I can hardly believe its nearly christmas. I have been spending so much time in the studio that I've neglected to put up any christmas decorations. Until today that is. A real tree for a change, carted home with the help of my six-year-old son.
And what could be better than the smell of fresh needles gently shedding from your nordic pine?
The smell of homemade gingerbread biscuit stars to hang on the tree.
Thank you so much my SOSF Christmas Fairy Emma. They are so beautifully made and absolutely delicious (of course I had to test one) and I am having a job keeping them on the tree and out of little hands. I wonder how many will be left by christmas day?
Please let me have the recipe.....I may be in need of more very soon. Yum.
At last. Thanks to Arianna at IHelm Enterprises I am now the proud owner of a very smart looking site. We've organised the paintings into galleries and made it easier to navigate. I hope you like it.
There is a special offer to celebrate the new site too. Order any painting and get a second canvas at half price. I have had a few takers for this, especially for childrens' commissions so book now and reserve your studio time before the offer ends.
And remember the poppy I was progressing earlier? Its finished. Here it is.
I have also been painting a very large red poppy and rather than show you photos, I am in the process of stitching together dozens and dozens of jpegs to make a movie of the painting as it appears on the canvas before your eyes. Hmm maybe I could set it to music, put it on a plasma screen and maybe hang 'that' on the wall.....somehow I get the feeling it may have been done already. Neat idea though.
I've started accepting commissions for paintings especially for childrens' rooms.....inspired by nursery rhymes, favourite toys, beloved teddy bears and even patchwork quilts.
This is a sketch I did for a painting inspired by a nursery quilt.
And here is how it developed............
The new website is now complete and I can add some more work to the galleries very soon. This being one of them. There is something extra special in producing work inspired by something that is treasured and the whole experience never fails to put a spring in my brush.
I can only read on in amazement at fellow bloggers who post a painting a day....clearly they have more studio time and no three year old to contend with...but I'm not complaining. It DID set me thinking though, and I have decided to blog the progess of a painting from start to finish.
When I get a brief for some work, the initial stage is to discuss the concept and come up with some ideas. The better ideas get made into miniature paintings on canvas paper which I send for approval. These 'paintlets' as I like to call them are matched to fabric swatches and other samples I've borrowed, and help set the stage for the actual work....here is one ......its going to be a big canvas....30 x 40 inches....I adore painting on big canvases.
The next stage is to sketch out on canvas. When its this big, I divide the paintlet image into grids and draw into corresponding grids on the canvas...this ensures that I keep the composition in proportion. Its painstaking work but I put some music on and the hours just fly by.
This canvas is now ready for painting. I always start off by covering the entire canvas in paint...roughly matched in colour and tone..and that way I can build structure into these poppies. First is the background.....pale pink to start with. I used process magenta, great brushfuls of titanium white and mixed them on the canvas. I am going to be making big sweeping brush strokes on the petals so I need to preserve centre of the flower as this is the bit which will be painted last and will have all the detail. Keeping it simple, I paint it in with phthalo green and crimson, with some cerulean blue. This way, I shouldn't lose it while I'm filling in the petals. Time to turn to the petals (and change the CD....now listening to an old Santana album)....and get bold with the brush. I loaded some magenta, permanent rose, crimson and ultramarine onto my palette, draped the fabric sample over the side and turned the music up. Two Santana albums later, voila. Next stage will be to start focusing on each petal one by one.......(and also remember to take photos!!)
I have a passion for painting which I have been able to develop these past few years when I have finally become old enough and wise enough to stop doing what I was told and start doing what I truly wanted to do. I heartily recommend it.