What a rubbish start to the new year! OK, it didn't snow (well, it tried) but we have had enough rain to float Noah's Ark, we've lost such legends as David Bowie, Lemmy and Terry Wogan and the dreaded winter bug has been doing it's rounds. Whilst the weather was rubbish I kept myself busy painting, starting new commissions, finishing off certain pieces of artwork and starting new ones.
February this year is a wee bit longer as it is a leap year, so beautiful spring is delayed, but only slightly, so before we can welcome the spring blooms (well, some of them came out in November!!!), this month we have Valentine's Day where the florist's suppliers triple the price of red roses just for the 14th February, so the florists have no option but to follow suit. So, is it worth getting these flowers for just one day at hiked-up prices, especially when they last no more than a week if you're lucky? You would be much better off with one of my red rose art prints: it will last you a lot longer and I don't inflate my prices just for one day - they remain competitive all year round. Talking of our floral friends, I am hoping to concentrate more on flower oil paintings this year; especially my favourite ones and who knows, might be a spot or two of raindrops on there. I have ideas whirling in my head...
Alongside all this, I am continuing with my commissions, so if you have any special birthdays coming up this year, a portrait or a special piece of commissioned art is always a winner, a special gift and an original piece of art at that. Have a look at the Feedback and Testamonials page on my website for ideas, and to see what other happy customers commissioned for their loved ones (some for themselves, too)
Not content with keeping busy with all this, I have started doing small Daily Paintings which will be available to purchase soon. This is an exercise whereby I do a small oil or pastel painting from life (known as alla prima) and work for no longer than an hour, just doing one a day. I have built myself a special "shadow and light box" and painted the inside matt black, put a hole in the top and shine a lamp in onto the objects I want to paint to the best light and shade. It is not easy as I usually work in layers (each paint layer has to dry before the next one can go on) and it is a very forgiving medium as you can alter and correct until you are happy with it. Not so with alla prima as you are completing the painting in one go; working with wet paint into wet paint which can end up like mixed mud if you are not careful. So far I have managed to make my meringue's resemble dirty snow (mixed mud) however the strawberries turned out ok, and make my oranges look a bit dodgy (mixed mud) but hey ho, it's all part of the exercise and I hope to improve with each piece of art I do. I will be posting these small Daily Paintings on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages so keep your eye out..
I have also just completed my GENTLEMEN'S CLUB oil painting which, I have to say, was very well received by everyone. I started this oil painting last summer, I think, and just about got the underpainting and first layers done when commissioning came flying in, so they, of course, take precedent as there is usually a deadline to work to. I am so pleased that it went down well as it was a challenge to do - the reflections on the glass of the pocketwatch and the multi-faceted cut crystal and it's contents. The cufflink belongs to my husband, John, which are actually blue sapphires and not rubies. The pocket watch is also John's; it was a gift from his dad at his army passing out parade in nineteen-nought-plonk. This painting is the third in the Fancy Glass series of oil paintings, SANGRIA WHATEVER THE WEATHER and HOT TODDY being the other two. Gentlemen's Club is now available to buy, as are fine art prints and high grade box canvases.
Keep your eyes peeled on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest paintings and if you are not already following me then go and click those buttons. Happy February and I hope you get your heart's desire this Valentine's Day!