This blog is moving!
At last I have discovered a way to have my website and blog all in one place.
So from now on all new blog posts will be on my new website.
I'm still writing about the same sort of things, and you can still find the old posts on this page.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Polly Morgan - Taxidermy Artist

I have just watched a BBC Four programme about the artist  Polly Morgan in the series What Do Artists Do All Day.
I was so impressed with her innovation and craftmanship, why haven't I come across her before?
She's a taxidermy artist who uses stuffed animals to convey her ideas. Having seen lots of Victorian stuffed animals, especially Walter Potter's weird and wonderful tableaux and had a sort of gruesome fascination for them I was pleased to see the art carried on.
The programme gave an insight into Polly's working methods, and I was pleased to see she does a fair amount of thinking and walking back and forth.
However I don't think I will be following in her footsteps. just a step too far for me.

Monday, 25 March 2013

My Barcelona Mosaic

Mary Kemp - Barcelona Mosaic
A few years ago we went to Barcelona, primarily to see the work of Antonio Gaudi. Gaudi in Barcelona. Words cannot describe how overwhelmed by it all I was. The Parc Guell, Casa Batlo and the Sagrada Familia just blew my mind away. So in homage to this great architect I created my very own mosaic wall in my kitchen. It's not quite on the scale of the seats in The Parc Guell but it's mine, in my kitchen and I can see it every day.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Last Spring - Lilac and Ginger

Mary Kemp - Lilac and Ginger.
Oil painting on canvas panel. 30 x 40 cms
Last spring on a lovely warm sunny day I laid one of my best linen  cloths on the garden table, and set it with cups and saucers and the spotty blue tea pot and two green glass vases of beautifully fragrant lilac.
I made several sketches in pastel , the cats wandered to and fro, and this is one of the paintings I painted several months, nearly a year, later.

Saturday, 16 March 2013


I was asked to paint a picture of Hunstanton.
Mary Kemp - Hunstanton.
Oil on canvas. 40 x 30 cms
The brief was Hunstanton, the cliffs, the helter skelter, a jolly , bright summer day with no people.
Hunstanton is one of my favourite places to go for a day out and it was fun to paint because it was full of happy images. I used lots of cobalt blue.
And the recipient of this painting was delighted!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Windy Day in the Allotment

Mary Kemp - Windy Day in the Allotment.
Oil on board.  Approx 50 x 20 cms
I painted this picture after a particularly battered day on the allotment. Everything was dead, and all that was to be done was to clear up and tidy, but it was cold, so I went home and painted this instead. I painted it quickly using a palette knife and lots of black which I don't normally use.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Start of a Painting. Is This The One?

Mary Kemp - Tea in the Sun
Ken Howard says that he starts each painting session full of hope and finishes the day in despair.
I don't know why he feels this. Perhaps he's forgotten how good he is.
I, on the other hand , know why I feel that way, but I am starting another painting today so am full of hope and will not share the despair when it doesn't turn out as I imagined.
I have just started placing the various components using a light wash of acrylic on a canvas panel. There's a bit of tone too. Just to give me an idea. Perhaps I should stop at this stage. I'm quite pleased with it so far !!!!
Hope springs eternal.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Lightweight Sketching Kit

By the time you read this I shall be back from my holiday.
I'm travelling light drawing wise.
Small 15 x 15 cms sketchbook, has to be spiral bound, and a little gel pen , a 4B pencil and a pencil sharpener. No rubber because I'll just ignore any mistakes.
I've got my little point and shoot camera, but I'm not taking much more because there are children involved in this holiday. Need I say more?

Monday, 4 March 2013

I've Been Experimenting - Tissue Paper and Watercolour.

Mary Kemp - Rusting Boat
Watercolour  20 x 25 cms
I've seen this boat over several years now. It sits on the marshes. Someone started to renovate it but they haven't done anything for several seasons. I keep expecting to find it finished and ready to sail away, or even to be suddenly, inexplicably gone, but there it remains.
I wanted to convey the untidy nature of the rusting hull so I glued some tissue paper to a piece of Bockingford paper and let the wrinkles permeate the whole painting.