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.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

I'd Rather be Painting!

This week has got a bit out of control, as I knew it would. I always plan to spend a huge chunk of time painting, but I've had paintings and prints to prepare for two galleries and one exhibition ( well exhibition is rather a grand word for it, it's a room full of paintings in the anteroom at Stamford Art Centre , but it's a good venue and lots of people get to see the work) so my week this far has been spent labeling and framing.

Mary Kemp
Border Collie in a Snowy Orchard
30 x 30 oil on canvas panel

Mary Kemp
Border Collie Under a Red Sky
30 x 30 oil on canvas panel
I always think it won't take long to get work ready, after all I've painted the pictures, a frantic few weeks with winter elated themes,yet it seems to take an age to get everything documented, labeled, framed, ready to hang, and wrapped up safely, almost as long as the painting does. I exaggerate!

It's all done now. It's half term this week so there's other things to do.

But before I think of that I must put some more work on Artfinder because they have a 15% discount this weekend.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

My KEBAartmate. Stretching Paper for Watercolour.

Has any one else used a KEBAartmate?
Every so often I have a watercolour phase. I think I'm entering one now. There's two boat paintings that I've completed and the third one is on it's way, delayed for the next few days while I get work ready for some up and coming shows.
For the first two paintings I used a conventional paper stretching method, essentially gumstrip sticking down wet paper.
Look what I found. A KEBAartmate!
But then I realised somewhere in a corner of the studio lurked a  very handy device for stretching paper, a KEBAartmate. So after a quick forage I came up with this piece of kit bought several years ago, and like all good gadgets abandoned at the back of a cupboard.

How the KEBAartmate works.

Basically it's a piece of equipment that clamps the paper tight whilst it's drying. You paint with the paper gripped in it's frame.
When the bolts are undone the frame opens out.
This is how the paper is clamped.
Of course as with everything there are pros and cons.
In it's favour:
No need for gum strip.
If you get it right the result is reliable.
Fairly simple to use.
Takes no longer that traditional methods.
Nice to have a board/boards totally for watercolour.
The biggest disadvantage is that you are restricted to the specific size of the boards. ( In my kit there are two boards)
The allen key for tightening up the bolts is very loosable.
Takes up quite bit of space, and like lego you don't want to loose any of the bits!
It is a lovely thing to use. It feels nice in the hand and has a neatness and compactness about it that is very pleasing.
I'm glad I bought it but it is by no means a piece of essential kit.

Have you used one? What did you think of it? A comment in the box below is always welcome!

Monday, 19 October 2015

Hot Off the Easel!

It suddenly occurred to me that winter is almost upon us and that dreaded/glorious season, Christmas, is looming large.
And to hurry on that feeling of wintery seasonality Dawn at Art in the Heart in Peterborough has been asking for work for an upcoming exhibition that will go on til after Christmas.
So I thought my Monday painting slot should feature one of my latest paintings that will be in the show.
Mary Kemp.
Border Collie in the Snow,
Under a Lilac Sky.
Oil on canvas panel
30 x 30 cm
A lot of my work is seaside based, and that to many people only means one thing, summer.
Because this is a Christmas show I thought I would paint a snowy picture or two. I couldn't quite get my head around snowfall  at the seaside. That may come later. But snow and trees feels more within my experience and somehow Grace the border collie has to be in there as well.

Exhibition opens with a big Christmas shopping launch on Monday 2nd November.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Green and the Landscape Artist.

There's a certain snobbery about buying green paint.
"Oh I never buy green paint. I mix my own. It gives a much more true to life colour."
(Like I never buy puff pastry, I make my own. Even Mary Berry buys ready made puff pastry)
Green Paint.
And like Mary Berry why make something if there's a much better manufactured product?

Our perception of true colours in nature is anyway now so skewed that we have difficulty remembering what is real and what is not.  We see so many photographs on a day to day basis.
When did you last spend 24 hrs without seeing a manufactured image of some sort, a photo, book, magazine, an image on a phone or computer screen, the tv or even a proper painting?

Occasionally we see the real countryside which quite often is mucky brown and not green at all!

So here is a list of useful green paints.
You've probably come across most of them before.
Sap green, great for countyside.
Phtalo green, lurid.
Viridian, not so lurid!
Terre Verte, sort of sludgy.
Hooker's green, bright countryside.
Chromium green oxide, a serious, dead colour.

And to finish I feel I must show you one of my paintings where I reveled in a generous application of  sap green.
Mary Kemp. Monsal Head. Derbyshire.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Monday Painting. Thunderous Skies

If you painted a different sky every day you would always have a different picture. No two skies are the same, and that is what makes them such a delight!
The ones I like to see best are clear blue skies with a wisp or two of cloud, but the ones that make the most exciting pictures are those that occur when the weather's a bit dodgy.
Here is such a one.

Mary Kemp.
Thunderous Sky.
Oil on board 30 x 30 cm
The colours I used were 
titanium white
cobalt blue
burnt sienna
raw sienna
Cadmium yellow
venetian red 
ultramarine violet
 Hope you like it!

Friday, 9 October 2015

Welland Valley Art Society Autumn Exhibition 2015. What I Thought of It!

I feel a bit embarrassed for writing about this exhibition, and you will see why shortly.

But I like to put down a few words about all of the Welland Valley Art Society's exhibitions because I am part of the society and want us to do well, and the artwork interests me a lot.

Stamford Arts Centre
is host to the
Welland Valley Art Society's
Autumn 2015 Exhibition

There's many artists in the society whose work I admire immensely. We are not a cutting edge sort of exhibiting group but I like to think the standard is high, and there is a great deal of support and interest from the Stamford community, with people looking round the show and displaying real interest in what they see.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Look What I've Found.

In the depths of my computer I found this. File/old computer/New Work 2011.
Mary Kemp. Man and Boy.
Oil on box canvas 30 x 30 cm.

I know I have the original somewhere although I might have painted over it.
I quite like this, even if it's not very commercial. The man is my son in a tatty old fleece running after one of his sons heading out to sea.
For me there are several interesting things about this painting. Firstly it's a moment in time, long gone. The boy is so much bigger now, and they wouldn't be alone. The dog would have got in on the act. And secondly I quite like the coloured ground I've used, looks orange, and the way the blue stands out and the figures spring to life because of it. Lately I've been using a paler ground. Perhaps it's time to go darker.
There's also a nice feeling of movement about it, but I do think the figures need to be anchored to the ground more.
Perhaps if I find it I'll fix it, put in shadows as well as reflections.
Now then, I wonder what else is in that file.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Watercolour Painting Recipe Using Dr Ph.Martin's Hydrus Watercolour.

All of a sudden I've had the urge to paint with watercolour. It comes over me every so often although my first love is oil paints.