Thursday, May 23, 2013

And the love afair with acrylics, continues

 I have been quite inspired by acrylic paints and how I can use the glazes and a palette knife.  The one above  is the latest one I have done and I am quite pleased with it, 

This one I am not happy with the colours but I like how the buildings came out

This one I gave to my husband as its of mullion cove where we whiled away a few hours recently

these last two I like the depth I am getting but feel I may have over worked them

whatever the results I am having fun !!  and isn't that what discovering something new is all about?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A weekend to remember

I had a fabulous weekend away in Cornwall with my lovely husband.  It didn't come without its problems,  the accommodation was awful.  I really discovered this weekend that you get what you pay for. So I will never stay in a static caravan again and the full story will be told on trip advisor.
Anyway not people to let that stand in our way, we had some fabulous walks on beaches and chatted to some lovely people in a great dog friendly pub , we even didn't let the rain get us down.   But I was very pleased when the rain stopped for Monday.

Because the whole reason for going was that I booked myself onto a painting day in Penzance. Well we started in Penzance but moved onto Marazion and painted St Michaels Mount. 

The day was run by the brilliant Glyn Macey.  I have to make a confession, in that I didn't really know who he was when I booked it. I have been having problems with  acrylics for years.  I have dabbled here and there, but I always struggled as it felt it was like painting with treacle, after my beloved watercolours.  I also felt it was a bit like painting by numbers. I have always been blocky with painting with it and to be honest I look like a complete beginner when I use them. I have however realised recently that I am to tight and if  I want to explore the type of work that interests me, I need to move more into a fully bodied medium.  So when someone shared a link on Facebook with me about Glyns workshops,  I had a quick look at his work and the book Acrylics unleashed and thought this is the course for me.

What a great choice that was. 

I made a decision before I went that I was not going to discuss what I did for a living, for 2 reasons really, the first one being totally selfish, I wanted to just enjoy and not worry about having to get a good result,  but also I didn't want any of the others on the course, to worry I may be better than them.  I really wasn't either, I was as much as a beginner with acrylics as they were. 

Glyn was a great teacher and his gift to me this weekend was that he made me excited by the idea of using acrylics.  What a revelation!  I know it sounds daft,  I knew of most of the techniques he taught us, but I could never put them into practice, I had no context into how they could be used for my paintings.  The biggest revelation was a small palette knife,  I have tried once with a palette knife, but really didn't get the point,  well I do now,  Oh what a joy!!

We scumbled and glazed and talked about optical and actual colour mixing,  we kept to a limited palette but the revelation was how you could produce so many optical colours with just two glazes. And I am not allowed to share ( unless I kill you after ) the secret of Macey Blue!!!!   as it is pure magic!  I was also very taken with some collage techniques, something I had not been very keen on before.

Anyway the work I did is here for you to see.  Probably we wouldn't have used so many techniques in one painting, if Glyn hadn't been so keen to share so many with us in one day. But both paintings are unlike anything I have ever done before.

This is my interpretation of a windy day on Marazion beach

and this was a studio study we did later, to learn some more techniques.

I would recommend this day so very very much, but get in quick as Glynn wont be running them after this year.  His website is  I saw 2 of his books,  'Acrlics unleased' and 'Glyn Macey's Cornwall', which were wonderful and I would have bought them, if I could have afforded them.  I would recommend both and if you are interested then they can be bought from his site here 

I can't wait to get a little palette knife and get myself in my studio,  so if I go quite for a while,  you will know why.

Friday, May 10, 2013

I have no idea ....

....what I am doing at the moment.  It been North Somerset Arts week and I was so busy leading up to it,  that now its on, and all I am doing is waiting around for people to visit,  I have suddenly become exhausted and have realised I was in need a break.  Its been nice not having students for a week.  Don't get me wrong I love my students and I have missed them,  but as they say a change is as good as a rest.  I have loved talking to people about my work for a change, rather than promoting the classes and workshops.  I suppose what I am saying is I have loved being the centre of attention ;-)

 The studio looks great ( even though I say so myself) and its been great exploring how it could be laid out if I didn't have the student tables all the time.

I have also managed to get rid of some old frames.  When I started out I used to pick up frames from charity shops, but as I have made more money, I wanted a more cohesive look and so have slowly replaced them all with black frames and white mounts.  But I had loads of the frames lying around that I had intended to take back to a charity shop.  Instead I put them all out in my large basket and said people could help themselves, but suggested they could put a donation in the RNLI box.  Living by the coast then this is such a worth while charity, so I do all I can to support them.

I have also had a chance to do some pastel drawing.  With people in and out more than normal,  I found it hard to settle to anything major, so these have been great to just pass the time and people are interested in watching .

 The last paintings I did before Arts week were these acrylics,  they are only 20cm x 20cm  but they were fun and I love the colours. As always my obsession with the sea continues.

I have also managed to finish my 'Plop' pencil drawing.  I started it as I wanted to enter something for the Derwent Drawing competition,  but now its finished I am not so sure.  The photo isn't very clear  and I need to scan it in properly but it gives you an idea.

So I am now being asked if i think Arts week has been successful.  Well I  have nothing to compare it to being my first one in this studio,  but I am very pleased,  I have sold a couple of major paintings and a few smaller ones.  Loads of cards and bits and bobs.  Money wise I wanted to make sure I covered what I would have taken if my students had been in and I did that quite comfortably.  At the start I asked Mr WD what he thought would make for a successful week and he set me what I thought was  a very unrealistic target,  but I am only £100 off with 3 days still to go, so maybe it wasn't that unrealistic after all.  But as I believe success shouldn't just be measured by money,  then I would say its been a great week.  lots of people have been introduced to my art work, a lot of people have gone home with a little bit of it , even if its only been in card form.  And we have raised the awareness of the centre.  I would also say its been the best atmosphere there since I joined,  so all in all I am very pleased.

I will catch up with you next week,  I have an exciting weekend ahead of me and I am hoping that I will have some new work to share with you next week....