Thursday, 27 August 2015

Holiday Snaps!

Oh my goodness!

We went on holiday and I did no drawing whatsoever. I took all my kit, well sketchbook and pencils, but some how there was just so much else to do I didn't put pen to paper except to write a couple of post cards.

Glorious windswept Northumberland was our destination and we visited castles and vast stretches of beach with sunshine and bursts of torrential rain, so I ate well and slept well and enjoyed my family , but neglected my art.

The camera got used quite a bit, but mainly for holiday snaps.

One thing we did do on the art front and which I thought I ought to write about for this blog was visit a couple of exhibitions.

The first was at the Lady Waterford Hall in the village of Ford.
Lady Waterford was a sort of Renaissance lady in the Victorian era, a philanthropist and gifted artist who painted the hall with powerful pre-Raphaelite murals many depicting village children. Her drawings are exquisite and here is one of them, executed from memory.

I can only observe and wonder.
Children Crossing the Street
Lady Louisa Waterford
1889
My family quite enjoyed this exhibition, but wouldn't have gone in if not for me.

The next exhibition we came upon was completely different, nothing historical about that!

Called Generation AIR by Spacecadets it was set in the Gymnasium Gallery of the  Barracks within Berwick city walls.
Generation AIR by Spacecadets.
(The frondy thing kept inflating and deflating)
A joyous fun filled installation full of colour and appealing to the child in us all.

We spent some time there , and my husband sat and watched peoples reactions as they came in. Some were captivated but a few turned their noses up in no uncertain terms! You can't please every one.

So that was a snippet of my holiday and now I am ready to face the rest of the year!

Monday, 24 August 2015

My Beautiful Bicycle, an Oil Painting.

I don't drive , being a sensible person, so quite often I get around by bicycle.
Notwithstanding all that murderous traffic (they're all out to get you, you know) it is the most wonderful way to travel a shortish distance. The wind in your hair, the rain on your face!

I've had this bike a few years now and a  while ago I decided to make it the subject of an oil painting.

My Beautiful Bicycle (Available)

A bicycle needs to be celebrated. It's an integral part of life, like a table or chair, not at all like a car which has so much attached to it by way of prestige or money. My bike is comfortable and a useful tool.

There are a few challenges with cycle paintings, all those wheels and spokes and accuracy. You don't want to paint it side on because that just looks boring , but to paint from the front or back presents a few problems of perspective and scale.

Here I have shown my cycle propped up against the wall by the place I work at one day a week. There are cherry trees to the right of the picture which drop  petals and dappled shade all over it. I come back from lunch and this is the sight I am greeted with and it uplifts my soul.

So I painted this oil painting in praise of my beautiful bicycle.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Urban Sketchers Peterborough. A Day in the Sun.

An ideal day for sketching with the Urban Sketchers of Peterborough, perhaps a bit too ideal!
The sun was shining, the birds were singing and my trusty bike had the tyres pumped up and sketching kit loaded.

As I never stop boasting I have my sketching kit finely honed,
a pencil case full of pens and pencils,
and two spiral bound sketchbooks. (If weight was an issue it could be one.)
Also in my rucksack was a hat with brim,
sun glasses,
mobile phone camera 
and bottle of water.

An extra luxury this time was a small camping stool, but I didn't need it as there were plenty of spare chairs.

We meet every second Sunday of the month and our base is The Green Backyard in Peterborough a vibrant community garden nestled among towering flats, Victorian cottages and the main line to London.
The Green Backyard. Peterborough
It was an enjoyable meeting even though there were not a lot of us, holiday season being at it's height. Even before we got started we had to partake of Sara's mum's chocolate cake.
Then it was down to work, dispersing into the site to draw. 
There are so many things, detail of plants and flowers, the allotments and greenhouses, a caravan that seems to grow out of the ground.  And there's the wider environment too, the big picture, which is the task I set myself.

Mary Kemp. Sketch of the Green Backyard
In my drawing I wanted to show the contrast between the surrounding buildings of the monolith of  the flats, the ghostly new building under construction, the Victorian cottages, and the wild environment underneath of ethereal willows and chunks of bog oak. (The allotments and greenhouses are to the right.)

This is the link to the Urban Sketchers Peterborough facebook page. Please take a look, and perhaps join us next time.


Monday, 10 August 2015

Stumped For a Title! Again.

Title to be decided!
60 x 70 cm , oil on stretched canvas
I love a painting with a good title, but unfortunately I'm often a bit stumped when it comes to naming my own masterpieces.

Thank goodness for facebook. 
I just asked the question and I've had loads of lovely answers.
Here are just a few of my faves:
"Hi, Come and Join Us!"
"Posers" there's someone who knows my family!
"Blowing Away the Cobwebs"
"Fresh Air and Family"
"Help We're Trapped!" I never thought of that.
"Here Comes The Rain Again". Pessimist.
and lots of family and fun and reflections.

 And if you've got any ideas I'd love to hear them because this painting is just one of a whole series of paintings born out of my obsession with the coast.


Thursday, 6 August 2015

The Talent Myth.

I don't think I'm old but there are definitely a few things I wish I'd known when I was younger.
And one of the most important surrounds :
The talent myth: