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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.