more paintings in the new year... life is very full and I am very grateful for opportunities like this at Marion's studio. The art community is very supportive and I hope one day I can help someone else in their journey as I have been helped in mine!!

To change the subject completely, I delivered my paintings to the exhibition today... 35 framed, 21 mounted and a selection of 10 xmas card designs and 9 greetings cards! I need to heave a sigh of relief as it has been quite a feat getting everything ready and I can't wait to visit next Saturday to see it all hanging together as a body of work!! The cards arrived at about 5.00pm last night and we spent the evening bagging 290 ready for today. Am happy to say people were already looking in the box as we delivered them and my son also took them to a shop in Kirkby Lonsdale.... they loved them but said they were inundated with cards and it was too late to take stock for xmas. But far from being disappointed I was delighted to know they liked them!! He is now going to take them to a few more and will also take some to work... real family business!!!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Exhibition at Garstang Arts Centre

Ok..... not long before I stop droning on about this!! I am still getting things ready and even roped my Dad in for added support yesterday!! He helped by taping up the backs of some newly framed pieces (one of my least favourite jobs so thanks Dad!!) Have got to add screws and string to them, create labels, cellophane wrap a few mounted paintings make some bubble wrap covers, make a lists of all work with titles descriptions etc then need to start cellophane packing the xmas and greetings cards which I am hoping will be here early next week... fingers crossed!!

So not much to do then!!!

The exhibition runs from the 19th November until the 12th December and should any of you like to visit the opening times are

Tuesday   10-12.30 and 2-4
Thursday 10-4
Saturday  10-12.30

Tea/coffee, cakes, scones and biscuits available.

Would also like to say thank you to the organisers who take care of the hanging and man the exhibition for the whole time... greatly appreciated!!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Musical Drama

I have been wanting to paint this photo for a while. I find some photos really inspire me but then I don't always know what to do with them!! And this was very much in that category. It is from a photo taken by Franklin from PMP and I have had it on my to do list for just over a year... here is the original image

As you will know we have been puppy sitting and I haven't had much chance to paint... not that I'm complaining.... puppy cuddles are up there with painting!! But I have been feeling a few withdrawal symptoms and urges (I know unusual in  woman of my age!!!) so today I have had chance to spend some time on this. I did have a false attempt a couple of weeks ago which did point me in the right direction for painting it so those failures are never lost and in this case most definitely learned from.

I did draw this as the perspective is tricky and I knew that if I didn't get it right by rushing in with a shoddy drawing the whole painting would be lost before I had even started so I took a bit of time getting it to look reasonable and then started with the cello wet in wet reserving highlights as I went along. I rarely use masking fluid (the exception being the xmas cards whch I spattered with masking before painting) and occasionally use white gouache to restore any highlights I may have lost.

I then did the hair and when all dry started to build up the bg which in total had 2 and in some places 3 layers. Bit more building up on the cello, the face, hands etc and a final splattering and touch of gouache.

Colours used

Alizarin Crimson
Quin Gold
Raw Sienna
Burnt Siena

I used the indigo to add some of the final darks as UB doesn't always give me the tone I am looking for and I added some quin gold in a bit of a wash as I felt the cello needed lifting a touch.

 I may try this again though I am fairly happy with how it has turned out. I wanted to capture the light but also a sense of movement which I think I have partly succeeded in, but maybe could have managed more, I may play around with the composition of the bg for a future effort maybe trying a more diagonal format, this is where a quick thumbnail would come in.... keep promising myself I will start to do them and then the brushes take over and before I know it have started and have to finish!!