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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

doing a bit of work

Been doing a bit of work - inspired (or spurred on perhaps!) by the thought of putting on an exhibition in the Falkland Islands Government Office next year.  I would like it to be all new paintings and drawings, so will have my work cut out to get enough done to make a decent show, so have started on some drawings here, can't do much else in this little mobile and with few materials, but I can draw at least.  This is the first of them.

It is water-soluble graphite, which I love because it is possible to get nice deep dark tones, on heavy NOT water-colour paper that will accept water without buckling, so you don't need to stretch it.  Quite a nice texture also for drawing, although I might try some rough paper when I get home.  Got plenty there.   It measures 16 by 12 so by the time it's been mounted and framed it will be a decent size.

Nothing wrong with small work mind you - looks really good hung in a close and cohesive group.

Got more drawing in the pipeline over the next couple of days I hope, so will post them when done.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A long time away

A ring of Olive trees Oil on board 60 x 80cm

Sunlit Olives Oil on board 60 x 80cm

Arabian head Oil on canvas 48 x 60cm

Ripples 1 Oil on board 50 x 60cm

These are the oil paintings I've managed to produce this whole season - and it doesn't seem like much - the two of olive trees are quite big 60 x 80cm, the horse is 48 x 60cm and the ripples is 50 x 60cm.  There was also this landscape, of Chartres, a commission:- again an oil painting, 40 x 80cm.

On the other hand we've been doing a lot of travelling around, with the trip to Australia and also to Greece to see to things there, so that was two months out of it, apart from the travels to and back from France.  Quite the rolling stone this year!

I've also got two pastels and another ripples painting half done, they'll get finished when they arrive back in the Falklands in December, and in the meantime there are lots of things in my head to be done before that.  So I will try to be better about keeping this up to date.  I always think time on the computer is time wasted but of course it isn't really, actually a great way of keeping in touch with quite a lot of you out there, and I have neglected the blog  :(

I was reading a magazine in a hospital waiting room this morning, and there was an interesting little piece about the benefits of standing up rather than sitting down all the time - apparently it's good all round, increases metabolic rate, helps prevent diabetes, improves circulation etc etc (you get the drift) so maybe there's a good reason why I actually prefer to paint standing up!

Dying to get home now - see you all down there soon!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Just had a really bad day - was working away  on a commission, quite a large pastel painting - part not quite right, found what needed doing.....and overcooked it.  Too much already worked into the paper, and a couple of important corrections just couldn't be done.   Too bad, these things happen, but I'm grinding my teeth over it all the same.  But...the only thing is to start again and take out the ruined painting from time to time to remind myself what not to do.  BLAST.  Can't write what I'm thinking.

Thanks Ben for the chat and the pastelmat which will be the thing, soothing, smooth, velvety.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

sigh of relief

Bout time I got back on here , and said something.  The exhibition went really well thanks to everyone who helped and particularly all who bothered to come along and have a look, and of course to all who bought or commissioned something!

I was so apprehensive beforehand, but it all turned out to be .....well....fun.  I will get the commissions done next, but have a lot of ideas and plans for the next lot of more personal paintings.

There was something very strange about seeing all the paintings I'd picked out to show, all together "in the flesh", and at first I felt very exposed and scared.  The thing is though, once the work is finished it's nearly as if I had nothing to do with it any more, and it's grown up and standing on it's own for other people to love, hate, puzzle over or dismiss as they will.  On the other hand, I remember each step of the making of it, almost to the extent of recalling every stroke of the brush.  Paul Klee once said something to the effect that the artist is like the trunk of a tree, the inspiration and ideas are the roots of the tree, drawn up through the trunk, and the branches and leaves are the actual work.  To me that describes the process with uncanny accuracy, except for the inconvenience of a tree being a single entity!

I finished this painting very recently, and will be doing more as I still have a fascination for glimpses of camp life that may be either  up to date or a look backwards into the past.  Some of the past life seems so remote now that it might belong to another era, and is almost like a half remembered dream, but some other things are vivid and present (or maybe I'm just getting old!)   One thing's for sure, life never stays the same.

The painting above is an oil painting 18 x 27 in.  It's been sold.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A painting for SAMA

This is a pastel, 9 x 13 in, on Pastelmat - it will be auctioned at some point to raise funds for SAMA but don't yet know when - ???

Friday, March 16, 2012

Got a large oil painting just about finished I think - maybe a few bits to do tomorrow, I'll have another look then.  Hope it has time to dry before exhibition - it has to be framed too.  Have also got a load of other stuff ready for framing, about another 16 or so works.  May be doing another couple yet.  Anyway all is coming together.  We go into Stanley at the end of next week, which'll give me a few days to get everything together finally....then get them up at the Jetty Centre and hope it all goes OK.....

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Well the day is drawing inexorably closer, I'm doing some drawings at the moment for the exhibition, mostly of views and things around here, most of them seem to be quite intricate.  I've got one large painting to finish and hope to get another one done in time (but may not manage that), and some more pastel works, landscapes and so on.  So I hope there will be a good variety of things for people to look at - PLEASE COME ALONG!  Open to the public March 31st, April 1st and 2nd at the Jetty Centre.

Friday, January 27, 2012

When I was young

This is a portrait of my grandad, in conte crayon on Ingres paper (I know this because I still have it!) I did when I was about 17 or 18 - I was going to put it in my previous post but couldn't find it, ho hum me and computers.

OCA - link if anyone is interested, as I say it was very good.  I see the painting courses have changed, instead of being just 1,2,3 and 4 it's now split up differently.  I would expect it to be just as good.  www.oca-uk.com

how do you get into this anyway?

I was awake last night, as usual not able to sleep much, and thinking about how you get into this art lark.    It started in my teens as far as I remember, did "A" level art and went on to do a Foundation Year at Guildford Art School (as it was then).  It was suggested that I leave at the end of this - had been involved in student protests culminating in a sit in in the admin block, and it was not approved of at all.

Anyway art got put on the back burner while I got on with getting a job, and so on.  However, I kept on drawing though all through the years, and then in about 2000 or thereabouts had the idea of doing a OCA postal course in painting.  It was a great course, in the end I did Painting 1 and 2 from them.  Really good tutors and lots of feedback very helpful - good constructive criticism along with plenty of encouragement.  At that time FIG paid half the cost of the courses on completion, which was a great help.  I'm sure the OCA (Open Collage of the Arts) is still going and would recommend it unreservedly.  At that time each course cost around £450 from what I remember.

I was going to go on and do Painting 3 and maybe 4 as well, but the projects involved a lot of work from live models, in rather short supply here so I decided against it.  Not that I have anything against figure painting but trying to organise models would have been a pain in the backside!

Anyway I finished the two courses in 2003, and have been painting every since.  You never stop learning and hopefully improving, although that process does tend to be two steps forward and one back - I have quite a lot of work that doesn't see the light of day, I just look at them myself sometimes to remind me of mistakes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Well it's going to open on March 30th, at the Jetty Centre, Stanley.  So much to do, so little time, but it is something to focus on now as it's taken on a definite form with a venue and date!  Still scary though.  Don't think I'd be able to manage it without SeAled PR, they are great, doing all the organisation so I can concentrate to getting some work finished.  Trouble is I'm not a quick worker,  the paintings are detailed and a lot of them are quite large and they take a long time to do.

At the moment the theme seems to be "Old stuff in camp".  This is a recurring interest for me, I suppose I've been living here for long enough that some of the memories of how life was are turning into nostalgia, but I don't want to get sentimental about this!  I don't believe in "the good old days", some aspects of life were decidedly poor but there were a lot of good things too.  Just like nowadays in fact, life changes that's all.

There will also be some examples of portraits, also landscapes and some animals.  So far I have not done anything with the wildlife, don't know why just haven't got round to it....yet.  There are also some paintings of other parts of the world.  So it will be a bit of a mixed bag.

I do hope you'll be able to come along and see it.  The opening  is 30th and that will be by invitation, but I hope to run the exhibition for 3 or 4 days after that.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Working towards Exhibition

I'm keeping finished work back for the time being until the exhibition, because I would really like to show some things that people have not seen anywhere before.  So I hope you'll bear with me and those that can - come along to the show!  It's not fixed yet exactly when and where, but as soon as I now more details will post them on here, and wherever else I can think of.
Things are coming along, slowly.  I've got quite a lot of work in the pipeline that I hope will be finished in time.  Just got to keep nose fixed to grindstone and stop prevaricating!
I'm looking forward to the exhibition, but am increasingly anxious and nervous about it too, I guess when it gets nearer and I'm more organised (ha ha) I will start to feel more excited instead of apprehensive.