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, 28 January 2016

Why I Love"Inspired by Light" by Ken Howard.

What better book to read on a miserable grey day than Ken Howard's personal view "Inspired by Light".
I used to think of him as a rather dour painter, all greys and muddy browns, not letting the joy into his paintings but just because you don't use bright blue and lemon yellow straight from the tube doesn't mean there's no passion there!
Only artificial light in my house today!
I had to buy my book (a late Christmas present to myself) second hand from good old Amazon. Actually it looks in pristine condition to me so was it bought first and then never opened?

Monday, 25 January 2016

Poppies for a Dull Day. Painting Recipe.

I struggle to paint these dull days. It's not as though I can't see what I'm painting because I've got daylight lamps, but somehow lack of sunlight drains your very life blood away.
Today was just the sort of day to paint some cheer-you-up, life-affirming poppies!
Mary Kemp. Poppies.

I've been dabbling with several small pieces recently, on 6" x 6" boards kindly cut by my husband, the ideal size to experiment on and work out composition and colours. Some of them I've quite liked and others I've scraped off and started again!
Paintings of poppies usually involve that great colour combo red and green, well loved by the colour theorists and advocates of the colour wheel.
I used alkyd oil paints, and these are the colours.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

5 Art Exhibitions to See in 2016

2016 brings new art exhibitions to delight us all, and I thought I would share with you 5 that you might like to visit.

1.  First, and coming up soon, is the Royal Academy's "Painting the Modern Garden. Monet to Matisse,"  Two of the most appealing subjects in one hit, the garden and an impressionist and beyond. This exhibition features Monet's Agapanthus Triptych seen for the first time in the UK. It's on from 30th January to 20th of April.
I am tempted

Monday, 18 January 2016

Like Painting Underwater.

It's been such a dull run up to the weekend. In the studio I think of it like painting underwater, or perhaps seeing under water.  Of course when I've not been painting the sun has shone.
I'm trying to cheer myself up with a seaside painting, and surprisingly this second one is going to far.
Mary Kemp. A seaside painting.
Oil on canvas panel.
40 x 30 cm.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Drawing, Mindfulness and Being an Artist.

I'm going to share with you why drawing and mindfulness and being an artist are all mixed up together.
I've found that in this attention grabbing world it can be difficult to find an area of calm in your life.
Even in the studio that should be both workplace and sanctuary there are so many things to distract you, eating away at that precious time and head space that you need to create great stuff. 
Mary Kemp
Drawing from the back bedroom window.
Shiny new materials leap out at you.

Monday, 11 January 2016

The Intention of Drawing Trees.

When ever it is winter I am drawn towards trees, I want to study trees, describe their bare limbs, put them down on paper.
Silver Birch, Anglesey Abbey. Mary Kemp

Today, the sky was clear, we went out to a National Trust property, me with the intention of photographing and drawing a few trees, my husband with the intention of getting round the walk as quickly as possible and having something nice to eat afterwards.
Anglesey Abbey. Photo by Alan Kemp
In the event we did most of those things, with the exception of me drawing because it was just too cold to stand still for long despite several layers of clothes, and I hadn't brought gloves anyway.
But we both took umpteen photos and were glad to get back to the cafe and the promise of hot food.
I started writing this with the idea of posting one of my winter paintings, but I've got a bit off track, taken over by a lot of fresh air and the thought that the days are getting longer.
Did I mention that we saw daffodils and loads of snowdrops, and aconites and helebores?

Oh, OK, here's a drawing from past times.
Tree in the front garden hedge. Mary Kemp.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Optimising the Studio for Better Painting.

I'm going to tell you how I'm optimising my studio to achieve an environment for a better painting experience, and hopefully for better paintings!
My work space has always been a bit Spartan, with no comfy chair and lots of twisting and turning to get paint to easel. I am beginning to creak and ache, while my feet feel sore after four hours of standing up.
Some time ago I got rid of a rack of storage space , and moved unloved work ( but daren't throw away) into the very spare bedroom. All to make more floor space. Which worked, sort of.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Monday Painting. Boats at Rest Under a Thunderous Sky.

Does the title of a painting matter?

I ask this because I changed the name of this painting recently to "Boats at Rest Under a Thunderous Sky" as I wanted to give it a visually more descriptive title.