Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!



I wish you all a very happy new year, with my last sketch of last year (above) and a drawing from yesterday :-)





Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Holiday drawings

My Dad now has a halo...

I always find the Christmas holidays such a great time to sketch... so many models around and so little need to do anything else... other than eat and drink... lovely :-)


Drinking red wine on the sofa

'Listening to football on the radio'

Mary in the school nativity play

Yes that is a dog/neck warmer

The three graces?

And a reindeer

Talking to his grandchildren

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Happy Christmas time

Snow at the Roseland Inn

I hope that you are all having a nice Christmas and New Year break. I'm loving the way that everything slows down and you can spend time relaxing with friends and family and not worry that you should be doing anything else. I love checking my emails and seeing hardly any new ones - except for all the January sale ones which I'm deleting straight away.

This painting of a Cornish pub in the snow - oh how I wish we had snow on the way - is now on show in the winter exhibition at the Harbour Gallery, Portscatho. 

You can have a look at all the paintings in this lovely exhibition here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Fantastic news!

ROI catalogue 1997 

I have had the most wonderful news to end the year with. Last week the Royal Institute of Oil painters elected me an Associate member! It is hard for me to describe to you how much this means to me but if I tell you that membership of this prestigious society has been my biggest and longest held ambition (for the last 20 years) you may begin to get the idea!

The society hold an annual open exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London with a part of the show consisting of non member work which has made it through the competitive and rigorous selection procedure. In order to be even considered for membership you have to consistently have work accepted and hung in the annual exhibition year after year - which is tough enough!

I first had work accepted with the ROI in 1997, when I won a Young Artists Award.  My prize was £500 worth of Winsor & Newton materials, and a tour of the W & N manufacturing plant. It was my first major prize, and the year after I was awarded another Young Artists Award at the annual exhibition - so I had an early taste of success! 

Since then I have developed a hard work ethic, and buckets full of persistence. There have been years when I missed the annual deadline - when moving house or having my hands full with a new baby for example, but I never stopped thinking of the ROI and entered whenever I could. 

At the end of 2010 we were busy packing up ready to move to France and in 2011 living on the island of BrĂ©hat so I missed the ROI exhibition during those two years. When I returned to the UK after the year away I had gained a much clearer perspective on what I wanted to achieve with my work and also what I had missed while being away from the UK. I determined to never miss the annual ROI exhibition deadline again, no matter what. I developed strategies for keeping good work back throughout the year so that I would be ready for submission and prioritising the important dates for the exhibition in my diary. 

The planning ahead paid off and I was extremely fortunate to have work accepted in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 and now have been rewarded for my perseverance and am very happy. I am looking forward to getting involved in the activities of the society and hope to prove myself worthy of being elected a full member in the not too distant future. For now I can proudly use the initials AROI after my name!


With Adebanji in September at A Brush with the Broads

It was a special double celebration as my friend Adebanji was promoted from Associate to full member of the ROI. Many congratulations Adebanji Alade ROI!

Read more about the Royal Institute of Oil painters here :-)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sketching with friends

Jose de Juan, Glenn Fitzpatrick, Adebanji Alade, Peter Keegan, Graeme Messer, Nur Shodaj, Edward Ofosu
and in front Michele del Campo and me

I had a Christmas treat last week when I was invited down to my friend Michele's studio in London. Michele gathered a little group of artists together and we had a sketching evening, each taking turns to be the model for around 12-15 minutes.

It was really good for me to get out as I hadn't been anywhere or seen anyone since the ROI preview at the beginning of December. And it's always good to get the sketchbook and pencils out, and I had slipped out of the habit recently with so much else going on this month.


My 15 minute sketch of Peter Keegan

My sketch of Edward Ofosu


My sketch of Glenn Fitzpatrick

My sketch of Nur Shodaj


My sketch of Michele del Campo

It is surprising what can be achieved in a sketch in so little time! Not all of my sketches from the evening worked out but I was happy with these ones.


Portrait of me by Adebanji Alade

Me and Adebanji sketching Michele del Campo
Photo courtesy of Peter Keegan

Friday, December 11, 2015

Snowy new homes


First snow,  Drove allotments

These favourite snow scenes of mine, painted this year, have all sold in the last month and are heading off to their new homes. It's so rewarding every time my passion for painting the gorgeous snowy domestic subjects is deeply loved and appreciated by somebody else.

'First snow, Drove allotments' is a complete favourite of mine. Painted entirely en plein air I haven't had a single day since where I have been quite as euphoric painting as I was on that day. Such excitement, to be at the allotments with snow. Simple pleasures eh?

This painting also felt like real progress to me, in the manner in which it was painted. It was as though I'd passed another level or grade in my pursuit of simplification.
It goes to join another of my snow scenes from the previous winter at it's lovely new home.


Treading softly

 What can I say about 'Treading softly'? Well this photo doesn't do it justice at all. It marks another huge turning point in the development of my work and I was almost holding my breath all the while I was painting it. I was desperate to communicate that delicate softness of the icy early winter morning when your breath hangs in the air as if frozen and shapes are emerging and hidden by the morning mist. I have a tendency to be heavy handed and knew that with this one I had to approach it so delicately and softly and not like a bull in a china shop! That's why I was holding my breath the whole while!
The abstracted shapes and colour combinations within this painting do take my breath away, and I actually feel cold coming off the painting when I stand in front of it. I'm also very proud of this one and happy that it has gone to a very good home.


Out of the woods

'Out of the woods' is a good example of the less is more and get it down quick tactic. It's a much smaller painting than the others here and it's that end of the winters day, do I have it in me to stay out for one more hour? Oh my gosh look at those long shadows and the sun going down behind the trees. Yes. I. Do.


The thaw, Drove allotments

Aww 'the thaw'. Well this one is the largest snow painting yet and I passionately love it also. It's a bittersweet emotion because the snow is melting and my time to paint it is running out fast but what an exciting contrast to try to capture! The warm sunlight, the cool shadows on the snow and that really fresh green of the sodden grass emerging from it's cold cloak. Added to which the structure of the sheds, the opportunity for little abstract passages. Bliss. And strong tonal contrasts which meant that for this one I could be just as gung ho as I wanted! This one is like the 'yang' if 'Treading softly' is the yin.

'The thaw' is currently on display in the Royal Institute of Oil painters annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. Do go in and see an amazing show if you can but be quick, it ends at 1.00pm on Sunday 13th December.






Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Exhibition is open!



I now declare this exhibition.... OPEN! Cue cutting of ribbon across the doorway...

Ok so the exhibition in Nottingham has been open five days now and it's all been rather busy and is going really well. This is the first chance I've had to share some photos with you. It all looks really great and I'm very proud of this show. I've had a fantastic response from visitors and lots of sales already.










Don't despair if you live too far away to make it to Nottingham, as I've spent many many late nights making sure the whole exhibition can be browsed via my website.
Please do have a look and I hope that you like what you see, and although lots of paintings have already sold there are still many beautiful works looking for a special home.


And the coffee shop across the road delivers...


Solo exhibition in Nottingham 'A lighter touch' opens on Friday 13th November until Sunday 22nd November, at 71 Friar Lane Nottingham NG1 6DH. I will be in the gallery each day and showing around 70 new paintings. We will have a late night opening until 7.30pm on Friday 20th. All other days opening hours are 10.00am to 5.00pm. Five days left, don't miss it! 
See the show online HERE :-)




Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Waiting at Harriets

Waiting at Harriets

The wet day in Norwich turned out to be such a blessing. In the afternoon it stopped raining but look at the incredible subject I found thanks to the wet streets! I just fell in love with the deep aubergine colours of the jewellery shop and the purple and white striped awnings, as seen with the warm cosy glow through the windows and their reflections. 
I'm sad that I don't have a better photo of this one but it sold at the Paint Out Norwich auction before it was even dry. Am happy that it's gone to a very good home though :-)


Solo exhibition in Nottingham 'A lighter touch' opens on Friday 13th November until Sunday 22nd November, at 71 Friar Lane Nottingham NG1 6DH. I will be in the gallery each day and showing around 70 new paintings. We will have late night openings until 7.30pm on Friday 13th, Saturday 14th and Friday 20th. All other days opening hours are 10.00am to 5.00pm. Ten days only, don't miss it! 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Flowers in the rain

Flowers in the rain

Last week I took part in Paint Out Norwich again, now in it's second year. It is such a fun event and so well organised. I had to miss the first of the two painting days and on the second morning it poured with rain without stopping. I stood under a tree in the market square with an umbrella but that didn't manage to stop all the rain reaching my palette and the painting. Still, there's always something fascinating to paint even on the dullest day. I looked across the road at the colourful flower stall. My big challenge was making everything dull enough so that the brightness of the fluorescent strip light within the stall would stand out on the painting as it did in reality. The trickiest part to get right without competing with the electric light was the white and yellow canopy.


Solo exhibition in Nottingham 'A lighter touch' opens on Friday 13th November until Sunday 22nd November, at 71 Friar Lane Nottingham NG1 6DH. I will be in the gallery each day and showing around 70 new paintings. We will have late night openings until 7.30pm on Friday 13th, Saturday 14th and Friday 20th. All other days opening hours are 10.00am to 5.00pm. Ten days only, don't miss it! 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Blue sail

Blue sail
8" x 10"

Here's another new and exciting small work that features in my exhibition, one of my favourites. I love the dynamic shadows and the lines of the ropes that appear and disappear, like a dance of sunlight. It's got all the ingredients that keep me on my toes with painting - shape and suggestion, lost and found edges. 

If you'd like to enquire about any of these paintings before the exhibition opens next week please get in touch and I can happily reserve them for you.

Solo exhibition in Nottingham 'A lighter touch' opens on Friday 13th November until Sunday 22nd November, at 71 Friar Lane Nottingham NG1 6DH. I will be in the gallery each day and showing around 70 new paintings. We will have late night openings until 7.30pm on Friday 13th, Saturday 14th and Friday 20th. All other days opening hours are 10.00am to 5.00pm. Ten days only, don't miss it! 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...