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, 30 March 2017

Sketching With Friends

Last week saw the first sketching trip of the year!
Great joy!

It proved to be a very socialable day, traveling to Stamford on the top deck of the bus with my 91 year old neighbour who was off on a jolly to the weekly market and a cup of coffee with a friend.

© Mary Kemp. Willow Tree

Once there we parted ways and I met up with two like minded atists for a glorious day of sketching and arty type talk, a day we'd planned weeks ahead because Jean had so many socail engagements in her diary she couldn't fit in anything earlier!

We put the world to rights and even managed a couple of drawings  before the cold took over. It must be we're getting a bit light weight as time goes by.

 Stamford meadows was the ideal place to sit, viewing the town and the river and the bridge. Jean and Judy are quite fond of buildings so that's what they drew. I think they're more accurate than me. I gloried in the elegant trees, still beautifully skeletal despite a hint of green. I also included Jean leaning against the railings.
© Mary Kemp. Jean Drawing

I've said it before but one of the nice things about being older is not having to worry about any unwanted attention while you're out sketching in public. I was never very good at the cutting put down and trips out unless accompanied by a man or a child were often interrupted. Now my only interruptions are people who are truly interested.

We finished fairly soon after lunch, but I feel we are limbering up for a feast of drawing outside for the coming year.
There's nothing like sketching with friends. Thank you Jean and Judy!

Next week I'm off to the seaside. I'm praying for decent weather but even if it's too cold and windy to draw I'll take lots of photos.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Delivery by Bike

Those who know me are getting a bit fed up with me going on about how much I love my bike.

So it's no wonder that my delivery system
 often involves my trusty stead.

Since I bought it last year I've been in raptures, extolling it's rideability and the way it zooms along the road, making me look like a witch on a broom stick even in a head wind.

Some I can't get on
my bike so I have to
call in a carrier!

Each time I go out on it I feel like I'm  on holiday.

The nearest post office is less than a mile away so to dispach prints or small paintings that's where I go. I make my shipping days Mondays and Thursdays unless someone's got a need for an emergency piece of art although I suppose a speedy bicycle trip every day might not be such a bad thing!

These are the two prints I posted today, battling a headwind on the way there, and just floating home on the way back.
Mary Kemp
Ginger Cat on the Table

Mary Kemp
Border Collie in the Northumbrian Coast
If you'd like to be part of my next postal run just hit the link to buy your very own at my Etsy shop.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Something New!! Not Paint but Linocut.

When ever I go to the seaside I never want to leave, and I suspect that's why I paint the pictues that I do. There's an irresistable pull to the coast, to catch sight of the sea and never take my eyes away.
Could it be that my birth sign is Pisces? I'm not really into that sort of things so perhaps that's a bit fanciful.
This week I've been dabbling into the world of lino cutting.
It was a nightmare
transporting 12 sticky prints home!

Our local museum in Peterborough ran a workshop (I have to apologise for Peterborough's Vivacity's website with so little information on it. If it hadn't been for a facebook message I wouldn't have known anything about this workshop). Having said that it was a very reasonable price.

I wanted to explore my seaside themes in new ways, and lino cut struck me as being a way of concentrating more on the figures I see on the beach.
Gouging out lino against the clock
is very hard on the hands.
A boy and a dog, one of my favourite ideas at the moment, seemed the ideal subject.

I've a way to go before I get proficient in this!
Every ..... print had something wrong with it.
It's definitely not the medium for a messy person.
The effects are beautiful.
The best bit is discovering your image when the paper is peeled away, a moment of wonder.

Thank you Janet Bates for your excellent tuition.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

A Passion for Seaside Piers.

I've always had a passion for piers. I suspect it began on my first visits to the seaside as a child.
Southwold Pier
 I don't actually remember being on any pier at the time but sitting beneath eating sandwiches and feeling very cold.

Funnily enough I do remember piers from my teenage years and particularly nearly being thrown into the sea (don't ask!) from the one at Ryde on the Isle of Wight which, built in 1813/14, just happens to be the oldest of the Victorian pleasure piers. 

Last summer saw our family staying on the Welsh coast by Colwyn Bay. Languishing in the corner of the bay was a rather sad looking pier. You couldn't actually get to it. It was cordoned off and derelict. Built in 1900 the Victoria Pier had an interesting life, being burnt down twice and bankrupting it's owner. It had been so grand, but now seems to be a collection of mismatched pieces of scaffolding and rotten planks.
The Victoria Pier,
Colwyn Bay

Did you know there is a National Piers Society ? and Cleethorpes Pier was pier of the year for 2016?

I like piers that have a bit of entertainment on them, Cromer with the best End of the Pier Show I've ever seen, or the lovely shops and clock on the one at Southwold.

The Clock on Southwold Pier
These structures were built in a different era, for day trippers in clumsy clothes without mobile phones.

Mary Kemp
Half Term at Southwold
featuring the pier!

The gloriously gaudy pier at Great Yarmouth, alive and kicking!
I think a really nice thing to do would be to make a road trip around the country, visiting every pier, and being an artist I would like to sit and draw every single one! 

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Walking with the Dog and Birds.

There's a bit of excitement in the air, spring is just around the corner, and winter walks on the beach may give way to scampers across the sands to reach the cooling water's edge. Or is that just my wishful thinking.

The winter saw me waiting ages for paintings to dry because my studio can get so cold. This painting was on the easel for what seemed like months! I had time to look at it and ponder it's meaning which in the end I realised was very simple.

It celebrates a companionable walk on the beach with the dog while birds whirl all around.

Mary Kemp
"Walking with the Dog and Birds"
Oil on board
60 x 60 cm
I hope you like this painting which is available through  my website.
If you would like more info or to see more detailed photos please get in touch.