New series – flower studies.

These are the first in a series of flower studies.

All on A3 double gesso-ed acrylic paper.

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‘Cosmos – mixed’

Oils blended with glazing medium on acrylic inks background.

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‘Daisies in sunlight’

Acrylics on acrylic ink background.

 

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Oil pastels and paints – blended with glazing medium on acrylic ink background.

‘Cosmos -2’

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‘Pastel poppies’

Oil pastels blended with glazing medium

New painting – with back story.

I’ve titled this one,  ‘On her way’ – it is inspired by the devastating mental health struggles my youngest daughter is currently experiencing after the birth of her baby almost three months ago.   These last few months have been extremely traumatic for all of us but last night, when I went to visit her with her older sister, it was like she was back to her old self again. There is still a lot more work needs to be done but it was the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel I saw last night, as she walked away from us down the corridor to her room.  She seemed to be surrounded by a golden glow and that’s what I wanted to get across in this painting.

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“On her way”

Acrylics, inks, soft pastels on Daler Rowney system 3 acid free acrylic paper.

16 1/2″ x 11 1/2″  (not for sale)

 

 

 

Oil Bars

Apologies for such a long time in posting any arty updates – been lots of family things to sort out lately, I’m quite exhausted by all of that, so let’s get on with it hey?

I discovered Winsor & Newton Oil Bars quite by accident and only have a small selection at this stage.  But boy am I enjoying this new found freedom.  I am still doing fiddly small things while I get used to manipulating the oil bars on different surfaces.  These are some of the more recent things I did over the weekend.

 

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‘Patchwork landscape with blue’

14.5″ x 10″ or 37cm x 25cm – actual painting size.

Acrylic inks, oil bars and oil paints on acrylic art pad.

Surface worked with sgraffito technique

 

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‘Poppy field’

9.5″ x 6.5″ or 24.5cm x 16 cm

Acrylic inks, Oil bars and oil paints on Daler Rowney acrylic paper

Surface worked with sgraffito technique

 

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‘Poppy field with buildings’

7″ x 5″ or 18cm x 12cm

Acrylic inks, oil bars and oil paint on mixed media paper.

Surface worked with sgraffito technique

I am also working on a largre canvas piece, as well as a larger landscape piece but these aren’t ready to put up here yet.

Hope you enjoy!

Ink landscapes

Yes, I’ve been absent from WordPress for quite a while … the whole of November has been a bit of a bugger up on my side – mainly because I’ve been in and out of hospital.  I’m on the mend now and getting stronger all the time but it’s been a very long, stressful and  frustrating process, don’t recommend it.

I was doodling about with inks recently, just to see if I could still do something artistic while I was feeling so down.   So here are the results … one (the daisies) was a request from a friend of my daughters, I hope she likes it.

 

 

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Marketing of art and ascribing value to a piece

All things are relative. That’s the first point of reference, I find, when it comes to putting a price to a piece of art. It ISN’T about supply and demand either, as many marketers would have you believe. It’s about concept and connections.   Many pieces of mediocre art are sold at astronomical prices because the artist or artwork itself, has generated some controversy, fame or following – not because of the scarcity of the work (limited edition prints for example) or physical output of original work by the artist.

Coming to a point where an artist can accurately gauge the hard currency value of his or her piece of work, rests solely on historical feedback and constant manipulation of the selling price. There is no magic formula. Pricing a work cheaply, does not guarantee that it will sell – in fact, it can very often have the opposite effect and actually result in work being perceived as sub-standard or below par; or that the artist is naïve and does not understand the intrinsic value of his or her work. Under-valuing a work of art, I believe, is the single biggest mistake that emergent artists make but how do you avoid this pitfall? Yes, you can assign some crazy value to that oil you just did (that took you all of ten minutes to create) in the hope that someone with tons of money will walk past and offload the cash in your direction – you are very lucky indeed if that happens! Or you can sit down, carefully and examine:

  1. How much your materials cost.
  2. The length of time it took you to produce the work.
  3. Comment from your peers, as to the work’s artistic merit, originality and individuality of the artist’s voice.
  4. Feedback you may have received since the work’s creation, from interested parties – such as galleries or private collectors.

The first two points above are relatively easy to put a value on.  Especially, if you have a clear idea of how much you want to earn as a professional artist on a monthly basis, then you can reasonably calculate what your hourly rate is. So adding up the values of the first two items on the above list, will give you your base line, your ‘cost of sale’. Assigning a value to the mystical ‘artistic’ worth of a painting is where you hit the big problems.

It is sometimes valuable to look at work that is being marketed at local galleries (if you are hoping to attract interest from your neighbourhood gallery owner) but that can be a constraint in itself. Just because Joe Soap’s Gallery down the road markets abstract works of a similar size to your pieces at 20 to 100 pounds a painting, doesn’t mean that this price range applies to your work.  So how do you (the new artist on the block) come to a realistic selling price for an original piece of art?

I decided to do something a bit daft on this blog and put a picture below of one of my recent works and ask commentators/followers/ visitors to this site to give me an idea what they believed the work was worth – not what they’d pay for it, what they believed it was worth (these are two entirely different values :))   So please would you participate for a bit of fun?  You can be entirely anonymous in your comment.

Windy day at Caister-on-Sea

Acrylics, collage (silk material), effect paints on stretched canvas.

24″ x 18″

 

Work-in-progress …

I read a report in our local newspaper a week or so ago about an elderly couple who killed themselves in a pact that they made 30 years ago. The man was 72 and his wife was 66 – they had always said that they did not want to go into a nursing home when they became old or ill and that when the time came they would take their own lives. When the wife’s health began to deteriorate they got their affairs in order and sent hand-written letters to all of their friends, some of whom they had known for three decades or more.

One of the friends realised that the couple had or were intending killing themselves when she received her letter and alerted the police. The local Sergeant arrived at the couple’s large house, to find the door partially open.  The couple were fully clothed, holding hands lying next to each other on their bed.   The post-mortem examination recorded that the medical cause of the couple’s death was drug toxicity – they had taken an overdose of the husband’s medication.

Yellow ‘post-it‘ notes were left on certain items in the house, explaining that they had been washed and cleaned. The couple had made sure that all their bills had been paid and had even put money aside for the window cleaner.

The pathos of this story goes very deep in me. I found it incredibly moving and sad but also so beautiful, proud and strong! In this day and age, we allow women to abort a foetus, we should also be allowed to end our own lives with dignity when we feel that the time is right.  This couple knew that each could not live without the other, so they chose to go together, calmly, in their sleep.   I had been dwelling on these thoughts and the story of these two people for a while before I started working on this piece and my mind was consumed with this story the whole time I was applying the paint.   I did not set out to pay any homage, or create anything with obvious symbolism, metaphor, icon included in it – this is just how the emotion of these feelings came out (for me) in the creative process.

Preparation of canvas
Preparation of an old discarded canvas – with newspaper cutting and glue
Preparation of canvas2
More preparation of sub-strate
First strokes
First strokes of colour – using water-soluble oils, acrylics and irridescent gel medium
emotion coming through
Emotion starting to come through, more application of paint with a knife and brush

Close ups of textural detail

Close up detail of newspaper cutting
Newspaper cutting showing through the paint

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Might be the final result, not sure …

FInal painting