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 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 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!!!)