Tuesday, 11 December 2012

New Brusho Painting

My blog has been quiet recently, not because I haven't been doing anything but because I have had one or two commissions to do which I haven't been able to post as they are xmas pressies. I don't know that the recipients will actually be reading my blog but better to be safe than sorry. Anyway am in the middle of a drawing of 3 dogs and a parrot so thought I would take a break and get on with some Brusho!!

Have been planning this one for a while... it is from a photo taken by my brother in law John Robinson who is a member of Paint my Photo. This is a photo taken in Central Park. We visited New York with them 6 years ago and although it didn't snow while we were there they'd had considerable snow the year before and he has some lovely images from that visit.

This is 20x25 so quite large..... Brusho does lend itself to painting big so my problem is the cost of framing this size...... think it will remain unframed and for sale as it is!!! I do find Brusho very satisfying though frustrating but then so is watercolour.

If I don't manage to post again before Xmas I do wish you all a very Merry one and a a happy New Year!!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Horse Play

Although I tend to paint most of the time now, I still do portraits to commission and strangely, having never done a horse before the last two commissions have been horses!! And I have also been practising my drawing skills, I have the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards and so have been working through it and am finding it quite therapeutic. However I am both a fast drawer and painter so charcoal suits me better than graphite as I am quite sure I don't have the patience to spend all my time on the detail needed for good pencil drawings.

I have blogged before about drawing here and I am trying to improve so that I will find painting without use of a preliminary sketch easier. I am firmly convinced that drawing is a skill and can therefore be learned and it is our ability to be able to draw what we "see" rather than what we "think" we see which makes all the difference and that's what this book concentrates on. Drawing upside down and concentrating on shapes are two major areas and I am finding that it is getting easier. I have always been able to draw reasonably well, but have recognised recently that my skills need sharpening up especially as I draw so quickly, that is my style, rather sketchy and bold but the marks need to be in the right place. Anyway here is my latest drawing, it's for an xmas present so just need to get it mounted and framed.

The link to my other charcoal portraits is here

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Jean's Rosehips...... or are they????

Jean did a article for the SAA recently, painting rosehips shining in the light SAA article.

I decided to have a go using the techniques I have both seen at Jeans' demos and workshops and read about from her books, but once I had done the first wash I put the article away and carried on working on it over the last couple of weeks finishing it today. This is the first time I have referred to the article since starting and guess what? It looks nothing like!!! But that isn't a bad thing in fact it is an excellent thing!!!

One thing that Jean has taught me is to build up a painting... we watercolourists are always afraid of overworking but it is surprising just how much a painting can be toyed with without overworking if you do it in the right way... you can keep the colours fresh, vibrant without losing translucency, it's all about technique, and most certainly letting the paper dry between applications is absolutely key.

If you check the article you will see what I mean about being nothing like but I do want to paint like me not anyone else so this is my version inspired by Jean's and I am really happy it doesn't look like the inspiration. Have use a lot of artistic licence as I didn't have any reference, no real life rosehips or photo but again am not worried about that... it is all about practising the techniques and learning to build something up. Can see that I have a couple of dark bits here which are lying too parallel so will look at that in the morning and may just blend the other dark areas a touch more as they are looking like hints of blackberries though maybe they could be entwined around the rosehips...  nature is a wonderful thing and painting is there for us to interpret as we want!!

Hope you like this... am seeing the potential in it myself and have given myself lots to work on for future efforts..... yet again this has a painting on the back so hope I can do something similar but on virgin paper!!!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Final Brusho Workshop

I was both excited and disappointed about the workshop today, excited because I just love this product and was hoping Joanne would do figures (which she did!!) and disappointed because this was the last of the three and am not finished learning yet!!  Never mind, will have to get on with doing some experimenting myself as the list of all the techniques you can use with it seems endless as we have found out on these three sessions.

We started with a couple of warm ups where we went straight in with a pen, did a very quick drawing to keep things looking spontaneous and then in with just two colours to start with, followed by a third for darker areas. Here is my first go

Staying vaguely within the lines and just a loose impression, this was not meant as a finished piece as Joanne wanted us to do 2 or 3 to get our brusho warm!! I would go in and darken more areas of this if I wanted it as a finished piece but as it is a practice will leave for now.

2nd warm up

Drawing a bit dodgy on this but used colours similar to the cottage on the previous workshop just 'cos I like them and as it is the tone and shape which identify the subject not the colour... it still looks like a figure and I like the colour choices. I also worked on a third but didn't finish as I need to add more darks... may post that later.

And so we came to the finale.... the main piece we were working up to, this time a more subtle drawing.... a very sketchy pencil line to give a much gentler finish to the piece. The image I chose was actually the one Joanne demonstrated as I really liked the pose and I had done 3 of the others. We used only 2 colours on this, in my case orange and brown and I like the subtletly of this as opposed to the more direct method used on the first two

I might go in and gently touch the features a bit more but am going to "sleep" on it and see how it looks in the morning. Got to say am loving his one....

Am delighted with my efforts from the three sessions and what I have learned... have I told you how much I love this stuff??? But have to say I don't think I would have had a clue without the tuition.... it has made all the difference and the whole group produced some lovely work.....

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Back to my Roots!!

Have had another little play with Brusho today but the watercolours started calling me and as I have just posted the images in the Loose Group on Paint my Photo thought I would have a go at the wonderful little portrait I had chosen for our Black and White image. The photo is one of Barbara Tester's granddaughter and I have wanted to paint it for some time now.

She is such a cutie, I didn't want to overwork her face and as often is the case with babies there is little contrast in skin tones but I felt her eye would create the tone and focal point I needed. Am not sure if her eyes are blue as the image in Black and White but I think the blue suits her and I also added a hint to the bg to try and bring the eye out a touch.

I do think I should do more portraits as I really enjoy them but then something else strikes me to have a go at and I forget about them!! But I am going to try and do some more in the future, more nudes as well!!

For more of my animal and human portriats check out the other ages on here
Watercolour portraits
Charcoal Portraits

Friday, 2 November 2012

My First Brusho Abstract!!!

I have had this photo in mind from  Paint my Photo for quite a while now. It was posted by Robyn Lovelock and taken by her sister.... it's an aerial shot of the Great Barrier Reef... how good is this???

Have kept looking at it knowing it would create a marvellous abstract and I finally decided to have a go today. If I am really honest, although abstract is actually my favourite form of art and that is what I have hanging on my walls at home from choice (my husband has actually stuck a few of mine up since the last exhibition)... to paint abstracts sort of scares me... no idea why but the lack of form seems to be a barrier. I know it's only paper and maybe I should bite the bullet more often and see what happens!!

So here is my first ever Brusho abstract and about my 6th ever Brusho painting... I did have a practice go first which was ok but this has turned out better (as often happens there is failed piece on the back!!!)  and I am really quite pleased with it. I've only used the photo as inspiration so am not expecting anyone to say "Oh yes that looks just like an aerial shot of the Great Barrier Reef!" but may they will say "Hmmm nice abstract!" and of course it is very early days with Brusho. Excuses made then... this is it!!
If you want to read and see more about my adventures with Brusho, check out my other blog posts

First Brusho Workshop
2nd Brusho Workshop

I am attending the last workshop next Thursday... can't wait..... the next thing I want to try is a figure... hope Joanne is reading this. By the way, if any of you are interested, the first Brusho holiday is being held in June 2013, check out the link for more information Painting Holiday.

Might go back in to this and add a few more darks in the foreground but the light is failing here now so need to see it in daylight before I make that decision. Hope you like and you never know this may be a completely new direction for me!!!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

I Think I Need to Get Out More!!!

Ok, the scientist in me has reared it's head again and I have been pondering my world of art for the millionth time!! After my recent "success" at the Brusho workshop it got me thinking about how my progress might go with Brusho and why even if this is a "one painting wonder" I will try, try and try again!!

I did courses on animal behaviour during my studies and then went on to do a course as a mature student on child psychology and one thing that has stuck in my mind was about positive reinforcement. Studies show that the best way to modify, change or encourage certain behaviours is through the technique of reward and positive reinforcement. Now what surprised me most was that reward after each behaviour is not the best way to create the most lasting changes. After a short period of constant reward whilst learning the behaviour, it has been found that intermittent, irregular reward promotes the most consistent response of the required behaviour... in other words, if you want your dog to shake it's paw, after you have achieved the behaviour, the reward should be withdrawn to every so often......the animal always exhibits the behaviour on command as it never know when it will get the treat, so it behaves just in case... clever eh??? Still with me???? If  you happen to be interested in any this psychological stuff which of course I am, you might find my Nature versus Nurture and Right Brain/ Left Brain blogs to your liking.

So how does this relate to me and my painting???? Well I can't say at the beginning I had much positive reinforcement (for me that is not really praise from a tutor, for others could be, but in my case more to do with producing a piece of work that I think is any good), but since I have improved on my journey I think the thing that presses me on now is the not knowing whether the "next" piece will turn out.... the turning out bit being the positive reinforcement, the not knowing being the part which encourages me to pursue the reward. So the elation of the painting makes me want to try again but if I don't achieve the end result (no reward) I am programmed to try again just in case next time I do (irregular, intermittent reward).

Ok maybe I should get out more......am in severe danger of becoming a bit of a geek here......  but I do think it is something tutors need to consider when taking beginners' classes in painting.... the newcomers need to produce something which will encourage them to try again, something simple but something that gives them a glimpse of what they can do. Then maybe they will be encouraged to repeat the behaviour time and time again and as we all know practice makes perfect and the repeated act of painting will help them progress.

Finally,  if you have read to here, I promise, I will get out more!!!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

How Much Excitement Can a Gal Stand!!!

Have just been to the second of a 3 day workshop on Brusho led by Joanne Boon Thomas. You may remember I attended the first ever workshop she did on Brusho at the beginning of the Summer, check out my previous blog here. So you would be right in calculating that this was my third ever attempt with Brusho, as I haven't actually done much practice at home with it ( more of why not later!!). This is what I did today....

We did a quick warm up on a smaller sheet and then did the drawing with black marker pen from an image Joanne had sketched on location in Kettlewell, a lovely place in the Yorkshire Dales.

We then chose our colours and, as I just love this combination, I decided on purple, turquoise and yellow. I had a feeling this was going to be "the one" as I have been learning and carefully watching how Joanne does it...... so yes while there may be areas I would do slightly differently (not much though) overall I am really delighted with this.... Brusho is even more unpredictable than watercolour but the mixing of colours you can get on the page is just fantastic and as Joanne says it gets very addictive!!! You can get washes, drips, splashes, texture, the list is endless.....

What I really want to share in this blog is the fact that it has only taken me three sessions to produce something like this (and the first one was so long ago I didn't really remember too much of the way to apply it, so I'm only counting it as two sessions!!!) and it wasn't just me who produced a piece like this, the whole workshop did so well with it and every one was so incredibly different. Just like watercolour you need to get a "feel" for it, but as it behaves differently to watercolour different ways of handling it are used, though in other respects it can be used just like watercolour.

 I don't know about you but I am really thrilled and impressed with this piece and really after only 2 sessions, I think is a credit to Joanne and her teaching of this product that has really made the progress possible.

Joanne has been booked to take a Brusho painting holiday at the lovely location of Bandouille, an idyllic painting location in France which I did a Blog about in April. Just think how much progress you would make in the week if this is what can be done in two, three hour sessions!!! I know the holiday will include some watercolour but it will be concentrating more on Brusho.... sheer bliss, don't miss out by thinking too long and hard about whether or not you will go!!!

As for me, I am really going to spend some more time developing my Brusho techniques now.... I have intended to go outside on many occasions and have a go but as many of you will know, our "Summer" has been non existent here in the North West so I need to devise a way of painting inside and not get everywhere covered in it.  I am a messy painter at the best of times and I get so excited with Brusho I get myself into even bigger messes, not good when I tend to paint in our conservatory, mainly because my art room has been such a mess..... but it's tidy now and I might set it up as my Brusho workshop.... I believe Tesco sell a plastic coated paper sheet for about £2 which I am going to get to cover everything then I can splash and play to my heart's content!!!

Can you tell I'm a teeny little bit excited?!?!

Monday, 15 October 2012

My 2nd session at Westhoughton Art Group

This group is always so enthusiastic and always give me a lovely welcome so not surprising I enjoy going there!!! Dave Hendry who runs the group seems to be a victim of his own success and now has a waiting list of people who want to join....

I decided to do the barn door again as it is a good exercise to show mixing paint on the paper, isn't a difficult drawing and is possible to complete in one session.

I don't know about the members of the group but I was absolutely delighted with the work they produced and having forgotten to take some photos at Heaton last week remembered today and asked for permission to post here. This is the image we worked from, the old barn door is courtesy of Max Hemingway from PMP

This was the version I did today

I kept to a limited palette of UB, burnt sienna, schmincke violet, and raw sienna with some cad red for the door and a tiny touch of cad yellow for the foliage at the bottom..... and here are the stars of the show!!!
Lovely stonework on this especially in the lintel above the door and good light on the door with really rich darks underneath.

Fabulous colour choices, we chatted about this and I agreed with the suggestion that a red door wouldn't work as well and what did I think about a blue door... fab, that's what I think!!!

Lovely soft subtle effects on this and gorgeous stonework, lovely colour mixing on the paper!!

Some great light on this in contrast to the rich darks under the step, nice rough brush textures on the door.

This has some really beautiful paint mixing wet in wet for the stonework and though looks a bit pale on here created a lovely effect in "Real Life." Not quite finished, we chatted about adding some more darks to the stonework to give the impression of the dark crevices between the stones.

I love the bright colours on this...... fearlessly applied...... looks like someone really had fun doing this!!!

Some gorgeous colour mixing going on here on the stonework and lovely foliage particularly bottom left.

Like the stonework on the left in particular... looks very effective and again nice effect of the light on the door.

Slightly different palette on this but works nicely...... good dry brush on the door, nice rich darks and well painted foliage... nice colour mixing there especially...

I think from seeing all these it is quite obvious that the group were all keen to give mixing the paint on the paper a really good go.....these paintings show just how well they did even though I don't think any of them are really used to working that way and am hoping to have convinced them to keep trying. I am the first one to say that it isn't easy and it takes some practice but I hope I managed to show them it is worth persevering with this way of painting because once you have grasped it, it really does make your work come alive... well done to you all and hope to see you again soon!!!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

My New Class Begins and Autumn Leaves!!!


I arrived early with hubbie in tow to do the "blue" jobs like putting the table and chairs out ready and waiting for the group to start arriving... must admit I was quite nervous about whether everyone would turn up, I had a few apologies from those who couldn't come... how polite and considerate were they to take the time to ring and excuse themselves so wasn't sure how many we might expect. Well, I needn't have worried...... 25 people turned up and am happy to say I really enjoyed myself... just hope everyone else did too!!

We started off with a chat and a quick demo about mixing mud and from there we did a simple painting of an old barn door..... had done a couple of practices at home to make sure it would work and the feedback I got was really encouraging, mainly to say they had enjoyed doing it step by step and it was great to actually finish a painting in the time. This was music to my ears and means I can  happily keep things simple until I am ready to do more complex stuff. It isn't easy demonstrating live in front of all those people, even if you have practised at home, watercolour, being the temperamental mistress it is, can easily mess things up for you when you're back is turned and you are least expecting it!!!

Taken from a photo on Paint My Photo by Max Hemingway.

I did have one moment, where in my excitement I think I scared one of our members half to death when I  saw something lovely happening on the page and I snatched the brush and shouted "leave it alone!!!" The brush fell to the floor, and he nearly jumped out of his skin... note to self need to curb my enthusiasm and act with more decorum!!! So big apologies there!!


I have been to Rivington today as next Thursday we are doing Autumn leaves and I wanted some with a good variety of colours rather than the boring old beech leaves we seem to have too many of in our garden. Sycamore seemed to be by far the best colours, the oak seemed rather dull and the horse chestnut all seemed blighted and looked very much worse for wear. Anyway we found one tree where the colours, sizes and shapes seemed endless so I have a gorgeous selection to take with me with a lovely range of colours.

As always I practice what I am going to do in advance and have decided to show two ways of working. There is a cross section of ability in the class ranging from some very new painters to some very experienced ones and I need to pitch it right so that everyone gets something out of the session. The first two paintings here were done with just one application of paint and three colours dropped in wet in wet and allowed to mix on the page. I am trying to get the group to buy into mixing on the paper not on the palette so I am first going to demonstrate a leaf done just with the three colours mixed in the palette then show them how to do it like this. This first one was a mix of UB, Burnt Sienna and Aliz Crimson, the second Windsor Violet instead of UB.

 This one was a looser impression where I have painted negatively to define edges, keeping some and washing others away, it isn't as easy to work this way which is why I am doing the two options. Green/Gold, Aliz crimson, Raw sienna, Quin gold.
 This final piece was done with a full wash and leaves added again using positive and negative painting techniques, washing some edges away, defining others. Same colours as above.

In the meantime I am back at Westhoughton Art Group on Monday morning so they get a choice of what to do, the barn door or the Autumn leaves... lucky them!!!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Hydrangea Study Step by Step

I made a very weak effort at a loose hydrangea on the workshop I did with Jean Haines earler this year and realised I had a lot of work to do so I hope she will be pleased with this as I think it shows some progress!!!

I started with a wash of Windsor Violet, Pthalo turquoise and a touch of Alizarin Crimson (wouldn't use the red again might try a different colour eg Opera Rose). I let the paints run and added more water to let everything flow across the paper, moving the paper around to allow mixing in the direction I wanted which was a sort of diagonal top right to bottom left..... then left to dry.

I could already see a few opportunities for creating a couple of petals so added one or two centres and a touch of negative painting to define one of the edges then allowed to dry again. At this stage I am adding water all the time to soften edges and trying to keep the whole thing quite diffused, washing the edges away in the diagonal flow I started with.
Going on to define more edges with stronger paint... you can see the shape starting to form now as I add little touches of paint here and there.

I added a touch of Alizarin crimson around the centre of the flower to tie it in with the spots I had put above but am not liking that colour within the piece. Again more of the same, gently defining and washing away to build up the centre slowly. It is very important to let the paint dry between applications, there is a big difference in effect between applying the paint wet in wet and applying water to paint added wet on dry.... the second way in this piece produces a lovely mix of hard and soft edges whereas paint applied wet in wet will give you a soft muted effect which isn't what I want on here.
Just subtle changes here, continuing to build up the petals, painting negatively around them but also inviting the colour into the petals in parts as well. I have also added some Ub to the palette as I felt it was needed, now don't ask me why, I just thought it needed warming up a bit.

Have created one or two more petals... at this stage it is a question of stepping back and looking at the composition to see what it needs to possibly balance it out and make it look pleasing to the eye.Have also gone in quite dark now and I must admit it looks a bit fierce, but hopefully this will be tempered when I start to add the other darks around the petals

Some very dark spots now added to the petals to define one or two of them a bit more, need to consider at this stage does the composition work and do I need to add more to the bg... feel I might need to add a touch bottom right. Am liking the way the light has been caught around the top left of the flower head and want to keep that area just as it is
Decided the bg looked a little too dark so washed out some of that area and added a bit all over the bottom right of the bg and left side of the flower head and prefer the more subtle look to this now. Am going to leave this for a few days and see if I think it needs anything else.

The actual study hasn't taken log to paint, it is the drying which takes the time and for once I did leave this between washes to thoroughly dry so that I didn't get any nasty muddy areas... it always helps to have more than one painting on the go so that you can be working on one while another dries....

A lot of this way of working is what I have learned from Jean Haines, I have seen her demonstrate twice, been to a workshop and have both her DVD's and books, a big thank you Jean!!!  You will find a review of her book here Review.  The book is fantastic and I have learned so much from it... whenever I want to do some practice exercises I reach for it and am lost for hours!!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Am I Delighted or What!!!

These are the photos of my paintings at the exhibition I've been droning on about for the last few weeks!!!  I was so pleased with how they looked and apparently they generated a lot of interest (Adam's words not mine!!!!).....however,  had we realised I had so many I think I would have been given a larger area.... somehow my collection started to breed as the exhibition approached and I was shocked to find I had 29 framed paintings and 10 mounted!!!  So, did I sell any, well you are going to have to read to the end to find that one out as I want to chat about it all for a while!!!

I have met so many other artists here and do you know what, we artists (yeh yeh I know am still an apprentice, but think I can now call myself one!!!) are such a lovely lot.... I have only ever met one person I didn't care for in the whole time I have been connected with art. Art seems to bring such nice people together and most seem to have this passion which bonds us all........I am so glad my friend Alison didn't mind me tagging along to the first class we ever did all those years ago!!

Anyway have been along a few times to see how things were going, Adam has been babysitting our paintings beautifully and the space looked great...... it's a pity we have had some of the most appalling weather ever in the North West as it has really hindered footflow, but nevertheless I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole process and would jump at the chance to exhibit again with Art of Ours... even had photographs done with the press yesterday... I was able to partially hide behind one of my paintings and he doesn't seem to have captured my double chin so I told him he could sell to "Hello" and "Ok!!!" He just looked at me quizzically.....................no idea why!!!

Saturday was busier,  and although a lot of footflow was generated by friends and relatives of the artists exhibiting, there was a party like atmosphere and the daughter of one gentleman brought wine and nibbles... not sure if it was meant to loosen up our punters to extract a purchase or two but was a very nice touch and greatly appreciated by those of us there.

I've been along this morning to collect my paintings and met some of the new group who are setting up for next week........a completely different look to the place with some huge canvases of work.... we couldn't stay to see it fully set up but am sure it will look really impressive, and I might just nip along for the preview tomorrow evening!!!

The exhibition still has another 6 weeks to run and would be good if any of you reading this and are in the locality pop along for a look...you can check the Art of Ours website (link above) to see if you fancy any of the work which might be showing.

Have a busy week ahead as my own lovely group start back on Thursday after our Summer recess so have a little more preparation to do for that and a charcoal portrait commission to do for next weekend.... how I ever found time to work is a complete mystery to me!!! Things have certainly changed since I did my first ever blog at the end of March when I had just made the decision to to retire!!

Now for the nitty gritty... did I sell anything.... well yes actually I did, 3 paintings in total!!! So am well pleased as I didn't want to bring them all back and so happy that some people were actually prepared to put their money where their mouths were!!! 2 were framed and one just mounted so only 27 framed to bring home!!! Phew!!!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Holiday Plein Air

Arrived back from a week in Javea, Spain on Saturday, having had a brilliant time with my Dad, two sons and their girlfriends (hubby too!!), have eaten and drunk to our hearts content and now coming back to reality of eating healthily and cutting out all the overindulgence. The weather has been beautiful and we had returned to a villa which we hired last year called "Casa Flores"..... really lovely, sleeps 8, well equipped, private, in a very smart well appointed development just outside Javea.

I had taken my paints with the intention of painting plein air and am happy to say I actually managed a few.

This is taken from the grounds of the villa looking onto the veranda which was nicely shaded and where we ate all our meals...... we had a selection of food as well as eating out, paella, tapas, chicken stuffed with chorizo... both my sons (and girlfriends) are fantastic cooks and both also seem to really enjoy so we are not stupid when inviting them to join us, we can be assured of top class food!!!

This was at the side of the veranda and I have to admit I decided not to paint the 2 easy chairs and sofa which are here as I didn't fancy all that drawing so the space looks a bit bare now!!! But this too is a lovely shaded, comfortable area where you can escape the strong midday sun though the weather while we were there was perfect and non of us needed to sit here.

The villa is surrounded by bougainvillea so couldn't leave without a quick sketch of the flower heads.....

All these sketches have been done really small, postcard size and I have learned quite a lot from doing them, not least of which is drawing small, I tend to draw big and this is really good practice for drawing in proportion with perspective, things in the distance always end up too large in my paintings so this has been a really good earning experience for me and I will certainly do more in the future.

The idea to go small is down to Maggie Latham who has a blog and has also started a  facebook group  devoted to exploring the possibilities when working in this way... to look at using new techniques and possibly try different media (hmm not sure I will be dragged away from my watercolours but we'll see!!!) and I can see the merits of working small... it is easy to experiment on a small piece and not as unnerving seeing a tiny piece of paper as looking at a piece of full imperial!!!

Am now working very hard trying to finish off all my pieces for the Exhibition from the 25th to 29th September,  am paying them a visit tomorrow so will be able to see from this weeks' artists how many paintings I'm going to need to fill the space.... should have about 25 framed and a few more mounted so fingers crossed that will be enough!!!

My house is in a state of disarray with paintings, frames, mounts, cellophane, bubble wrap all over the place

I have now spread from my art room to the spare bedroom, to the sitting room and finally to the dining room..... the word tidy doesn't seem to be in my vocabulary but hopefully will all be straight and back to normal after I deliver them at the weekend and am hoping to not be bringing them all back again!!!  My husband has taken to hanging them all in our house but as I now have another 12 we will be running out of walls!!!

If you are in the area, do try and visit the exhibition, it is running for 8 weeks, Tuesday to Saturday, with a change over of artists every Tuesday.  I think there will be a really interesting mix of work, judging from the synopses of the artists, covering a wide variety of media and subjects.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Excitement is Rising!!

For those who have been following my blog since I retired (way back in May) you will have witnessed my level of excitement from being mildly, to moderately, to excited..... well now I'm quite hyper!!! Not only has my painting been going really well, but I attended a very exciting meeting yesterday with Adam and Leon who are the guys behind the exhibition I will be doing from 25th to 29th September....... what a great couple of guys and their enthusiasm was so infectious!!!

First of all take a look at what will be "my Space"... the use of the model is to show the sheer size of it!!

It's huge!!! This is Adam chatting with one of the exhibitors. I am so happy I have spent the last couple of weeks getting a few more pieces done and framed.  The walls have yet to be painted white and a few more finishing touches to the space but it is so bright and modern and in total, for each week there will be 4 or 5 artists exhibiting for a period of 8 weeks.

Adam and Leon are young (well they seem really young to me!!) entrepreneurs, Leon has his own website business in Chorley net-heads and Adam has just graduated from Uni with a first class honours degree in Music Production.

The space has been unoccupied for something like 14 years and is right in the heart of Chorley, once a thriving market town in the North West but like many towns, now suffering more from the ravages of recession and downturn in the economy. Leon has taken it over and wants to develop the premises to create a "drop in office" facility which he hopes to have up and running early next year. In the meantime the space is empty and their idea was to fill it with music and art and to offer something different to Chorley and the North West.

Adam has worked so hard to get this up and running from absolutely nothing, he has built the website, Art of Ours He keeps in really good contact with all the artists and quite honestly this is an artists dream!!! Not only is the space fantastic, the whole set up is so focussed on the artists and nothing is too much trouble for these two young men. They are so incredibly flexible, supportive and open to ideas, and Adam will be manning the exhibition for the whole 8 weeks with a little help from one or two others and so far all we have to do is provide a synopsis, a list of all our work for display, turn up a couple of days before, hang our work and step back and admire!!!

Similarly Leon has also been helping get the space ready ..... he has such a "can do" attitude" and nothing is impossible, as I said earlier their enthusiasm is so infectious, it feels like I've sold pieces already.......... Leon is going to be (if not already!!) extremely successful in life!!! Private viewings were mentioned which may not be up and running for my 2nd week but would be fantastic events if they manage to get any planned.

I would urge everyone to come and have a look at what has been achieved here not just for my week of the exhibition but to come and see the space, the diversity of work to be displayed, from photography, to sculpture, to sound installations and to enjoy what has been created here.

So a big thank you to these two fabulous young people for having the idea, the vision, the enthusiasm, the will and tenacity to embark on this venture and I sincerely hope the whole thing is a resounding success, your hard work and endeavours deserve to be rewarded.  

I wish both Adam and Leon every success both for this and any future ventures and I hope you get masses of publicity to advertise your existing businesses and that this will be a fabulous spring board for the new use of the space.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Small but Beautifully Formed!!

You may remember in a previous blog, I mentioned I had been given some advice to have some smaller pieces in the exhibition in order to help maximise sales and so I have been concentrating and cracking on with them for the last few days, they are all 11x7 approximately or eighth imperial.... and am now getting them framed ready to show at the end of September... all reference photos are either my own or from PMP

This looks a fearsome character so not sure if it will have much appeal but is to go with the cockerel theme and I wanted one or two close ups as well......

Another rooster which I may just mount as I am running out of frames!! A much simpler piece as I wanted to do a regular looking animal to give a wider choice but may not put this in the exhibition... will see what space there is when I get to have a look round

Have never really done birds before so am certainly getting some practice in now!!

Have never done boats before either but have posted this as one of our images in the Loose group for September so decided to have a go with it myself.

So this is what I've been working on for the last few days, am finding it quite therapeutic working on these smaller pieces, doesn't seem as much pressure as looking at a large piece of paper and have had very little for the bin, so maybe this has been a good move for me, sort of going back to basics as I have been working much larger recently, almost 8 times as big and haven't done anything this size for over a year. So although I have been doing this to offer a wider range of price at the exhibition, it seems to have done me a favour in terms of getting me painting and focusing my attention on the task in hand....... and the fact that they all seem to be working is spurring me on even more (as if I need any encouragement!!!)