It’s all about play! I’ve just finished an online course called CVP (Creative Visionary Project) with Artist Nick Wilton which has taken over most of my life for the last three months. Now I’m in the process of letting what I’ve learnt sink into developing my art practice. Every artist,at some point, has that urge to progress, take more risks and to push themselves out of the boat and into the deeper waters. For me, I normally do this through setting my self some ‘play time’ that is getting into the studio and work in my sketchbook or directly onto 30x30cm boards, once set up I make different marks using various brushes, scrapers and palette knives. I’m also trying out different colours to the ones that I’d normally use. As you can see below I have used a limited palette of just three colours Amsterdam ‘Kings Blue’ Winsor & Newton ‘Lemon Yellow’, Daler Rowney Systems 3 ‘Process Magenta’ plus Paynes Grey and Titanium White. The brush used to apply the colour samples is by Jackson’s art supplies. S.5551 No.6 PROCRYL. The sketchbook is by Seawhite of Brighton 19.5×19.5cm.
Above: experimental work in progress, adding torn bits of paper for creating a sense of composition and ideas
Below: my evolving style from taking the CVP art workshop, here I’m using a brighter colour palette!
Above: Top Tip – try cropping areas of your paintings using a cardboard framing mount. Quickly maneuver it over areas of interest to find intriguing shapes, colour and design. Remember to take a quick photo for future reference
Above: ‘Fisher of Men’ painted ‘live’ during worship at the New Dawn Christian Conference 2019. This is something new and I’m inviting lots of other artists who’d like to join me in 2020 to contact me and get involved
Student’s work: from a recent workshop I gave to a local art group
Above: Student’s enjoying a fun morning painting at a recent art workshop I gave for a 60th birthday party
Feel free to get in touch if you’d like me to deliver an art workshop for you or your art group.
Now for something completely different! My paining ‘Rocky Orange’ 45x45cm has been selected for the Sir John Hurt Art prize. The exhibition of shortlisted works will be on display in the Auden Theater Foyer from Saturday 20th – Sunday 27th July. Time 11am -5pm. The Auden Theater Foyer, Cromer Road, Holt, NR25 6EA.
Looking forward to opening my studio for one weekend only as part of the Holt festival. Open Friday 26th Saturday 27 and Sunday 28th July. Time 11am – 5pm
Looking forward to opening my studio doors for Norfolk Open Studios starting over the Bank Holiday weekend. I shall be opening my work space for three weekends: 25/26/27 May 1/2/8/9 June. Opening 10am till 5pm. All welcome –
A big thank you to everyone who came to the first of my art workshops – it was a very busy day and the rain held off so we could enjoy walking and sketching around Burnham Overy Statithe harbour.
For anyone interested in trying out mixed media I’m holding an extra workshop on Saturday 29th June at Burnham Overy Staithe on the North Norfolk coast. See under workshops for more information. Please click the link below –
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 Nicki Heenan 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’d try their version of cold wax. 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. For the sake of health and safety it’s important to wear a protective face mask, gloves and work in a well ventilated studio with the doors and windows open.
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.
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.