Hi, I'm Mary Kemp, passionate painter of anything to do with the seaside.
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Delve into my website for loads of paintings.
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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Delivery by Bike

Those who know me are getting a bit fed up with me going on about how much I love my bike.

So it's no wonder that my delivery system
 often involves my trusty stead.

Since I bought it last year I've been in raptures, extolling it's rideability and the way it zooms along the road, making me look like a witch on a broom stick even in a head wind.

Some I can't get on
my bike so I have to
call in a carrier!

Each time I go out on it I feel like I'm  on holiday.

The nearest post office is less than a mile away so to dispach prints or small paintings that's where I go. I make my shipping days Mondays and Thursdays unless someone's got a need for an emergency piece of art although I suppose a speedy bicycle trip every day might not be such a bad thing!

These are the two prints I posted today, battling a headwind on the way there, and just floating home on the way back.
Mary Kemp
Ginger Cat on the Table

Mary Kemp
Border Collie in the Northumbrian Coast
If you'd like to be part of my next postal run just hit the link to buy your very own at my Etsy shop.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Something New!! Not Paint but Linocut.

When ever I go to the seaside I never want to leave, and I suspect that's why I paint the pictues that I do. There's an irresistable pull to the coast, to catch sight of the sea and never take my eyes away.
Could it be that my birth sign is Pisces? I'm not really into that sort of things so perhaps that's a bit fanciful.
This week I've been dabbling into the world of lino cutting.
It was a nightmare
transporting 12 sticky prints home!

Our local museum in Peterborough ran a workshop (I have to apologise for Peterborough's Vivacity's website with so little information on it. If it hadn't been for a facebook message I wouldn't have known anything about this workshop). Having said that it was a very reasonable price.

I wanted to explore my seaside themes in new ways, and lino cut struck me as being a way of concentrating more on the figures I see on the beach.
Gouging out lino against the clock
is very hard on the hands.
A boy and a dog, one of my favourite ideas at the moment, seemed the ideal subject.

I've a way to go before I get proficient in this!
Every ..... print had something wrong with it.
It's definitely not the medium for a messy person.
The effects are beautiful.
The best bit is discovering your image when the paper is peeled away, a moment of wonder.

Thank you Janet Bates for your excellent tuition.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

A Passion for Seaside Piers.

I've always had a passion for piers. I suspect it began on my first visits to the seaside as a child.
Southwold Pier
 I don't actually remember being on any pier at the time but sitting beneath eating sandwiches and feeling very cold.

Funnily enough I do remember piers from my teenage years and particularly nearly being thrown into the sea (don't ask!) from the one at Ryde on the Isle of Wight which, built in 1813/14, just happens to be the oldest of the Victorian pleasure piers. 

Last summer saw our family staying on the Welsh coast by Colwyn Bay. Languishing in the corner of the bay was a rather sad looking pier. You couldn't actually get to it. It was cordoned off and derelict. Built in 1900 the Victoria Pier had an interesting life, being burnt down twice and bankrupting it's owner. It had been so grand, but now seems to be a collection of mismatched pieces of scaffolding and rotten planks.
The Victoria Pier,
Colwyn Bay

Did you know there is a National Piers Society ? and Cleethorpes Pier was pier of the year for 2016?

I like piers that have a bit of entertainment on them, Cromer with the best End of the Pier Show I've ever seen, or the lovely shops and clock on the one at Southwold.

The Clock on Southwold Pier
These structures were built in a different era, for day trippers in clumsy clothes without mobile phones.

Mary Kemp
Half Term at Southwold
featuring the pier!

The gloriously gaudy pier at Great Yarmouth, alive and kicking!
I think a really nice thing to do would be to make a road trip around the country, visiting every pier, and being an artist I would like to sit and draw every single one! 

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Walking with the Dog and Birds.

There's a bit of excitement in the air, spring is just around the corner, and winter walks on the beach may give way to scampers across the sands to reach the cooling water's edge. Or is that just my wishful thinking.

The winter saw me waiting ages for paintings to dry because my studio can get so cold. This painting was on the easel for what seemed like months! I had time to look at it and ponder it's meaning which in the end I realised was very simple.

It celebrates a companionable walk on the beach with the dog while birds whirl all around.

Mary Kemp
"Walking with the Dog and Birds"
Oil on board
60 x 60 cm
I hope you like this painting which is available through  my website.
If you would like more info or to see more detailed photos please get in touch.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Photographs and the Artist

The digital camera is both a godsend and a curse to the modern artist.

Mary Kemp
Sacrawell Farm
See a paintable scene and snap it! Once, twice, a dozen times, each shot just that tiny bit different.
Life is fast. People to see, places to go. No time to stand and stare, let alone stop and do draw like a proper artist.

It's not the same working from photos is it? Something is lost. Everything takes on  an homogonised feel. Insignificant objects, a rougue plastic bag, a street sign, have the same significance as the thing you really want to concentrate on.

When you draw or paint from life you select the important elements and everything is seen in relation to those.

Mary Kemp
Orton Mere
Drawing, as opposed to taking a photo lodges the view in your brain and immediately gives you a better understanding of what you see.

Now I'm not an advocate of painting en plein air. I know it's what the hard core artists do but all that wrestling with the elements long term is not for me. Rather I like to sketch in short bursts outside, gathering up information in a sketch book and sparingly snatch a few photos àlong the way. If you take too many photos you spend all your time trawling through them to find the one you want, and then discover it actually wasn't what you thought it was anyway.
I will confess to having taken too many photos in the past and I never like to delete them. You don't know when you'll regret it! But how many are on my computer???

But I've got over my photo addiction now.

The best photos are in your head, and the best paintings are all the better for a bit of direct observation.