All that glitters must surely be from Essex

All that glitters must surely be from Essex
Oil and glitter on canvas

Monday, 20 August 2012

I love being busy....when I'm busy painting!

It's a good week, I'm sure of it....I know it's only Monday however, I'm really excited about my new piece. I get paid on Friday (yay!) which means I'll have the money to get the materials I need to get started. Have been working on the composistion today and the sketch below gives an idea of what the composition will look like.

I made a great discovery of a new material that I can't wait to use and can't wait to my teeth into using spraypaint for the first time in my own work.  I always seem to be showing my students how to use it but have never ventured into the realms before myself.  It's quite ridiculous how excited I get at starting a new painting...if I was of an addictive personality I could probably develop quite a problem with it!

I'm also starting to organise myself for the Open Studios that we are having the weekend of 8th-9th Sept (it certainly will help to take the edge off of going back to school!), I'll post details of it on here closer to the time for those of you reading this who live close enough and are inclined to come along.

I have to get prints sorted of my most recent finished piece "All that glitters must surely be in Essex" (see previous post).  I've already had 2 people who've enquired about prints... on the same day I finished it!
2 is clearly the magic number here as I also have 2 comissions to finalise and begin.  One from the good ol' U, S of A.  On top of that I've got to do my submission for the Salon Art Prize.

With only 2 weeks of the 6 weeks holiday left before school starts, I really don't know if I've got time to go to work!  If being a professional artist is like this, bring it on!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Newest the bag!!

The world is all about keeping things in balance, so - bearing that in mind, my last post was very wordy and so this one is going to be full of pictures and very few words.

My newest piece from my "Essex" series is finished.  It is (as yet) untitled and for those of you who are interested it is oil paint and glitter.  I have taken shots from different angles to show the glittering effect as caught by the lovely sinshine coming into my studio today.  I have already had some interest expressed from people asking if it is available as a print.  It will be very soon - keep an eye on my website where all of my work is available to buy as an original or a print.

So here it is...... (photo's are taken on my mobile so are of lower quality)

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Medals, more marmite and marketing

I was reading a fellow artists blog who said that the most difficult thing about blogging is the title of the posts and how to start them.  I whole-heartedly agree - there are millions of blogs, hundreds of thousands by artists how do you make it interesting enough in the first few lines to make someone want to read it?  Wish I knew - I just write what I'm thinking at the time, this really is just me talking but on a keyboard.

Anyway, first few lines over with on to the nitty gritty.  The whole point of this blog is to chart my journey into becoming (hopefully) a professional artist...professional being making money or a living from my Art.  Those of you who have been to my website, or follow me on here on Twitter, and of course that great rareity in the world of the internet-those of you who actually know me, will know that I spent my youth (up until 22) studying Art.  My degree is in Painting, but then I stopped.  It took me 7 years to pick up a paint brush again.  In truth I don't really know why, was it that after so many years of being creative to obtain a grade/qualification, after spending every waking hour thinking about, planning and writing about my work I just had run out of creativeness or (as I had always had up until then) the compulsion to create...I really don't know.  I'm sure I could pay a man with an agreeable tone of voice and a taste for comfy looking cardigans, a fortune to delve into my psyche to give me the answer....but honestly, I don't care.  I didn't paint for a number of years, and then one afternoon I just began again.

With my urge to create restored, my passion for painting back again, I then began to think..."well...I enjoy this so much I wonder if  could do this full-time?"  Perhaps because I was finally painting for me rather than for credits or a grade - and so my enjoyment of it was even greater than I remembered.

So I find myself on the road,endevoring to become a "professional" artist.  And bloody hell it's a tough one.  There are no hard and fast rules of how to do it, and much like I imagine is also true for acting and being a musician, there is no one way to become successful.  By successful I don't mean famous...I mean successful in the truest sense of the word. No shortcut, just a lot of hard graft and as today delievered me, a LOT of no's and closed doors.

So what the hell has any of this got to do with the title?  Well, the Marmite Prize for Painting sent me an email today notifying me that I had not been successful in being shortlisted.  I had a moment of inner struggle today when I asked myself if I was really the sort of person who could relentlessly self-market myself (an absolute necessity), if I can't blow my own trumpet then who else will.  This does not come naturally to me at all and at times I find it excrutiating.  But it must be done if I want to be noticed amoung the hundreds of thousands of other artists who are struggling to be seen and get their work noticed.

And the medals....well for those of you reading this who aren't aware of Great Britain's history of medal winning in the Olympics - Team GB 2012 is the most successful at getting the jewellery in over 100 years.  Now this is quite exceptional for us Brits - usually we tend not to watch too much as we know we won't win or aren't even in the running for a medal - but this year, my god we're winning left, right and centre.  I daren't move away from the tv in case I miss one of our fantastic athletes winning something.  I dragged myself away today to finally get into the studio, but even then had the Olympics Live being streamed to my phone.  Not great for the focus.

There are many obstacles to be overcome, if I am to become a professional artist.  Many moments of self doubt still to come......and a hell of a lot more no's!  I'm not going to wax lyrical about being thick skinned as I think an artist ahould be sensitive to the world around them in order to reflect it and to express ourselves in a way that others can identify with. I'm sure it is as it ever was.

My progress on this piece is below, I got to go to town on it with the glitter today and had enourmous amounts of fun.  Although unfinished, I'm pleased with how it's going (apart from a few niggling refinements that I've been thinking about all evening....OCD) and should get it finished later in the long as I can tear myself away the the Olympics!!

Another "no" then today but I suppose I need to wait a bit longer for my work to strike a chord with others.

Back to the Olympics, it's been 20 whole minutes...we must've won another gold in that time!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

When it's not a good time to run out of tea.....

Spent time in the studio this afternoon/evening, continuing on my current piece.  Still without a title, but have few ideas in the running for it.  Am catching up with all of today's Olympics excitement so this will be a post of mostly photo's of how the work developed this afternoon.  Didn't get as far as I would have liked as had to come home - ran out of tea in the absolute nightmare for a Brit.  Stayed for as long as was humanly possible without a brew, but had to give it best.

Note to self, either take more tea...or pace myself and not have 3 cups in the first 10mins of painting.  And yes, I can drink tea and paint at the same time.

So this is how things were going after just over an hour working on it,

Road now painted, I began to work over my underpainting to give the edges of the road more texture and depth,

From here I added the detail of the road markings, and then adjusted them, adjusted them again...and again until I got them to a place I was happy with them.  I also didn't want to make them stand out too much, although coming in to the foreground I don't want them to catch the eye too much as all of the attention should eventually (when it is finished) got to the viaduct.  The markings should act as a device to keep leading your eye back into the work.

So, unfotunately I couldn't get started on the viaduct (so it remains glaringly white!).  However, I will get back to the studio at the weekend, armed with a lot more tea and see if I can get it finished.  I wouldn't be able to carry on with it for a few days anyway as I need the paint to completely dry before I begin work on the viaduct as I have something speacial planned for it..............