Friday, August 31, 2007

7 hours

I have until 7 pm this evening to complete 3 paintings.

This on top of making 3 dozen scones and banana bread for cricket tea tomorrow. I haven't made a cricket tea for a couple of years on account of having a very spirited toddler who was in the habit of running off with all the chocolate crispie cakes (a cricketing favourite).
Maddy is still in the habit of forcing her way to the front of the queue to get the pick of the cakes but I can't avoid my turn any longer.
There is quite a science to it and you have to cater for about 30. This involves 4 loaves of bread, an industrial size pack of tea bags and 2 kilo of sugar, at least 3 homemade cakes (if you want to be taken seriously) and if you are feeling particularly Delia Smith.....homemade egg mayonnaise sandwiches and something with chutney. Avoid anything with salad.....I digress. Where was I? Oh yes. 3 paintings.

I'm a member of Eynsham Arts Group and we meet on the last Friday of every month. (tonight). We often have guests come in to give talks and tonight Steve Taylor, who runs his own printing business, will be giving a talk on Fine Art Giclee Printing. Not only that, but he has offered to produce a print test for one of our members free of charge. We each can bring up to 3 orginals from which one will be selected to go into a draw to select a lucky recipient.

The images ideally should not be varnished or have a reflective medium (which excludes all the completed work I have in my studio). Hence painting 3 new ones without (a) gold or (b)varnish.

Its midday now and I'm hoping to sneak into the studio this afternoon while my children play contentedly and without the need for intervention and/or refereeing in the garden where I can keep an eye on them from my studio. I know. I am an eternal optimist. Wish me luck....I'll post the results later on.

......later on.
I have finished two out of the three. I really don't like the third one so I'm abandoning it for now and I'll just take two along to the meeting tonight.

Here they are drying in my kitchen.
I chose familiar subject matter!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Another portrait of self

I often think of myself as some kind of flower.
Most often as an aging tulip. Ruby red in parts still, but with petals beginning to disarray. I love the brightness and colours still....a little brassy but with what I would like to consider some class.

But enough of this navel gazing. I think its time to dust off the overalls and join my family down the cricket field for this year's beer festival.

Calico skies

Occasionally I get requests for paintings that are interpretations of childrens' favourite nursey rhymes or songs. I have also been known to paint the odd bedroom wall. This is an interpretation of Calico Skies by Paul McCartney.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

That was the week that was

Its been very manic chez Cook recently....entertaining children 24/7 and being a WAHM have proved very challenging this week. Add to that an incontinent dog, a cat that makes Sweeny Todd look moderate and a shortage of wine and its no wonder my left eye keeps twitching. Its not all bad news as I have completed some works which I'll be posting over the next few days. Having a sleepless 3-year-old means I have only but a snatched moment to post.

Here is the commission from a husband to his wife.
I was aiming for restful and loving.
Its quite big.....45 x 60 cm and I am especially pleased with the stamens. If you double click to see the larger image you hopefully will see what I mean.

More to post tomorrow.....for now my attention is being most vocally demanded elsewhere. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

PictureDreams is spreading its wings

Very soon, I shall be featuring guest artists on my website. As well as offering hand printed cards and more limited edition original paintings for sale.

I hope my customers will enjoy the wider variety of work for sale.

As a taster, how about this?

Its a digital painting by an up and coming artist Clare Brunwin who is currently studying BA Hons in Fine Art at The University College for the Creative Arts in Canterbury (previously known as The Kent Institute of Art and Design). Definitely someone to watch.

I should have included some more information with this - sorry. The canvas is A1 in size and called
‘Turmoil’. It was produced using a photograph and a outline of a face, scanned into the computer and manipulated using wellknown photo and illustrating software. Special effects were added in and then the finished work printed onto canvas using a computer printer with matte finish.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Another Limited Edition

Number 1 is for a special lady celebrating her 99th birthday. Her favourite flower is the fuschia, and since she is danish, the flowers *had* to be red and white.!!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Its all Greek

The meaning behind all the intertwining flowers I've been painting recently is probably quite obvious. They represent people, or more accurately, lovers.

Inspiration for these came from a story from Ovid I recall reading over and over as a youngster. I was (and still am) fascinated by Greek mythology.

Zeus and Hermes disguised themselves as poor peasants and visited a small town. They began asking the people of the town for a place to sleep that night. But "all the doors bolted and no word of kindness given, so wicked were the people of that land."

Except for one humble home.

The disguised Gods came upon the rustic cottage of Baucis and Philemon. Although they were very poor, they gave Zeus and Hermes what they had to eat and drink. Baucis noticed that although she had refilled her guest's cups many times, the pitcher of wine was always full. Realising that their guests were in fact gods, Baucis and Philemon knelt before them begging indulgence for their simple home and fare. Philemon thought of catching and killing the goose that guarded their house and making it into a meal for the guests. But when Philemon went to catch the goose, it ran onto Zeus's lap. Zeus said that they did not need to slay the goose and that they should leave the town. He was going to destroy the town and all the people who had turned him away. He said Baucis and Philemon should climb the mountain with him and not turn back until they reached the top.

After climbing the mountain, Baucis and Philemon looked back on the town and saw that it had been destroyed by a flood. However, Zeus had turned Baucis and Philemon's cottage into an ornate temple. The couple were also granted a wish; they chose to stay together forever and to be guardians of the temple. They also requested that when it came time for one of them to die, the other would die as well. Upon their death, they were changed into an intertwining pair of trees, one oak and one linden, standing in the deserted terrain, forever in each other's arms.

Friday, August 03, 2007


I have been working on this lily canvas for some between holidays, crimson paint shortage, and the general chaos that accompanies school holidays when you're a WAHM.

This week I decided I wanted to change it. It didn't sit right and the right feel was eluding me.

So I redrew.

Then I reblocked the colours to build some texture.

And now I am putting the life back into the petals.

I should be up all night finishing this. I have taken the paint beyond the boundaries of the petals to give the feeling of sweep and flow. When I add the next layer of background I will redefine the flower again. I paint most of my flowers this way....they come and go on the canvas while I build up their structure. I find it difficult to paint something within a boundary. Thats just colouring in.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Here is that huge red painting with the background completed. I'm not sure how well the photo will show the gold, you might have to click on it to see the texture properly.