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.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Monday Painting. The Blakeney Hotel at Night.

When you read this I shall be on holiday for a few days, on a painting trip with some chums.

I am looking forward to it enormously, as a chance to gather some valuable material for my never ending series of seaside paintings, but also as a opportunity to recharge the batteries and have a little time away from the everyday.
Harbour at Night by Mary Kemp
Available .

Two years ago on a similar trip we went for a stroll along Blakeney Harbour in Norfolk after supper, the moon was out and the air was still and warm and this is the picture I painted in oils in response to that wonderful balmy late June evening.

The weather promises to be good this year, perhaps a little too good, so I'm packing the sun cream  and can't wait to go!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Have I Discover the Ultimate Sketching Equipment?

I've spent years searching for the ultimate sketching kit. There's not a medium I haven't tried in my quest to record quickly and truthfully the scene I see before me.

I've tried oil paint, ( flies die in it's embrace), acrylic paint, (dries too quickly) watercolour (almost but it's not tolerant of mistakes) pastels (too messy, irritate you eyes and get smeared) and all sorts of drawing implements. I must admit I like a nice

Monday, 22 June 2015

Southwold Lighthouse From the Pier. Monday Painting.

This painting has just found it's permanent home in Scotland, a far cry from Suffolk.
Mary Kemp
Southwold Lighthouse
from the Pier

It was a painting that demanded a bit of energy and passion in the execution because the experience of the day was so invigorating, full of wind and spray and that special feeling of being at the seaside released from life's trials and tribulations.

I painted it quickly, soon after the day out, blocking in the town on the horizon, then adding the sky, cobalt blue, Naples yellow, titanium white and some ultramarine violet before addressing the sea and waves as vigorously as I could because the sea seemed to be rushing to the beach and I was in the middle of it even though I was leaning over the rail of the pier.

I adore Southwold and am glad that this painting has gone to someone who feels the same way as I do.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Urban Sketchers Peterborough. First Meeting at The Greenback Yard

I've read about Urban Sketchers and thought that sounds a good idea. And did nothing about it. So I was very pleased when Lynne Collins had the same idea , but did something about it.
Is Peterborough urban? Are there enough sketchers here?
Well of course the answer is "yes" to both of those.

And so the Peterborough branch of Urban Sketchers was founded and had it's first event on Sunday, at the Greenback Yard, a vibrant community growing project in the heart of Peterborough.

The Greenback Yard
We were just five members, armed with sketchbooks and a variety of pens, paints and pencils. Seating was discussed, and our founder Lynne had brought some camping chairs as well as cake.

I was awkward and sat on a log. Result, no feeling below the waist at lunch time!

The weather wasn't awfully good, a bit chilly, but we're a hardy bunch and persevered.

We sketched in the

Monday, 15 June 2015

Tony Nero at Peterborough City Art Gallery 2015

When ever I see Tony Nero he's smiling. It's not just that he's pleased to see me ( and I'm sure he is) but he's the sort of person who smiles all the time, and that comes across in his art.
Tony Nero

Last Thursday I went to the preview of his solo exhibition Mixed Emotions at Peterborough City Art Gallery which is on now until July 8th. It was a very well attended jolly event and even hosted a steel drum player, something I don't think the gallery has seen before!

Tony is an artist who has a broad subject base so I was pleased to see for this exhibition he had narrowed it down to a strong theme , a series of portraits, hence the title Mixed Emotions.

Painted on honest to goodness stretched canvas ( no fancy frames here) they showed an directness and interest in his subjects, painted with a straight forward dexterity. I felt Tony stopped painting when he'd got the likeness he wanted. Something I wish other artists would do.

What I liked:

I particularly liked the hanging of the paintings. the grouping of the blue paintings together, and the mixture of baby portraits with grown ups worked very well.

My favourite pictures were:
Tony Nero. Blue Paintings.

"Crazy in Blue" an open mouthed shout.

Tony Nero. Wall of portaits.

"Quiet Introspection" serious pondering by a local councillor  juxtapositioned with
"Scream of Sudden Tears" from a lovely alarmed baby.

A thoroughly enjoyable exhibition! Thank you Tony.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Launch Event Peterborough Artists' Open Studios 2015

Oh I wish I'd signed up!

I really do. It was only bought home to me on Saturday when I visited Peterborough Artists' Open Studios' launch event in the city's Cathedral Square and realised I was not a part of it. The first time in ten years.
It was a bright blue day, the city was bustling and a sturdy tent on Cathedral square held a bunch of artists, all eager to talk about their work and open studios in general.
And this is what it's all about!
paintings by James Tovey.
And who was there?
Jerome Hunt  - Oil painter. A bit like the early impressionists.
Liz Hunt - Fine art mixed media textiles.
James Tovey - Japanese inspired paintings, and his open studio includes a garden design theme.
Stacey-Ann Cole - Lyrical watercolours featuring Afro Caribbean women.
Mahemuda  Arsalani - Otherwise known as Muni's mosaics, queen of the tesserae.
Josie Kelly-Gobuiwang - An artist with a bit of a dark streak.
Tony Nero - Full of vibrancy and passion with a Caribbean influence.

I shall visit loads of studios when it starts on the 27th of June, but I miss the build up, and although I have other projects underway being part of a group with a common aim for part of the year is something I shall miss.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Did You Say It Would Rain ?

I've just paid for our summer holiday.  In Northumberland where the weather can be mixed. We're looking forward to it immensely but we'll still pack the rain coats and sturdy shoes.
"Did You Say it Would Rain?"
Mary Kemp

It made me think of this oil painting which in fact I painted after a holiday in Southwold and again the weather was not of the best! Rain at the seaside always seems a bit out of character to me, not on the wide open coastline where's there are no buildings, but a holiday resort when it's pouring down always looks forlorn.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

How to Create Texture in an Oil Painting. Some Amateur Experiments.

I'm writing this after a bit of experimentation.

I wanted to add some texture above and beyond thick paint to a piece I was working on.

Usually I reach for the Liquin impasto medium by Windsor and Newton but I'd run out, so needed to use whatever was in the studio.

After a bit of digging this is what I found in my cupboard
Whitening powder
Marble dust
Acrylic sculptural gel.

The whitening powder I mixed with oil paints and it gives a thick satisfying paste texture. But I did it on Monday and it's Thursday now and it's still not dry. I also tried mixing a little alkyd medium with it, but that has made it more like icing and again it's still not dry.

The marble dust didn't really give a good profile at all, and mixed with alkyd was just as soft, and both are still not dry.

Acrylic sculptural gel. Of course I could only use this before applying the oil paints so had to be a bit more certain of what I was doing. But it gave a lovely profile and dried quickly. I could just paint over the top in oils and gain the texture that way.
Acrylic sculptural gel, black paint
added to gesso board.
Oil paint over acrylic sculptural gel.

Acrylic sculptural gel if you know what and where your texture will be.
Alkyd impasto medium for adding during painting.
Whitening powder for a sturdy texture, but don't expect it dry quickly.

And the final conclusion:
I've ordered some alkyd impasto medium. Should be arriving this week.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Art in the Heart in Peterborough.

On Mondays I like to show off a painting or two of mine. 
This Monday however I thought I'd show off, and say a big "thank you" to Art in the Heart a gallery and shop that is a force for original art and craft in Peterborough, my home town, and just so happens to display some of my paintings.
"Flags at Blakeney" Mary Kemp
Art in the Heart has been going for a couple of years now and is becoming a fixture in the centre of the city of Peterborough, an independent shop that has real character.
I'd particularly like to say a huge "thank you " for this  magnificent display of my seaside paintings which created a little bit of the coast in the middle of town.
Gallery open Monday to Saturday.