All that glitters must surely be from Essex

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

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Too many straight bloody lines!

This week I'm sitting typing this at a far more sensible hour than last week.  To get to the studio today was  a real relief after a ridiculously busy week.  Whilst working to become a professional artist my...."day job" is Art teacher at a secondary school (those of you reading this outside of the UK, that's 11-16 year old kids).  It's an incredibly busy job at the best of times but this week it reached warp factor 10 in busy!

Ofsted graced us with their presence to carry out the second inspection in a year, this means high amounts of stress for all involved.  On Wednesday I finished work at 8.30pm and by 5.50am the next morning I was on my way into work again.  Thursday and Friday was my GCSE students mock exam (it might only be a rehearsal of the real thing but in organising everything around it - it might as well be the real thing).  Finally on Friday night as Head of Creative Arts I was responsible for my Faculty putting on the school Talent Show.
It went well, but was another late night and again in terms of helping my anxiety didn't!

Finally it was the weekend and on Saturday night I toasted it's coming with a few large glasses of wine.  So by today I was relaxed and ready to paint.

When I arrived at the studio today I knew that with most of the under-painting finished freehand, I now had to get to work on layering my colours and using masking tape to tidy up my edges.  So I began taping......

....and 15mins later I was still taping........ fact for 3 hours I spent most of my time taping and this reminded me why I usually paint landscapes with not a sodding straight line in sight!!  In between I actually manged to do some painting!

The thing about working with tape is that, as annoying as it is putting all the stuff on, it is INCREDIBLY satisfying to peel it all off and see lovely crisp, straight edges.  Although it probably doesn't look much like a lot happened today, I managed to layer my colours and add light & shade to both of the flanking beach huts. Next week that just leaves me with the detail of the posts at the front and that's right, you guessed it...........more bloody taping!

Here's how I left it, night night all.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Another late night so......

Perhaps the quickest of all posts.  After a busy evening it's gone 11pm already and Piers Morgans "sob stories" is on in the background, I've got an early start for work tomorrow and I wanted to get this post out tonight to show today's work on my most recent piece.

Think I've managed to make a hash of downloading the photo's off of my phone, so if they are not of good quality I'll upload better images in the week.

Really pleased with how this is continuing to go, although the number of straight lines is knackering!!  Still working on the underpainting, my focus today was on the beach huts on the right (blue) and left (green).

Here they are, I'm off to make a cuppa tea....and so to bed.  Night night.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

QR codes and art fairs......

Well as I have said before in previous posts, there are quiet weeks, busy weeks, disappointing weeks, successful weeks, weeks I can't even remember and some weeks where you get a little bit of everything!

I think this week was one of small triumphs.  My work was accepted into an Art Fair which is being held in Chelsea (the one in London, that of the Pensioners and famous barracks)

The manager of the art fair emailed me to say that he had seen my work and would like to know if I was interested in participating.  Abso-bloody-lutely!!!  So, I am now very focused on finishing my current piece (see post below!) so that I can include it with a few other recent pieces.  I shan't reveal all now but will of course be including here closer to the time.  It's in February, very helpfully it's actually at the end of the half term week so I will be off work to take my work to Chelsea to put it up.

Now fate would have it that it is also the weekend that one of my best friends gets married.  This particular fair has invigilators as a constant presence so the artists themselves don't have to be present for the whole weekend.  Good, but I was talking to my partner about the best way to include my contact details for those that are interested in my work.  They can obviously speak to the staff there but I felt like I wanted something a bit more immediate and fun than that.  Of course I have business cards which I shall leave out but then we came up with the idea of a QR code. 
I could put several of these on the display with my work so than rather than just a link on my business card those with smart phones could scan the code and be taken straight through to my website...genius!!

With great ease I found a website that enabled me to make my own code FOR FREE!!!  I downloaded it and when I tried it and it worked I was way more excited than perhaps I should have been.  And here it is.....

If you've tried scanning it and it has worked it should take you straight through to my website, yay!  Okay so some of you might be reading this thinking, "erm...yeah? Those have been out for ages!"  Yes they have but hey I'm always a little late to the party with this kind of stuff.  Anyway, who cares it's bloody brilliant!

Charles Saatchi - as I'll be just round the corner to you if you fancy popping in to look at my work then please feel free, and use the code - I bet you're a bloke that appreciates a QR code?!

There you have it, globally speaking a week of small triumphs, but I'll take them where I can get them.  Success is success right?  I'll take that!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

After some more time in the studio....

So I took advantage of a bright and sunny afternoon by going to the studio.  I get a great light in there in the afternoon.  After a very hectic month including a completing a comission that I'm really proud of (here it is).....

I got back to work on the newest piece in my Essex series.  It's taking a long time to paint and I'm still working on the underpainting!  Its a LOT of straight lines which although time consuming I'm insisting on painting free-hand rather than use masking tape.  I'm enjoying painting it and as I'm working on it I can see the painting it's going to be, like nothing I've worked on in a long time.

I think it was Michelangelo who said he freed the scultpture from inside the stone, with this one I feel like I'm uncovering the painting from the canvas.  I'm painting it like I know exactly what everything is going to look like, ordinarily my work changes and adapts whilsty I work on it, but with this I know absoloutely what it will look like.  Even though I will be using lots of differnet materials, some of which I've never used before - I am totally confident of how it will look when finished.

Here's how it is looking so far...

Taken once it had already gone dark which is why it's a bit shadowy and on my phone's camera.  I'm waiting for a new phone which should have a much better camera and so make my "in progress" shots better in quality.  And before I have people saying "well why don't you just take a real camera to the studio?", I use my phone because it's a lot quicker to get the pictures on the computer and yes I am THAT lazy!   More work to do at the weekend so more pictures in a few days, make sure you keep coming back.