Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Seven Things I Really, Really Want For Christmas.

I'm a pretty contented sort of person. I take life as it comes if you know what I mean. But every so often I go off into a little daydream and my latest day dream involved what I'd really like for Christmas. I expect you do pretty similar. I wonder if it's anything like mine.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Recipe For A Painting. Bird Table With Flags.

In my garden is a pale blue bird table. It just so happens it matches the  studio exterior, but only because there was some paint left over.
Another interesting fact about the bird table is

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Painting and Drawing Boats.

I paint a lot of boats, not being sure why they hold such an attraction for me.
Click to buy!
A boat in Galicia.
I'm rubbish on the water, in fact I'm downright scared of it, so I don't often actually go on boats very often, especially the sort that are nice to paint and draw, small and a bit ragged at the edges.
Bit ragged at the edges!
One of my favourite occupations is sitting on the harbour wall, watching the world go by and doing the odd sketch or two.
The shape of a boat is difficult to get to grips with because although the left and right are usually the same back and front are so individual.

There's loads of books on the subject and here's two really useful bits of advice.
  1. Draw a box and then draw the boat to fit in .
  2. The body of a boat is a figure 8.
But there's nothing that beats old fashioned observation, measuring with a pencil and working  away until you get it right and it looks solid and real.

Click to buy!
When  I get home to the studio after a sketching session I paint what I have seen, aided by the sketches, and relive the moment again.

 Bright winter day on the Norfolk coast. They sailed away before I could do more than a few hurried drawings, but I took photos.

Click to buy!
This boat on Bancaster salt marshes
has been there for years and I've
painted it many times. I love all the rust!
I'm looking forward to next year for many happy hours with a sketchbook by the sea.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Five Golden Guidelines For Busy Artists.

Well you know how it is.
Not enough hours in the day.
Too many ideas fizzing in your brain.
Too much domestic stuff to do.
And you're tired......

I hold my hands up right now in that I pinched this idea for some golden guidelines from the wonderful Katherine Tyrrell at Making a Mark, In fact she actively encouraged it with her blog post of the ten golden rules for every busy artist.

But I've written just five guidelines for us

Friday, 21 November 2014

Time Management. An Update.

It always fascinates me how other people manage their time. I read artist's biographies and listen to them talking on the television.
What sticks out for the most successful, notorious artists is their absolute devotion to their art, to the exclusion of everyone and everything else.
Hours and hours and hours.....

You've got to put the hours in!
Not only to the art but to the putting it out there. One of the most successful artists I know prides herself in painting just one day a week. The rest of her time she spends promoting her work, prints, original paintings, cushions, mugs ,cards and all sorts of merchandise. A little bit of art can go a long way!

As far back as June I wrote a post describing my weekly schedule, and this in a way is an update on that.

Although I wouldn't go quite as extreme as my super marketing friend I do recognise you  need to spend time on marketing efforts. To such an end I ditched one of my two going-to-work-and-getting-a-wage type days in favour of staying at home and doing the paperwork and the on-line stuff.

It's sort of worked.
Birdhouse detail .
It's telling really that a lot of my paintings have a domestic theme!
I really look forward to going to work one day a week now, and the finances aren't too bad.
I've painted more than anything else even though I said I was going to spend more time on the business side of my art practice.
I still can't paint to the exclusion of everything else. The domestic work  needs to be done, and the burden falls on me. I just cannot bring myself to ignore it, and this I suspect is my downfall.
I once heard a female artist being interviewed  on the radio. "I would have been more successful if I'd had  a wife to look after me" she said.

But life has to be rounded, and a life spent simply painting would be dull......Or would it?

Monday, 17 November 2014

Painting En Plein Air. Everyone Knows That It's Different For Girls.

This is what happens if you're a man.
You decide you want to do a bit of open air painting or drawing. You get up, throw on your old work clothes, gather together your painting kit and off you go.
Town or country you get yourself in a good spot nicely settled and get on with it. If any one approaches you, unless you want a chat, you glare at them and they go away.
Eastfield Allotments. Mary Kemp.

But every one knows it's different for girls.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Peterborough Arts Society Autumn 2014 Exhibition. A Personal View.

The 85th Anniversary Autumn Exhibition of 
St. John's Church, Cathedral Square, Peterborough . 
12th to 22nd November 2014.

When I first came to Peterborough I joined the local art society.

It was busy, successful and vibrant, and some of the ladies were very intimidating!
There was a strict criteria to be an exhibiting member, and sales at shows were good.