In the studio this month I’m trying out cold wax medium as it’s textural and interesting to use. I’m hoping to go on a course at some point to learn more about the process but for now I thought I’d try it and see what effects I could create and learn from making lots of mistakes. Before starting this process I first read a good blog by Niki Heeden http://nickiheenan.com/ and recently found some informative videos by Lisa B. Boardwine on Youtube. As I’ve used Zest It products before I thought I try their version of cold wax before trying another brand by Gamblin. Cold wax is mixed with oil paint and as I normally paint with acrylics the feel of oils is quite different. It’s a vast subject and my first results are painful to say the least – so I’m allowing myself time to play and see what happens. These images are the results so far, some pieces are on mounting card and the two blue abstract ones are on MDF board – coated with three layers of gesso first.
Framing – new styles
This month I’m trying out some new framing ideas – the one below is called a St Ives/Nicholson frame by Ashcraft framing. Ashcraft Frames are an online framers and this is the first time I’ve tried using an online company. The only problem with using an online framer is that all the frames need to be assembled, taped on the back and strung by you! so you’ll need to feel confident enough to do this before ordering any frames. To finish off the frames why not have some sticky labels designed to add any extra information about your painting and to promote your website, wish I’d designed some ages ago…
Loving taking time out of the studio to sketch the views at Wells-next-to-Sea. I use Seawhites of Brighton sketchbooks as they are sturdy and the pages seem strong enough to take whatever materials I like to put on them or scrap off! I’ll be demonstrating how to use a sketchbook at my one day art workshops coming up soon. Due to lots of interest I’m holding an extra workshop on Saturday 29th June – sign up here
Studio lighting is a big topic and one I spent ages researching and asking advice on. Finally I choose a set of studio lights by RALENO. I found them on Amazon, the reviews were good and the quality of the stands and lights seemed good enough for my first set. After seeking the help from a photographer friend I realised my old Nikon Coolpix camera was quite capable of taking some decent images for printing cards and giclee prints.
Delighted that my painting ‘Boldness Within’ has been selected for the first stage of the Visual Art Open 2019 competition. Stage two of the judging selection will take place at the end of May. There will only be 30 artworks shortlisted for the VAO19 exhibition taking place at the Chester Art Fair.
Looking forward to giving an art demonstration for the Wymondham Art Society on Wednesday 3rd April at the Roman Catholic Church Hall, Norwich Rd, Wymondham, Norfolk, NR18 0QE at 7.15pm. The hall is a separate building next to the R.C. church with ample parking. During the demonstration I’ll explain my process, how I explore mixed media and the materials I enjoy using when creating my artworks. Small entrance fee. Refreshments. All welcome.
As February ends with temperatures higher than average March blows in with storms, high winds and plummeting temperatures.
However, the need to create work goes on and this month I’ve treated myself to some new art materials from Jackson’s Art, who are an online art supplier. Buying art materials is an expensive business and I get over excited by the thrill of seeing the array of delicious new colours and stuff on offer. For the first time I’m trying out using Cold Wax medium. Cold wax contains beeswax mixed with Linseed stand oil and Gum. It is used cold straight from the tub and is not to be heated. More on these experiments later…
Over the last few weeks I can see an exciting change in some of my recent paintings. I’m abstracting the horizon, seeking the thin places between heaven and earth. Most of the new work will be heading to galleries and my Open Studios event this year – where I shall be opening my space for three weekends: 25/26/27 May 1/2/8/9 June. Opening 10am till 5pm. All welcome.
My February mood board came about from de-cluttering my studio and finding lots of hidden photos, odd prints and drawings that I just couldn’t throw away. I really do feel that it’s a mistake to chuck out all of this inspiring stuff – hence the idea came to turn one corner of my studio into an inspirations board.
This month has been about learning new techniques and I’ve enjoyed using what’s known as a Gelli Plate. A Gelli Plate is made out of clear gel – they are easy to clean and ideal for creating monoprints. A monoprint is a single ‘one off’ print. Best suited for use with acrylics paints there are endless possibles and the outcome is quite a surprise! This month I’ve been experimenting with a different colour palette of muted grays and Prussian blue. I tried various different types of paper, such as banana paper and tissue paper with pleasing results.
Having produced lots of prints the next thing was to try using them in a collection of semi-abstract ideas on paper. This is a brilliant way to learn without the pressure of creating a ‘finished’ painting. Play time should be encouraged and something I try to build into my art practice every so often.
These mini abstract landscapes are the results from tearing bits of printed paper and scraping through with the end of a paint brush.
Being inspired by the graphic black and white tones on the mood board I explored the Gelli Prints further by making several abstract pieces on paper using the torn magazines, white acrylic paint and added accents of rust orange and teal blue to give a pop of colour. The results were urban edge and are quite different for me and I’ve even surprised myself with the results.
Excited by this progress I then went on to create a more contemporary piece using bits of torn tissue paper and collaging them into the painting. I’ll be demonstrating several of these techniques on my Art Workshops this year.
It’s January and I’ve been thinking over the Christmas break just what do I want from this year? Here are some of the questions I’ve been asking myself : 1, How to keep my faith and prayer life fresh? 2, How to keep my studio in order? 3, Where to exhibit and find new opportunities? 4, Mentoring – who and how do I find them? These are things I aim to address during this year…. I don’t ‘blog’ as such but this year I aim to keep more of a written journal/diary about what it is I love doing and to be more ‘open’ to sharing these things with you.
For my workshops please see under workshops
Looking around my studio I can see it’s holding far too much stuff so I’m using the inspirational Marie Kondo method of tidying up and having a good declutter. Starting with my brushes! as you can see many have been well used and seen better days. This insightful method is all about sparking JOY and as my work is about creating uplifting and joyful artworks then I aim to have this feeling all around me as I continue painting. Well that’s definitely one goal to master this year. https://konmari.com/
Art tools – keep trying new things
Artworks in Progress
Sanding back paintings that are not really working all helps to create something new!
Try mixing Triadic colours – very interesting and you can learn so much from this exercise
Sketching at Holkham beach North Norfolk
Thank you for visiting my website, to sign up for occasional information about exhibitions and new artworks for please click link below or use my contacts page. More inspirations to follow next month…
Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd December. Time 10.00am till 3.30pm
This will be my first ever Christmas open studio. Lots of fresh artwork on display together with prints and cards. Offering a warm welcome, mince pies and hot mulled wine. More details about this exciting event is on my News section…
Bright crisp November days are here and there’s a chilly nip in the air. However, in keeping with the rich autumnal hues I have been inspired by the beautiful views around my studio and coastal walks, creating several new paintings for galleries here and abroad. Top tip! with shorter days it’s always challenging to keep ahead of the fading light during my painting sessions and it’s never a good idea to mix paint under artificial lights, mainly as they completely change the tonal values, so always mix enough paint to see you through!
If you’d like visit my studio to view my paintings please get in touch:
Autumnal sunny October – a season of changing colours bringing fresh inspiration. The warm weather has been a delight to sketch in, especially after my sketching holiday on Patmos – a small Greek island where Saint John wrote ‘Revelation’, the last book in the bible.
Since coming back I’ve been walking and sketching in the dunes at Holkham and Wells-next-the-Sea, capturing the light and exploring different mark making ideas using Inktense blocks and pencil. Meanwhile back in the studio I’ve been working on finishing two new pieces for the Corte-Real Gallery in Portugal – more about this and other galleries on my News post. Enjoy the rest of this glorious sunshine!
If you’d like to make an appointment to visit my studio and view my artworks please get in touch: email@example.com