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New Work, New Year and New Venue

PASSAGE REVEALED Mixed media 50x60cm (20"x24") on gallery wrapped canvas
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The New Year has been a busy time in my studio. I have been busy painting away on a new series of work for an art fair at the end of February.

I seem to have a split personality as the new work falls into two camps - geometric and landscape based. The above painting is one of the more looser 'landscape' based ones and the one below definitely geometric.

SUBDUCTION Mixed  media  40x40cm on cradled panel
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 Participating in an art fair is a new experience for me, and I am both excited and fearful at the same time. Let me know if you would like complimentary tickets. The venue is Sandown Racecourse, Esher Surrey (UK).

Value in Painting - Black and White Boards

"The most important aspects of a painting is VALUE  and DESIGN. These two trump colour, texture etc." Nicholas Wilton

Value is essentially the lightness and darkness of a colour. The correct use of value gives a painting (both abstract and representational) depth.

I must admit, because I use a lot of colour, the values can sometimes go awry and I have to always be very conscious of that. So getting more of a grip on this, is my goal for this aspect of the course.

The second assignment of the Art2Life course, was to create two boards using only black and white. I based one on one of my failed paintings to see where I could make improvements and the other was purely abstract.

This one still exists as shown, I have yet to put colour on it
The first one, received some limited palette colour:
I have not taken this one forward and I shall have to find it again in my pile of unfinished boards. I can see it is too busy (so obvious now) and it needs to be unified.

Current Abstracts in Progress

As you know, if you follow this blog, I like working on several abstract paintings at once. I do this to a certain extent with my other works but not quite so deliberately as with the abstracts.

Working on more than one paintings stops me getting bogged down on one particular thing. Making a concious effort to work in small blocks of time on a painting (1/2 hour is usually a long enough time to spend on one painting) allows you to approach each new pass with a fresh eye.

Working on several paintings also allows one painting to inform the other and grow ideas. Here are nine paintings I am actively working on at the moment - but the pile of unfinished paintings is much larger. This no longer bothers me like it used to, another benefit of working on more than one at a time.

Adding Calligraphic Marks using Acrylic Ink

One of the hardest things I find to do is scribble/calligraphic marks which seems to come so easy to many artists. To me, mine don't look natural and I have to manipulate them by painting over them, thinning the lines with paint or using transparent paint to make them 'sit' in the painting.  I use a range of different tools - oil pastels, pencil and pen, but today I discovered I enjoy making these marks, and they look more natural, with acrylic ink direct from the bottle using the dropper supplied.
I'm great at purchasing art supplies (my favourite hobby) but often don't make use of everything I buy. I purchased some acrylic inks several years ago but only ever created a few ACEOs, so I am delighted to find another use for them.
Some of the marks on current works in progress

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Everyone Likes BLUE

A MOMENT IN TIME Medium:Acrylic on Panel
Size:30 cm / 12 inch x 30 cm / 12 inch x 5mm AVAILABLE
It's always a little disappointing to discover you're average. Blue, along with teal and purple are my favourite colours. Teal and purple all contain blue of course.

"By the 1920s, researchers were just about ready to throw in the towel regarding that straightforward question, “What’s your favorite color?” People’s answers appeared far too idiosyncratic to study in any substantive way. But as statistical tools and color standardization improved during the decades that followed, a pattern slowly but surely began to emerge.

Everyone liked blue..."

Continue reading this article in Artsy Magazine

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Adding Texture to Acrylics Part 1

My visitors have all gone home and I am enjoy the peace and quiet lost in painting again.

As usual, I am working on several paintings at once but they all look a little flat so I am injecting some texture into them.

The best way to do this is at the beginning of a painting is using gesso or modeling paste. You can also use these on an in-progress painting but, as they are opaque, you will lose any colour already down.

One method I enjoy using, because it brings up a lot of unexpected surprise, is laying down two, three or even four layers of acrylics on top of one another and then scraping through the acrylic.

Use thick paint for the best results and wait for the paint to touch dry before adding another layer. I like to wait until the top layer is just touch dry before dragging the scaper through the paint. The effects are different according to how dry the paint is. Practice this to see the different effects. The wet paint also lifts off some of the dried paint underneath, giving in…

Could a Three Year Old have painted this?

Imagining Possibilities 30x30cm, acrylic on panel AVAILABLE
Could a three-year old have painted this?

We’ve all visited a modern art museum and seen artworks like Kazimir Malevich’sBlack Square’ and wondered, my kid can do this, how in the world could this be art? While at first it might look like an unimpressive black square, it’s much more than that.
The term ‘Abstract’, when referring to an artistic style, is simply that - it’s abstract in and of itself. It might help to think of it as an umbrella term to describe art movements that do not realistically represent reality...
Continue reading this interesting article from ARTFINDER