Hi, I'm Mary Kemp, passionate painter of anything to do with the seaside.
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Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Course of True Art Never Runs Smoothly.


I had arranged to take some paintings to the Buckenham Gallery in Southwold on Tuesday. We set off in good time in our much loved classic car. It sounded good, it was going well, all was right with the world.
Then this lovely car developed a NOISE.
I tried not to appear panicky, but time was ticking by and I wanted to keep my appointment, but this car needed mending. Then joy of joy it just so happened we were within a few miles of one of the few specailists who could provide us with the solution, a new alternator. So after a phone call, and another on the way there because we got lost, we arrived, drove straight in and within a couple of calm hours, swallows flying overhead and Classic fm playing , we were on our way. Thankyou Adrian Pease of Peacock Engineering.
Becky at Buckenham Galleries was very understanding of our delay. ( I do try to be efficient but sometimes it just doesn't work) and in her gallery now are some new paintings of Grace the border collie.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Pricing of Art. Should the Price Reflect the Time Spent?

I am about to submit some paintings to a gallery, and as always that dreaded conundrum of how much to charge for my precious works of art comes up.
Mary Kemp. Work in progress.
(This picture hass nothing to do with the paintings I'm talking about but simply what I'm working on at the moment!)
Two are roughly the same size. One is quite simple and didn't take too long to paint, but the other is much more complicated and took ages to complete. I've framed the complicated one more elaborately so that in itself gives it a bit of extra value, but I'm still not sure about the price difference. But of course you could say that each painting is the sum of your training and experimentation over the years so how long a painting takes brush to canvas is irrelevant to the price.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Working in the Hot Weather.

My studio doesn't get the sun on it until midday, which is a blessing in summer if not in winter. So this weather I try to be up early and working before breakfast.
Mary Kemp - Work in progress.
Hot weather affects paints because of the drying time, so alkyd I have to use up quickly and the turps evaporates at a rate of knots and luckily you can't smell it because the windows are open. I don't know if oils dry quicker, they take so long it's sometimes difficult to tell, but I suppose they must. It's more a case of the drying time seeming longer in winter.
Watercolours are lovely in the summer. You don't have to wait around for a wash to dry, you can just get on with the next layer straight away.
Acrylics I find a pain. For me the drying time is far too fast anyway even with retardant so I won't be using them for a while.
I stop painting as soon as the sun comes through the window, and because there's so much window space it soon makes it's presence felt and no matter how much air I have flowing through the studio it is still HOT.
Sometimes I sit in a shady spot and draw which seems the most pleasant solution to it all.

Monday, 15 July 2013

"Just Like That!" Paintings

Sometimes a painting will take me ages to complete, weeks, months. Some have even taken several years from idea to finish. And it's not always the successful ones that take so long.
My favourite paintings are those that occur "just like that". I have the idea, and I paint it, no fuss, no agonising. I just get on and paint it.
Mary Kemp
  Grace the Border Collie Encounters a Wave No. 3
Oil on canvas panel 40 x 40
This is another one of the series featuring  Grace the exhuberant border collie. I think her enthusiasm must be infectious!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Artist and Gardener

Being an artist and a gardener doesn't always work.
Mary Kemp : Plant Pots in the Greenhouse
oil on board 70 x 50 cms
It's the age old problem , one distracts you from another. If I'm gardening I want to paint what I see and if I paint in my own garden I want to pull up the weeds and water the plants and move and cut back stuff. This picture of my greenhouse I painted some time ago. In my very detailed painting period. I thought of it as I was watering the tomatoes and pulling out the grass in the floor of my greenhouse yesterday.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Mirror by Kay Hall

During Peterborough Artists Open Studios I bought the most beautiful mirror.
Kay Hall - Stained Glass Mosaic Mirror.
 A fiery red surround of bright red glass pieces shot with gold.
It was made by Kay Hall in her studio in Peterborough.
I have placed it in my kitchen because there's a lot of red there. When I bought it I just knew I loved it and it's taken a while to find it a home. It looks good next to my Barcelona mosaic.
Kays inspiration comes from her many travels and in her art you can see influences from across Europe and Asia. Do look at her website. There are many beautiful examples of her work.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Grace the Border Collie.

Grace the border collie is such a beautiful dog , full of energy and life. She features a lot in my artwork. (In case you hadn't noticed!)
Grace
I am painting her again, at the seaside. Here is the start of the picture. As usual a ground of ultramarine violet and venetian red, then drawing. I feel very pleased because I have placed Grace in the bottom third up and third in spot. I've used alkyd oil paints this time but the white especailly doesn't work as nicely as oil paints , but it dries so much quicker. 
Mary Kemp - Grace the Border Collie 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Surface, Contemporary Sculpture at Burghley House Sculpture Park.

A warm summers evening and I had been invited with a select few to see the new sculptures in Burghley Sculpture Park.
Since it's been open I have visited the park many times and always enjoyed the large sculptures in their outdoor setting.
David William Sampson with "James"

This year David Sampson invited me to the opening so I grabbed the chance. Here he is with his enegmatic ceramic piece "James". I have seen much of his smaller work which I find fascinating but not comfortable. This is as large as he has worked and it magnifies that feeling of life on the edge. Not a bad thing. Sometimes the things I feel at home with are just too cosy.
There were several other sculpures that took my eye, notably Willow Arch by Carole Beavis and Mechanism by Nick Horrigan.
Carole Beavis with "Willow Arch"
Nick Horrigan with "Mechanism"

Final joy of the evening ! Hot air balloon over Burghley House.