Thursday, January 31, 2008

Outside the box

This is a little segue from my usual work...but something I am very excited about.

A friend has given me a wooden trinket box - very plain and basic and obviously handmade 20-odd years ago, to restore and decorate. I thought I would share the restoration on here.

It is made of ply (I think) and what looks like a recycled drawer. The inside has a crude tray and the entire box is about 12" x 9" x 7" deep.First job was to remove the hinges and clasp...not an easy task as they had clearly been in a while. Not something you can use a power tool on!!
The hinges were once brass I think....
So time for some trusty brasso courtesy of Evenlode DIY and 3 episodes of the Simpsons later....voila!

Now for the box itself....

I already know what design I am going to paint.
The background is going to be green-gold and the design aboriginal in style.

So 3 coats of gold over primer to start with:

And next the first layers of phthalo green and sap green....

The entire process of layering gold and greens will have to be repeated a few times to build up the intense effect. Then it will be time to start overpainting the picture. Watch this space!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Good causes

Unfortunately, my shadow people were not accepted for the Churchill Cancer Centre. Considering the overwhelming number of entries, the odds were never going to be huge. Still, I am really pleased with the work and might treat myself to getting it framed properly in the covered market.

If I can't do my bit by painting, I am doing my bit by running however.

I am doing the Race For Life this year in memory of Pamela Cook, my mother-in-law, who lost her battle against cancer 10 years ago. Cancer has been quite rife in my family and this is the first time I have finally decided to actually 'do' something.

I have given myself a target of £500 to raise which is why I am asking for sponsors so early. If you feel you could spare a couple of quid, please visit my sponsor page here:

Events like Race for Life are an important way in which Cancer Research UK is able to fund its life-saving work into preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer. By sponsoring me now you could help more people survive cancer.

Donating through this site is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to sponsor me - Cancer Research UK will receive your money faster and, if you are a UK taxpayer, at least an extra 25% in tax will be added to your gift at no cost to you when you tick the Gift Aid box.

So please sponsor me now!

Many thanks for your support - together we will beat cancer.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bleeding for art

Here is an update on the piece I sabotaged.....and then transformed the other day.

Its too late for more painting tonight as my fingers have cracked open and it hurts too much to hold the paint brush....not to mention I would rather avoid getting blood on the canvas.!

So fingers bandaged, I am hoping for an early start and successful finish tomorrow morning for the poppy painting....because they have to be handed in by pressure (sighs).

Friday, January 25, 2008

Bringing the outside inside

I have a fair few projects underway at the moment. The one with the most iminent deadline is the submission of work for the new Oxford Cancer Centre.
The brief was 'to bring the outside inside' and to be sympathetic to the environment in which they are to be displayed.
I started off with an idea with tulips......looking from an unusal angle...but after a week of staring at the canvas trying to figure out what was wrong.....

I realised I was going into self-sabotage mode (which I always do when I can't 'connect' with the painting). Something, a seed of an idea was brewing in the back of my mind.

I felt I wanted this painting to 'say' something rather than just be a pretty flower picture. So here's the idea.
A grassy slope bathed in sunshine with the shadows of figures with hands clasped in friendship.
This is a work in progress, but I have some studio time tomorrow and I hope to be able to show you the finished piece. Till then........

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Long time no blog (again)

Do you ever have days, weeks or months where you can never catch up with yourself?
I realize its been nearly 2 months since I last updated this blog....which is scary in a way. Its not been a case of 60 odd days where nothing has happened. Far from it. But more that too much has happened.

Some of it heart rendingly sad.

But I will be updating this journal from now on. And I hope you can forgive the 'time out'. Sometimes, we all need time away from the usual to get a grasp on the unusual.