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Most Asked Questions at the Art Fair

THE PATH IS NEVER CLEAR 40X40cm on cradled panel. Framed in a white floating frame AVAILABLE
Over 4000 visitors visited the Surrey Contemporary Art Fair. It was very busy most of the time from the time the doors opened until about an hour before closing. I'm pleased to say that many of them visited my stand and several stopped and chatted about the paintings.

Similar questions came up time and time again:

How long did it take you paint that?
I became quite adept at explaining that it was difficult to say, as I worked on several paintings at a time for weeks and I won't have any new paintings ready for a while and then several become finished within a short time frame.

Is it collage?
Perhaps it is because I labeled them 'Mixed Media' but possibly also because the layering can make it look as though there might be paper underneath. The 'Mixed Media' tag was used because various media was used in the mark making, e.g. oil pastel, ink, pencil, coloured pencil etc. Pe…

Show and Tell at the Surrey Art Fair

Attending the Surrey Art Fair at the end of February was a new experience for me. It was daunting but also exciting. We took 2 days to travel from Nice to Surrey and two days back.
On the return journey we were lucky enough to be in front of 'The Beast from the East' storm all the way, although it was bitterly cold -9 degC at our overnight stop in Troyes. When we arrived home our garden was covered in about 2 inches of snow, with a part of the storm passing over the Alps and depositing snow in the PACA region. This is about a once in 10 - 15 year event but only lasts for a couple of days. Those of you who are used to very cold winters, will laugh at us wimps over here.

We spent a lot of time preparing for the hanging. I cleared a wall and used brown paper to get the general fell of the hand, and then the framed paintings, all the while on tenterhooks hoping the frames wouldn't get damaged. The preparation paid dividends when we got there as we knew exactly which painting …

New Work, New Year and New Venue

PASSAGE REVEALED Mixed media 50x60cm (20"x24") on gallery wrapped canvas
Contact me direct for more information
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..."

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