Country Fair

I recently spent a weekend in a gazebo showing work at the Hotham Park Country Fair.Great fun but very hard work. Sold painting though.

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A dry time

Since the start of the year I have had a rather desert experience regarding my creativity. I feel the need to do something different  but I’m not sure what. I had a discouraging Art Trail with few visitors and no sales. This has made me take stock and reassess what I want to do. An artist should paint for themselves but I guess we all like a little company and an audience but this can become a snare. Once one begins to look  over ones shoulder at the commercial merit of  work it has a deadening effect and it becomes stilted and repetitive. With this in mind I think I need to be a bit brave, not sure how yet so watch this space. Below is the only painting I have done this year based on a Hazel tree in Hotham Park where I am Artist In Residence. I am not sure what I will be posting next but I have a mind to try some pure abstract work.

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Art Trail time again!

It doesn’t seem long since I started this blog over a year ago and its time for my annual Marathon, not running, but getting ready for the trail. ‘It can’t be too difficult to hang a few pictures up’ I hear you say. Weeeell, you would be surprised how much there is to do:

Cleaning the windows, we live near the sea and get salt blown on them during storms and there is no point hanging pictures if folks can’t see them. Then there is the matter of my very dirty house, as cleaning seems to come at the bottom of my list of interesting things to do. Mounting and framing mono-prints and pastels, labelling them, making sure I have an up to date inventory as there is nothing worse than having to make up prices and details on the spot. All that is before I take down all our paintings ready to hang mine.  Unpacking the paintings from my studio which is a log cabin the garden and turning four rooms in our house into temporary galleries. On top of all that I need to get my studio tidied at least so that folks can get into it. Not much to do really!

Art trail time again

I am yet again taking part in the annual Chichester Art Trail. I am right on the outer limits of what is a very large trail so tend to get fewer visitors than those venues clustered together in Chichester. I open my working studio to the public and unpack all my stored paintings to turn our house into a temporary gallery. Its a huge amount of work so I am glad to see visitors. This year my messy studio has the honour of featuring on the trail guide cover and the poster below.  More details can be found on the  trail website: http://www.chichesterarttrail.org

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Paint problems!

Recently I decided to use my Alkyd oil paints. I don’t usually bring them out in the winter as they do need good ventilation. They  dry overnight but are workable for about six hours. If you want to work again in a hurry without the week wait with normal oils they are useful.

As its been a while since I used them the first job was getting the lids off; enter a bowl of hot water. With the lids successfully removed I found the openings blocked with hardened paint with the nice fluid stuff quite clearly evident below. My trusty steel meat skewer made a bit an opening but it was still like a strong man competition exercise to get more than a minute blob out as the hard stuff would block the hole again. When one is itching to get going this can be VERY frustrating so with several  I resorted to cutting the bottom of the tube off and exiting the paint that way. I figured that I was going to have to use up the older paints quickly anyway.

I did finally get going but had to repeat the process every time I came across another blocked tube which does rather disrupt the creative flow. At least I can be grateful they were not acrylics which would have dried on my palette whilst I messed about with blocked tubes. Below is the in progress painting I was trying to work on.

Well its a painting

Having trouble getting going with fresh work but have managed to finish this today. It started life as a quick demonstration on the theme of ‘Storm’ for my little art class. As its on a good sheet of heavy acrylic paper primed with gesso I felt I had to at least finish it off. Managed to do it without getting too fussy which pleases me. Below is the quick pencil sketch the painting was taken from. I like working from sketches if I can.

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