Friday, September 28, 2007

Oxford Visual Arts Festival 2007. The Jam Factory

Here are the paintings I am showing this year. Its opening night tonight so I should have some with people in tomorrow!

Murtoa Dreaming

The gecko (Aboriginal Murtoa) represents adaptability, regeneration, strength and survival. Its lesson to us, is to make the best of a situation. In order to survive, one needs to be able to adapt, regenerate strength and go on, like the Gecko.

Acrylic on canvas. 40 x 40 inches. £520

Back to Black

Portait of a marriage. Fragility and strength.

Acrylic on canvas 30 x 48 inches £375

Joy I

The first of a series of large canvases using exotic colour and movement to represent two lovers beguiled.

Acylic on canvas 24 x 36 inches £450


Dramatic colour and flowing lines to entice the viewer into the very core of the picture

Acrylic on canvas 24 x 24 inches £275


Beauty and pain

Acrylic on canvas triptych each panel 12 x 24 inches £225

Old Tulip

Falling red tulip capturing in a moment, beauty once cherished now diminished.

Acrylic on canvas 30 x 30 inches £400

Magenta Poppies

Celebrating the vibrancy and beauty of poppies.

Acrylic on canvas 24 x 36 inches £345

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hanging time

Been up since 6 am finishing 'Temptation' and all afternoon at the Jam Factory hanging the canvases....good job I packed my hammer!

Slide show of the paintings and details to follow :-)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Look what happens when you give a 3 year old your camera...

Maddy has been building up a little portfolio of her own. Thought I would share. She takes a better picture than me!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Site planning

Absolute nightmare. Choosing which paintings to go where....
So far I have juggled 7 paintings and hoping to fit one more in. I am surrounded by scraps of paper with measurements on and a plethora of post-its.

I thought I would upload a slideshow of the paintings when the plan is complete. :-)

3 days to go

...before the opening of the exhibition.

I have 2 studio hours this morning and a lovely blank canvas to work with.

I'll post what I've achieved with my time at lunchtime. After a late night painting its hard sometimes not to waste the morning fannying around tidying up the studio, cleaning brushes and generally procrastinating. :-)

....and here is the result.

After days and days of intricate 00 brush work, its been a real release to just go mad with my 2 inch ole' faithful. :-) Lots of sweeping brush strokes and loud music.

This canvas is 24 x 24 inches. The gecko painting is nearly 4 feet square!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Its late.....but heres my dream time

Its finished.

I can't get a full photo of it - the canvas is too big. But hopefully this gives you some idea.

Nearly there

This is always part joy part agony for me. When a painting is nearing what point do you decide that its truly finished?

To quote Piet Mondrian, " Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Time to reveal what the big red is about.

The original design was inspired by a calendar featuring aboriginal art. I am endlessly fascinated by dreamtime stories and thought I might paint a dreamtime of my own.

So I am going to add geckos to this peice.

The Gecko (Murtoa) is a small adaptable lizard, with the ability to camouflage itself to suit its varying surroundings. Should a Gecko lose its tail in a fight or an attack, it can regrow its tail. Although it is only a small lizerd, the Gecko can survive in very harsh conditions. All these attributes contribute to the Geckos survival.

Murtoa (Gecko) Dreaming represents adaptability, regeneration, strength and survival. Its lesson to us, is to make the best of a situation. In order to survive, one needs to be able to adapt, regenerate strength and go on, like the Gecko.

Idon't have my camera at the moment, but I'll update with a picture as soon as I can.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Its just over a week to go to the exhibition now. Haven't been able to get in the studio much and confined to kitchen painting.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Big enough to hug

Still working on the poppy portrait. I have knocked back the dark and brought forward the red (apparently referred to as 'knocking back') so that the petals have a greater vibrancy on the canvas. Its very hard to conveythe impact this one has in photos, since it is so large and big enough to hug.

I hope to complete this either today or tomorrow morning whilst Maddy is at pre-school. I secretly hope it doesn't sell....I feel an affinity with this one.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Light relief

Miss T threw this gauntlet down the other day...

Last night as we were meandering home from the curry house, there was a huge barking and jingling of Morris bells outside the QH.“Hunting Morris men with dogs, isn’t that banned under the hunting with dogs act?” I wondered aloud. This made us ponder what a ‘Morris hound’ would look like. So my artistic chums – please submit a sketch of a Morris hound (with rationale as to features) by Friday pm. I shall give prizes, not sure what yet, but they’ll be good J.

This is my entry. I'll be seeing Miss T at the QH shortly where I would imagine she will be announcing the prize winners. ;-)

Something old something new

Taking a break from my jungle painting. Ok. I can't decide what to do next with it and since time is most definitely not on my side to get ready for my exhibition, I've started somthing new.

Its a massive Back to Black. Almost as tall as me.

The exhibition is part of the 2007 Oxfordshire Visual Arts Festival and I was very chuffed to be selected. The dates are 28th, 29th and 30th September and you'll find me at the Jam Factory.
If I ever get finished that is ...:-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Do I don't I?

This is the result of last night's efforts.
I've filled in all the foliage with their colours - although they could all do with another layer.
My dilemma is how much to block out with the black.??

I am going to ponder this for a while most likely. I'm normally one for slapping black into paintings no problem. But for some reason I'm hesitant today.

I also think it might look better this way around.....Someone help me out with this dithering !!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Another All-Nighter

I have two exhibitions coming up (details to follow) and I basically have to have completed around 10 pieces of work ready to exhibit by the end of this month.

I've had worse deadlines. (Gulp)

So, I have decided that one of the pieces I want to display is this red project (for which I am still pondering a title so all suggestions gratefully received).

So its about 6 pm. This is how far I've got.

The studio isn't big enough to get the whole canvas in the view finder but you get the general idea. I've finished outlining the foliage and petals.

I really do love this blue. As for elusive name ideas.....I am after something that conveys sumptuousness, exoticism, jungle, passion, earth, life..........for a poor wordsmith this is proving something of a challenge. Its just the back of my head but I can't yet reach it.

Back to work then. I feel very inspired today.

Three hours

I haven't been able to work in my studio for a few days for various reasons and this morning I have a blissful 3 hours spare, without interruption. Its such a luxury to paint in daylight these days. I feel like a true free spirit this morning, its sunny and I don't care the house is a tip. I have an urge to get really stuck into my red project so I'll post my efforts in 3 hours time. :-)

.....and three hours later here we are.

Quite some progress I feel, but I am left wondering if I should leave more of the cobalt blue exposed. Hmm.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Announcing Guest Artists

I am really delighted to announce that you can now view and buy original work from other artists from my picturedreams website.

My guest artists are Graham Rice, who is an established painter, and Clare Brunwin, a fresh new talent who is currently studying BA Hons in Fine Art at the University College for the Creative Arts in Canterbury.

To see the gallery of their work, which is exclusive to PictureDreams, please click here.

I hope you can support them, and this feature becomes a regular spot on the site.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Technology-free day

I lost my mobile yesterday. My fault. It fell out my bag and I didn't notice. Luckily a kind soul picked it up and gave it back to me this evening.

It got me thinking though. I spent the entire day without sending a text to my mates or being able to phone home to say I was running late/did we need green milk/have we enough bread I'm in the Co-op ......and I sadly missed it. How much we rely on techie stuff to get through our days??

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Made a start on the 'Big Red' this evening.I tghink I might be changing my mind about the direction of this one. Orginally the idea was to have a huge version of this:
But I really like the background..its come out very Rothko-esque and adding all these strong contrasting flowers will lose the effect completely. I really like the serenity of the red and gold, so what I will try is just using darker reds and gold for the markings and see what that comes out like. I really shouldn't be experimenting on the actual canvas I expect...but sometimes thats half the fun of painting!! :-)

Well. I tried out the gold.
Graham is right. I have been bottling it. LOL
It has been a long day and doubts always creep in when you are tired. The red/gold is just TOO weak and my original plan (if I can carry it off) will look better I think (hope).

This is a bit of a departure from my florals....just a little. When I was a kid I was forever doodling these 5 star/petal shapes. Still do when I am on the phone.....

Have faith in the blues and greens I guess. I have to stand on tiptoe to reach the top of this.
OK.....have tried some green

Its early days, and a late night. I'll be back.

Joy parts II and III

I have been working today on ideas for the remaining parts of the Joy triptych. I want to keep the concept under wraps for the moment, but I have made a good start on getting the flow across all 3 canvases.

This is just a print out on which I have drawn extra panels to have a mess around.
I have some major exhibitions coming up in the next month or so ....and I really want this triptych to be part of it. More midnight oil to be burned......but at least the kids are back at school.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Another baby to wrap

Time to get the bubble wrap and cardboard out. I always feel a bit sad to see finished paintings leave the studio. But this one is now dry and will be on its way tomorrow. I have a handful of canvases which I've completed recently which will be winging their way to new owners. Bare walls in the studio once more.

This does mean that I will be resuming my BigRed Project. I have an exhibition coming up at the end of this month in Oxford and another in New York in November so I have some serious painting to do.