Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Youtube Slideshow

I haven't posted for seemingly ages, having been tearing up and down the country collecting frames, giving a demo (getting lost going only 29 miles - pathetic if your reading this across the pond!), sorting out prints and generally getting ready for my exhibition in my village this week.  I've also spent interminable hours on trying to put a vido-slideshow on to Youtube. I've tried 5 different software applications to this effect, all but one to no avail - it seems you need as a minimum a rudimentary understanding of quantum Physics to fathom the jargon and understand how to use the programs.

Anyway, I DID manage to post a video of the pictures to Youtube, but the images are disappointingly not sharp and half the outro message has been chopped off, despite looking perfect before it was uploaded, but if you fancy a look at my efforts, click on this link : 

I look forward to seeing some of you on Friday at the Preview Evening!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Paintings in My Village Exhibition

Here are some of the paintings that will be in my Village Exhibition, details below on the 18th June Post. Some are new, some are old and if I was poncy I could call it a retrospective, but really the older ones are those that haven't sold in the Galleries and will be at knock-down prices. Please form an orderly queue outside the church, say 3-4 days before the Friday Viewing, and no unseemly fighting, please.

Again, if you do intend coming along to the Friday Preview on the 1st July, please let me know so that we know the numbers to cater for, thank you!
Also, please remember there is an entry of £5 (proceeds go to the upkeep of the church) but there is wine and canapés!

Walking the Dogs, Pastel 11 x 15 ins
 Barrows 'n' Boats, Oil 9 x 12 ins 

 The Mooring Post, Oil 7 x 10 ins

 Across the Marshes, Brancaster Staithe, Oil 7 x 10 ins

 Early Winter Light, Brancaster Staithe, Oil 14 x 20 ins

 White Bull at Sunset, Pastel 19 x 24 ins

 Setting Sun, Br. Staithe, Pastel  9 x 12 ins

 Autumn Stroll, Pastel 11 x 15 ins

 Chasing Coots, Windermere, Oil 18 x 26 ins
 Spring greens, Oil 7 x 10 ins 

 Snowy Sunset, Oil 9.5 x 14.5 ins 

 Broken Willow Sunset, Oil 11 x 15 ins 

 Frosty Bridleway, Pastel 15 x 23 ins 

 October Reflections, Oil 10 x 14 ins 

 Winter Swan, Oil 9 x 12 ins 

 August on the Welland, Oil 11 x 15 ins

 Pentewan Beach, Cornwall, Oil 12 x 17 ins

  Distant Storm, Burnham Overy Staithe, Watercolour 10 x 14 ins

 Poppies near Cottingham, Oil 10 x 14 ins

 Frost by the Rapids, Pastel 10 x 13 ins

  Bluebells and Campions, Oil 10 x 14 ins

 Spring Reflections, Barrowden, Oil 11 x 13 ins

 The Creek, Brancaster Staithe, Pastel 10 x 13 ins 

Moorings at Thornham, Oil 18 x 30 ins

Two new little-uns

 Slow River, Oil 6 x 8 inches

I filmed the entire painting of this one, with the intention of posting it speeded up on Youtube, if I can figure out how to do it!  If my brain CAN figure out how to, I'll post here with a link.

Incidentally, I've been asked SO many times about my DVD.  The lie on my business card that says 'Instructional DVD available', will, I have every faith, soon be a true statement.  Moves are afoot and in the not too distant future, it WILL be available!  Actually, it's just a cunning marketing ploy on my part so that you are all GASPING to get hold of one.  Sometimes, I think I'm too clever for my own good..........

Winter's Carpet, Oil 6 x 8 inches

When Autumn is done and winter sets in, the gloriously thick carpet of russet leaves adorns the woodland floor, and is delicious to paint.  Even in a painting this size, I have used lots of palette-knife work on top of my big-brush foundation, almost sculpting the paint to give the illusion of leaves.

These two paintings will be in my Devon exhibition next month.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Village Exhibition

Advance notice: To all of you who read my blog, you are invited to attend the Preview Evening of an exhibition of paintings by me, wildlife painter Sue Van Silver and painter and designer Sarah Stillman, together with some truly stunning flower arrangements by stars of that skill in the village. I shall have some of the originals already posted on my Blog, plus five brand new Limited Edition Giclee Prints for sale. I look forward to seeing thousands of you !

Venue: South Luffenham Church, Rutland, LE15 8NX
Date: Friday 1st July
Time: 7pm - 9pm
Entry: £5 (proceeds go to the upkeep of the church) 
wine and canapés

If you intend coming to the Preview Evening, could you please email me to that effect so that we know the numbers to expect, thank you very much.

The exhibition is also open on Sunday afternoon, 3rd July, from 1pm - 6pm, as part of the Open Gardens event.  The charge will be £5 again, which will also grant you entry to the fabulous gardens in the village (not mine!)  Superb Cream Teas will also be available in the Village Hall from 2pm, with stalls of homemade cakes, preserves, plants, tombola and the Grand Summer Draw with a holiday for two in the Algarve as the first prize. 

I shall be in attendance to meet and greet on Friday night, but only from about 5pm on Sunday......40 years ago, my brother decided to get married on this day, without a thought that his Ruby Wedding celebration lunch might clash with this exhibition, but that's brothers for you.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Bluebells and Campions, Wakerley Wood

Oil on Board, 10 x 14 inches 

Those very astute ones among you may have spotted in the last photo in my Patchings Post, that there was a woody painting on the easel.......this is it finished, having had my fingers removed from the acute frost-bite suffered on that last day. 

This is a glorious ancient wood near home, where Bluebells and Red Campions thrive. Isn't Campion just a glorious word ?  You can see the exposed roots of the trees on the uphill path and I enjoyed putting in the two Dandelion clocks in the right foreground as a subtle touch against the gorgeous blue-lilacs and pinks of the woodland carpet.

The RA Summer Show

The BBC has done it again - last night they had the usual Culture Show Special on the Royal Academy Summer Show. True to form, it was an hour overwhelmingly centred on the pile of weird and bizarre male sperm receptacles that passes for art. 

Watching the art critics spouting their pseudo intellectual garbage about thoughtless daubs was classic - you could easily have been watching an episode of The Fast Show (for those of you in foreign parts, it was a comedy sketch show on the BBC). Three 3 inch parallel strokes of white paint on a small turquoise square adjacent to three similar 3 inch turquoise stokes on a white wall......I rest my case m'lud.

I went to the RA Summer Show once, about twenty years ago and have never bothered to submit anything to it, nor ever will, having seen what does get accepted.  On that occasion, one 'artist' had an old washboard on one of the walls, with a single squirt of Orange paint on it. There was a lot of excellent art as well, as no doubt there is in this year's show, but that never gets any airtime, naturally, on the BBC - it must be avant garde, darling - anything well drawn, with attention to perspective, colour and design is so passe.

Sadly, in my opinion, having RA after your name is now downgraded and largely meaningless. Tracey Emin, RA....need I say more ? There's just a C and a P missing !  It's an acceptance by a load of art critics who haven't a clue what they're talking about, having been to art college but can't actually DO it.  My friend and brilliant artist across the pond, Carol Marine, said she learnt nothing at art college except how to impress critics which is something she couldn't care less about and I wholeheartedly agree with her.  She and I and hopefully you reading this and thousands of others will live happily with the scorn of the burks who can't paint, but talk the talk.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Pictures from Patchings Art Festival

September Haze, Oil 10 x 14 ins

Poppies near Cottingham, Oil 10 x 14 ins
Spring Reflections, Oil 11 x 13 ins

The paintings above are 3 of the paintings I completed at Patchings Art Festival last week. September Haze was done a couple of weeks ago as a demo to Penn Art Group and finished on Day one.   

Thanks to everyone who visited my stand and watched me painting !  Here are some more pics from the festival:

With some fellow painters at the end of day 1, from left to right: Steve McLoughlin (Bush-Baby), Me (looking like my Dad in this one), Helen Parsley (a very friendly Lion) holding a glass of red provided by Richard Harpum (out of shot) and Alistair Butt (Halibut or Beaker)

Scrubbing in my next painting with thin Alkyd Oil

The block-in completed with my palette loaded with paint
A bit further on......

Further on still, with the distant trees more resolved and placing in the foreground tree with my big household paintbrush

Not far off now

Posing with the finished painting (close-up at top)

With Helen Parsley

The block-in of the next picture
Some details added
And more......(finished pic at top)

An attentive audience on day 3

"How does he do that with THAT brush?"......
"Looks easy to me"......

Wrapped up in my operating gown on day 4, when it rained all day and got very cold - I had frost-bite in three fingers

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Dazzling Sea, Sidmouth

Oil on Board, 12 x 17 inches 

Back on Oils now; I wanted to capture the intense light of this breezy day at Sidmouth on the south Devon coast, when the wind-whipped breakers were dazzling with pure sunlight bouncing of them. Intense light like this is difficult to portray with the miserably inadequate brightness of the lightest colour in the artist's armoury, Titanium White.  The trick is to reserve the white for the lightest bit of the painting, the sea below the hill, fuzz the bottom of the hill to give the impression of the dazzling sunlight, then paint the highlights of the clouds a tone darker and warmer than the sea.  There, now I've told you, my career is over.  I shall just have to kill all of you.

My parents married on February 15th, 1947 after a Valentine's night works dance, then drove down to Sidmouth in one of the worst winters on record, with my dad's open-topped Hillman, with the top down !  There's flash !

Shan't be posting again until next week - don't forget to come and see me demonstrating (painting, not with placards) in the painting Marquee No23 at Patchings Art Festival if you are going ! 

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Patchings Art Festival

Just a reminder to any of you who are interested - Patchings Art Festival starts on Thursday 9th June and goes on for four days.  I shall be demonstrating every day and will have four brand new Limited Edition Giclee Prints for sale; 'The Langstrath Valley', 'Cob and Pen', 'Glorious Autumn' all on good quality cotton canvas, and 'Waterproof Whizzers' printed on beautiful Hahnemuhle Paper.  The originals can all be seen in my previous posts and the Prints will be lifesize.

Please say hello and say how much you enjoy my Blog and generally what a great painter and all-round wonderful human being I am; anything along those lines - you choose your own words but say them loudly.  I shall be in Marquee 23, the painting tent. I look forward to seeing any of you !

Breezy Day by the River Axe

Pastel on Pastel Card, 11 x 15 inches

Following on from last night's Blog post, this is the re-painted disaster painting. Easily the most time I have ever spent on a painting of this modest size.  In fact, it was an ambitious enterprise in the first instance tackling such a complicated subject on this scale - it would have been much easier to have done it twice the size.  It's fiddly trying to make the cattle and swans convincing using thick stubs of Pastel, but I got there in the end. Having spent such an inordinately long time on this, twice, this will be my very first painting with a £1,000,000 price tag, in my own lifetime, and I'm not Damien Hirst or Tracey Emin ! Hoorah for me !

Friday, 3 June 2011

Art Disaster !

Today I had a disaster.  Some of you may have see the Mr Bean film Whistler's Mother in which our hapless hero destroys Whistler's great portrait of his mother. I've gripped you now haven't I - you've shuffled to the edge of your seat haven't you?  Marine House Gallery, where my one-man-show is on 16th July, wanted a new mugshot of me in the studio, so, as I had to use a delayed shutter and focus on my 'operating gown' set up on a plank of wood on my chair (don't ask) and then quickly sling it (the gown) out of the way as I sat on the chair to compose myself in time before the shutter released, I didn't notice exactly where I slung it.  You're ahead of me now aren't you......yes, that's right, I slung it onto my nearly completed Pastel painting that I was REALLY pleased with. 

I looked down after the camera took the photo, with an aghast and disbelieving look.  I had all but completely wiped three quarters of the painting off the surface.  I, like others, have wiped oil paintings that have gone wrong, but I've never wiped one that I was so happy with. I'll post the re-painted Pastel when I've finished it, but for now, here are three more Pastels completed this week:

 Built for Dartmoor
 Pastel on Pastel Card, 22.75 x 22.5 inches

This little guy just had to be painted - all legs and head with a big, beady eye, and covered in junior fluff.

 Donkey Oaty II
Pastel on Pastel Card, 24.75 x 19 inches

Donkey Oaty - get it?  I've painted 'Oaty' before; he lives at Banbury Hill Farm at Charlbury near Chipping Norton, a lovely Bed and Breakfast where I've stayed. Donkeys have a calm, benign look about them and they make superb subjects for an artist.  

 Winter Sunlight
 Pastel on Pastelmat, 16.75 x 19 inches

This is a cold, but warm painting if that doesn't sound daft. The yellow, orangey sun through the tops of the trees is a perfect complement to the blues and mauves of the fresh snow. The fallen poplar tree provided a nice foil to drag the eye back into the right half of the painting. Try covering up the tree with a pencil - the composition doesn't work so well does it - too left biased, right?