Thursday, March 26, 2015

Rocks and waves

Rocks and waves at Mousehole
Framed size about 21" x 25"

Back in the southwest of Cornwall again with this one - and you can see the pretty village of Mousehole nestling in the background. Maisie loves to run around on these rocks and bark at the waves! For now I'm enjoying having it up on the wall in the studio, but if you'd like to purchase this painting you can contact me and we can discuss framing/delivery etc.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Shadows at Bedruthan

Shadows at Bedruthan
Oils, framed size 16" x 19"


Here's another new studio painting of a different view at the Bedruthan steps. Oh my, I'd love to live with this painting. It takes me right back to the hypnotic motion of the waves swirling around over the rocks below, the feel of the sun on your face and the salty breeze. That turquoise water, those scudding soft clouds, and that brightly lit grass on the cliff top... just lush.

Alas, I won't be keeping the painting because it will have a nice home waiting for it somewhere. I am having it made into greetings cards though, so far this is one of four brand new card designs that I will be showing at the Patchings festival in June. There will be many more new ones, original paintings and 2016 calendars too!

But if this gorgeous painting belongs with you, feel free to contact Mark here. I don't think it will be on the gallery wall for long.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Beach at Bedruthan

Beach at Bedruthan
Oils, framed size 19" x 23"

The stunning rugged National Trust coastline on the north Cornwall coast at the famous Bedruthan steps. Really wished I lived closer and could get here at different hours of the day, and to be able to make the most of good weather days such as this one!

This painting is also heading to the Scarlet Hotel which is within two miles of the steps. The price, framed, is £850 and again if you'd like a closer look you can contact Mark at the Harbour Gallery because he's a lovely and helpful chap!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Breaking wave

Breaking wave catches the light
Oils, unframed size 16" x 20"
Framed size 23" x 27"

Here's a change from all those lovely wintry paintings I've been doing lately - I've also been busy painting lovely seascapes so I'll show you a few of those this week. I really love this one, that marvellous green glow as the sun illuminates the breaking wave. This is a studio painting but I have stood on these rocks at Mousehole and painted the waves coming over the rocks from life, so I hope I have captured some of that feeling of urgency and movement here. As always, distilling the information received down to it's essential components, is what counts.

This one is being framed up for the Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall, and will be for sale there at £1100. If you'd like to rush in and grab it before it even makes it to the gallery wall or the Harbour Gallery's website please contact Mark here :-)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Exciting times - new book!

Washing day, Venice

I must fill you in on my very exciting news! My Facebook friends may have already seen me mention this earlier in the year when I asked which topics you would like to see covered, but of course not all of my lovely blog readers are also on Facebook.

I have begun to write a book on oil painting. Its going to be full of information and inspiration and of course my paintings. A lot of the information will be useful for working in other mediums too, as it will be about the properties of a successful painting and how to put them into practice. I have had a planning meeting with the publishers so all I need to do now is work on the content - all 144 pages!

I'm hugely excited, but I also wanted to warn you that I have a very busy year ahead of me! I will continue to blog as often as I can but please be patient with me if you don't hear from me for a few weeks sometimes. I will be having not one but three solo exhibitions in 2015 so I need to be ultra productive and organised.

I've got lots of fab travel plans for this year - California, France, Umbria, Channel islands, Venice... which means there will be lots of good stuff to blog about when I get the opportunity ;-)


Monday, March 16, 2015

Carousel

Carousel
Oils 8" x 10"

Another in my Christmas market series. I'm really happy with the feel of light and movement, that time of day when the electric lights start to take over from the sun. I will probably seek out a fairground for further studies this year. And some of these will undoubtedly be a starting off point for larger studio paintings.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

BBC Big Painting Challenge

Heather

Have you been watching the BBCs Big Painting Challenge? I've seen lots and lots of criticism of it on Facebook. I'm really enjoying it, and think it's great to get to see some painting on TV instead of cooking and baking and sports.

People feel that the judges have been unduly harsh and should only say positive and kind things to the contestants, but it's a competition not a painting holiday! The judges have to choose which artist to eliminate each week at the end of their painting and drawing challenges. Some of which are extremely challenging by the way.

Besides which, we are only shown the edited highlights. Of course the judges may have made many positive comments that have been cut out by the producers.

I'm enjoying sketching the brave contestants anyway!


Anne



Jan


Alison


If you're in the UK you can watch the episodes so far on iPlayer here.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Umbrella days




These are sketches from my brief stay in Paris in November, on a rainy day at the Louvre gallery. The reason I'm showing you them now is that I've been busy last week writing a new article for The Artist magazine and I'm using these sketches in the article. It's about painting a new studio painting from a plein air painting, which is something I've only really got to grips with in the last two years. I still have a lot to learn of course, but I am getting more intuitive and noticing where techniques used in the studio are changing my plein air work. For me the two really go hand in hand. As Kevin MacPherson says in his book 'Landscape painting inside and out' -

"Indoor and outdoor painting are complementary experiences. As memories of nature breathe life into your studio work, the disciplined approaches and principles you practice indoors will enable you to attack the canvas outdoors in new ways."

I will let you know when the article gets published :-)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

UK competitions






If you paint and live in the UK I just wanted to make sure that you know about some fantastic current opportunities, both of which have a closing date soon.

The first is a TV based competition that Sky Arts are arranging in conjunction with the National Trust. The competition is called 'Landscape artist of the year' and I'm sure it would be terrific to be involved with. If you are selected to participate in a heat you get to spend the day at a gorgeous National Trust property painting your landscape. What could be nicer? As long as you don't mind having an audience, a time deadline and being filmed of course. I would love it!

Have a look at the entry details here if you are interested, and read carefully the terms and conditions before applying. One important thing to be aware of is that you have to be able to take the landscape painting that you enter with along with you if chosen to take part. Therefore don't enter with something that you've already sold!
Deadline for entries is Friday 20th March at midday.



If painting to a deadline and in front of an audience and film crew isn't your cup of tea, how about entering The Artist or Leisure Painter magazines competition in association with Patchings Art Centre?
There are £17,000 worth of prizes up for grabs this year, and it is a thrill to have work exhibited in the prestigious exhibition that results from this competition. As you know if you're a regular reader I have been extremely fortunate with this competition, winning the top prize last year as chosen by Ken Howard RA.
One thing's for sure - if you don't enter you won't be selected!

The price for entering three works is very reasonable, and it is a simple online process to enter. You can enter any subject of your choice. If you are a professional or experienced artist you should enter The Artist magazine category, and if amateur enter the Leisure Painter.

To enter and read more information about the exhibition click here.
Closing date for entries is the 27th March.

And do please remember to let me know that you've been successful! Good luck!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sketchbook peek



Since Christmas I have filled a whole sketchbook with portrait and figure drawings, and I'm not going to stop yet. These are some of my favourites from the book. Some days I only spend five minutes, others half an hour or more. Sometimes a linear drawing, most often I draw in tonal values with shading because I think that gives me more help for my paintings. I've been using soft pencil, charcoal or graphite sticks and I'm enjoying the subtleties possible after years of shunning the simple pencil in favour of bold pen marks.

How do I find my subjects? Well some days I can sketch from life and that's preferable. Otherwise I sketch from photos that I've snapped on my phone during the previous week, or from paintings or photos I've seen online (Pinterest is a good source) or I pause a video on my iPad and sketch from that. That's a great way to sketch groups of figures in conversation, and I particularly like regency costumes so I tend to go for a Jane Austen TV/film adaptation! To be honest I'm not too fussy about the source for the sketch, and it's better to just get on and do it than to hunt around for ages for something special. The sketch always has its own life and takes on its own importance. 

By the way, they don't all work out and sometimes I have to break off when I'd like to have gone further. But I know there'll be another chance tomorrow.














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