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, 28 June 2013

I Drew Lots of Boats - Badly !

I spent a lovely few days in Blakeney in Norfork on a sketching trip. I'm not sure if that's an accurate discription because a lot of walking and looking at galleries was done as well. And of course we talked and ate together and thoroughly enjoyed each others company.
Blakeney early morning.
I don't like to show off but I think I was one of the more enthusiastic sketchers, up at 5.30 one morning bathing in the early morning mist and sunshine.
Mary Kemp - Children Eating Picnic
Gel pen in sketch pad.
Although I went to draw boats (damn things, they're such peculiar shapes, and they keep moving) my favourite piece of work from the whole trip was this quick sketch of a group of school children who sat down right in front of us to eat their packed lunches.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Sketching en Plein Air

Mary Kemp - Sketching Kit
I am off to the seaside for a few days. This is my sketching kit.
It comprises : sketchbook ( spiral bouand about 8 x 8 inches) , various pencils and pens, putty rubber, pencil sharpener, craft knife for sharpening too, sunglasses, a lot of coloured pencils, phone for camera, pencil case and bag. Will take a folding chair too.
I like to travel light drawing wise. The bag weighs 2lbs 6 ounces. Not bad.
Weather is predicted to improve.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Giving Life to the High Street. Art in the Heart in Peterborough.

I have to admit a bit of self interest here. Art in the Heart carries quite a few of my paintings, and prints, and cards.
Art In The Heart Window.
The gallery was opened in October 2012 and has built up a solid reputation in the city. Peterborough has been called a cultural desert in the past. I live there! How could it possibly be? But there was certainly a lack of outlets for the visual arts, so when Art in the Heart flung open it's doors in Bridge Street in the centre of town it quickly became the place to buy original art which included pictures, pottery, sculptures, jewellery and more.
It's not an easy road. All this takes time and energy and commitment. The owner Dawn Birch-James has worked her socks off.
I'd just like to say thankyou Dawn!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Goodbye Favourite Picture ! Thanks to Peterborough Artists' Open Studio.

Mary Kemp - Before the Growing Season
It's weird really that I feel a little sadness at saying gooodbye to one of the paintings I feel quite proud of.
I felt I'd done a good job with this picture, composition, colour, execution, all that sort of thing.
During my open studio event a lady came and said she'd bought a postcard of it two years ago and wished she'd bought the original. I had to scrabble around in my store, aka spare bedroom, to find it ! But to cut a long story short she now owns it and it is destined for a more varied life on an office wall instead of in my spare bedroom.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Fiction an Artist Should Read.

When I want a bit of down time I read. I'm always drawn to books about artists, and even more so about female painters and the lives they lead. Of course they're fiction and don't usually portray the nitty gritty of life, like hanging out the washing at the point where you want to leave a painting and come back with fresh eyes, or having your head so full of a picture you can't concentrate on cooking the next meal, let alone listen to someone else's ideas on food.
Mary Kemp - Hanging Out the Washing.
Watercolour 25 x 36cms.
But I have a few favourite books:
Notes From An Exhibition by Patrick Gale, about the suicide of a woman artist, a book peppered with small endearing detail like the drawing of a tube of oil paint as part of her limbering up process before painting for the day.
The Horses Mouth by Joyce Carey, a book I read when I was 18, portraying the life of an artist as so unglamorous, but full of feeling like Gully's joy at the shape of a foot.
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier, the making and everything else, of a tapstry in medieval times in Brussells. The Girl With the Pearl Earring is good too.

Friday, 14 June 2013

For Your Eyes Only. Peterborough Artists Open Studios Latest !

Will my preperations for Peterborough Artists Open Studios ever be finished?
The excitement is mounting !
Mary Kemp - Grace the Dog Encounters a Wave
This time tomorrow it should all be tidy with the calm and sleekness of a high end gallery. And then we open at 11am to a queue of people that extends round the block! Honestly.
I hope all other open studio-ers have a great weekend. For many of us it's a large part of our art year. I seem to have been preparing for it forever. I think it probably takes up whatever time you put aside for it.
At the moment we are a pile of bubble wrap, card display stands, browsers and pictures without names! My beloved is busy cutting mounts down the workshop. We are all systems go.
Mary Kemp - Display Space.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Visits to Peterborough Artists Open Studios. A Full Weekend!

Because my open studio event doesn't start until Saturday 16th June it seemed the right thing to do to visit some who were open last weekend.
Here are some photos .
One artist who stood out for me was Jean Linford painting sky wide seascapes on aluminium sheets. How fascinating is that !
Jean Linford .
Caroline Kisby of Pink House Arts
In the same venue was Caroline Kisby of Pink House Arts selling hand felted soaps to our local M.P.

On Friday night we visited the preview at Shine , seeing Tony Nero, Josie Kelly- Gobuiwang, Stacey-Ann Cole and Mahemuda Arsalani.
On the Saturday we also visited Garth Bailey, energetic expressionism at it's best,  The Woodnewton Potters, (took a wrong turning. I was convinced they were elsewhere) Deborah James in Warmington, and finally Mayors Walk where we saw Nadine Gereson's jewellery, Lindsay Wisnieski's ceramics and I succumbed to a mosaic mirror by Kay Hall.
All in all a very productive outing.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Amrita Sher - Gil

Until recently women painters have been given very short shrift by history.
Self Portrait of Amrita Sher Gil
National Gallery of Modern Art, New Dehli
When I was growing up there were only male artists my parents could point to as role models. "Paint me a picture like Rembrandt", my father said . No chance there. I'm much too light weight for that.
"You'd better not be like Van Gogh then", he said. "He cut off his ear."  Dad had never heard of Berthe Morrisot - well neither had I at that time.
So it's with great delight I discover female artists from the past who were painting during my parents life time. They were about, just not very noticable. In my weekend newspaper  there was an article about Amrita Sher Gil, not only a female artist, but Asian too. Her work is beautifully impressionist, on a par with Gaugan, and when you read her story, she died young, you realise what a fantastic , exotic life she lead, and so much of it was recorded on camera by her father.
Here is the article. Thank you Telegraph !

Monday, 3 June 2013

Less than Two Weeks to go to Open Studios. Will I Ever Be Ready?

Panic is setting in. Will I ever be ready for Open Studios?
Look at the state of my work place!
I must stop drawing and start tidying.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

How I Painted This Picture: Family Beach Scene Number 3

I think I'll give up naming each individual painting and just name the series. I've done quite a few family beach scenes. This is named Number 3, but it's not the third one I painted. It's just the third one I've retitled.
Mary Kemp - Family Beach Scene Number 3
Oil on canvas panel 30 x 30 cms
Anway, how I painted it.
Did the drawing, took the photos, thought about it.
Planned it out and drew on canvas panel.
Wash of pale purple acrylic.
Drew over the figures with a brush and raw umber acrylic.
Painted with oil paints putting it on with acrylic grade long flat brushes mostly. The beach I scumbled burnt siena over naples yellow ( after the yellow had dried) For flesh colour I used a pale venetian red and some pale burnt sienna. I wanted a feeling of endless days of youth.
You can find this picture for sale on Artfinder.