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‘Seeking Answers’ completed and available. 10 Aug 2016

A smaller, quieter and reflective piece – and as yet unframed. Decided in the end not to give the book a title, as it might look a bit too ‘precious’;  better to let you, the viewer, decide what she is reading.  I do feel, though, that she is searching for something in this book, hence her deep concentration and the title of the painting. I had intended to soften her blonde hair to have it more in keeping with the smooth fabric of her red dress, but in the end couldn’t bear to tone down her unruly hair, which was such  fun to paint. I was surprised how much the red tones of the dress played onto all the surrounding areas, her flesh, the book, the chair etc ., so much so that I could not resist adding a touch of red/burnt sienna into her blonde hair ….that’s the fun of being an artist, you get to choose! This work is 14 x 10″, 35 x 25 cm and is available for sale. If you would like to be kept up to date with what I am up to in the next few months, please sign up for my Newsletter…
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New work, week 2. ‘Seeking Answers’. 3 Aug 2016

‘People ask why there are so few female artists who succeed. It’s because women are not ready to sacrifice as much as men. Women want a man, they want a family, they want to have children, they want to be loved and to be an artist.   And they can’t; it’s impossible.’   Marina Abramovic I love this woman and some (but not all!) of her work. Have a look on YouTube at a short film of when she meets Ulay, her ex partner, again, after so many years, at one of her ‘performances’, it is utterly moving and compelling. What she says in the above quote is pretty much accurate for me. I have struggled most of my life to balance my art with my personal life and after three children and two failed marriages, I finally have the time and energy to be selfish with my art and am getting somewhere at long last. So to this painting. I am grateful to one of my Twitter followers for the title which I love. Regular readers of this blog will know that titles are not my forte, so any help is always gratefully received. Enjoying getting down to the…
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New work, first week. 27 July 2016

  I have been reading about an exhibition in London at the moment of photographs by William Eggleston and very much want to go and see his wonderful works.  I read somewhere that he photographs ‘inconsequential moments’ and ‘alluring mundanity’ and that the colours in his photographs ‘practically glow’ . I am a painter, not a photographer, but would like to think I am trying to achieve the same result.  I try to capture a moment in time, usually a woman comfortable in her own skin. So to this piece.  After the bright colours of my last work ‘Is He With Her Now’ I felt it was time for a quieter painting. Originally the composition had a modern lampshade above the girl’s hair but decided this did not benefit the scene, so it has been painted out. Not sure whether I will keep the very matt black background and may introduce more light to the left of the work with a touch of red from the dress added to the black on the right hand side . Time will tell! If you would like to be kept up to date with what I am up to in the near future,…
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‘Is He With Her Now’ completed. 24 x 18″. 20 July 2016

“A moment of complete happiness never occurs in the creation of a work of art”  so said Lucian Freud, and I am not sure I agree with him. There have indeed been many moments with this work when I have been frustrated, angry, anxious, tentative etc etc, but every so often and usually by complete accident, I will put a touch of paint somewhere and the painting will just ‘sing’ and then there is indeed that moment of complete happiness. Or I will end the day thinking something is not working here, only to come in to the studio the next morning and wow, the picture looks great and again then I have that moment of complete happiness. As an artist, you can get so involved in your work and in a particular part of the detail that you can’t see the wood for the trees and get overwhelmed and lose confidence. That is the moment to step away from the painting and go for a walk, have a beer, read a book, whatever suits you, because when you return to the piece, you might just find that elusive dart of complete happiness. My apologies for being absent from Twitter…
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‘Is He With Her Now’ week 2. July 6. 2016

‘At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can’.  Frida Kahlo I put this up today as it is Frida Kahlo’s birthday and she was so inspirational to me as a self taught artist, something not easy to be I find sometimes.  The words are very true for all of us, not just artists, and female artists at that, who have always had it tough anyway. So to week 2 for this work and working up the colour before I get into the detail. There is an interesting exhibition just beginning in London of David Hockney’s latest portraits and I have been struck by the similarity in the colours I am using to his palette, entirely coincidental, although I have always been a fan of his colours and ideas. I need to get the hands right by next week, as I really want to give the impression of tension in these hands.  This woman is beautiful ( under that hat !) and has a charmed life I would imagine, but to my mind she is worrying about where her husband is and who he is with……what do you think? I wanted to hide…
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‘Is He With Her Now?’ Week 1. 22 June 2016

  A complete change from my recent paintings. Much as I love my quiet domestic scenes, women doing just ordinary tasks like drying their hair or chopping vegetables, I was itching to get back to my Mediterranean colours, the blues, purples pinks and yellows that lift the heart. So……I began with a beach babe in her bikini in the sunshine and then decided to add a twist. She would have her hat over her face and hands slightly clenched with tension. She is a beautiful woman with a lovely figure, the whole world at her feet. But….. She is wondering where here husband/partner is. Is he with his new woman as she suspects he is having an affair? Has he tired of this wife of his? I wanted to convey that you can be the perfect woman,  but you can still lack self-confidence and have gut wrenching doubts about your relationship. Or this woman could be just fast asleep in the sunshine! This is oil on canvas and is 24 x 18″. If you would like to be kept up to date with what I am up to, please sign up for my Newsletter at the top of the Home…
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‘Bedsit Dining’ completed. 15 June 2016

This work is now completed and is oil on board, 14 x 10″. I have had fun the last couple of days linking in colours to bring the piece together. A touch of red from the peppers and toaster has been added to the girl’s hair as has a touch of the brilliant turquoise that is in her dress. I don’t normally spend so much time on the details as with this painting, but have truly loved painting in all the fresh colours of the peppers and the toaster.  The two bottles as well have come alive now all the highlights no shadows are in. Decided against adding in any more objects on the work surface as I think it would have made the composition too cluttered. Overall, having wanted to abandon this piece twice, I have become increasingly fond of this painting and am so glad I persevered. I wish I made my life easier sometimes… Next week I think it is time for another blonde, so watch this space. Please sign up for my Newsletter at the top of the Home page if you would like to be kept up to date with what I am up to.
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‘Bedsit Dining’ week 3, work in progress. 8 June 2016

‘Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep’.  Scott Adams I have to confess I had to look up Scott Adams as had no idea who he was but liked the quote. He is an American cartoonist and creator of the Dilbert comic strip apparently. I make mistakes in my art all the time, but as I gain in confidence in my work I think I agree with Mr Adams in knowing which ones to keep.  This painting was nearly abandoned twice through my impatience, but am growing increasingly fond of it as I work through the problems.  Patience is not one of my virtues unfortunately. The peppers are now coming to life clearly as are the two bottles and the toaster. Still some work needed on getting all the perspectives correct but getting there. The skin tones have proved more difficult as the girl’s face is in shadow whereas her hands are not, so have been battling to get the shadows and tones right; not completely there yet, but on the right track at last. Next week the details in the hair and dress. The oranges and tea towel mentioned in last week’s blog…
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‘Bedsit Dining’ work in progress, week 2. 1 June 2016

Having twice wanted to abandon this work, I am suddenly feeling my way into the painting, deciding it WILL work, and getting excited about the details next week. A supporter on Twitter (and buyer, thank you David) of my work, suggested the composition was too cluttered and that it looked more like a Bedsit – et voila, a title came into my head.   From my experience of living in bedsits, life is indeed cluttered and rather than paint an elegant dinner party I would rather portray what is perhaps more real for most of us these days, smaller homes, clutter and familiarity. I am still thinking of adding something more at the front to the work, possibly some oranges and/or a blue and white teatowel as Mediterranean colours always work for me.  On the other hand that might just be too cluttered…. The toaster will stay after all (nearly got axed last week!) but it is now smaller and slimmer. Will probably be redder too as time goes on. Lastly, I will be painting a burnt sienna glaze over the skin tones when the paint is drier as at the moment the poor young woman has the look of a…
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The Dinner Party, week 1. 25 May 2016

A new piece, relatively small (14 x 10″) to compliment Should I Stay Or Should I Go and Waiting, Wishing,Wanting which are both on the website.  Again,  a quieter work after the excitement of the water in The Pink Hat! I need a bit of a rest before I contemplate painting water again, much as I loved tackling that subject. I think I need an object in the foreground of this painting as the area in the right hand corner is a bit dead at the moment. I don’t want to overcrowd the composition but think perhaps a bowl with a couple of oranges in it to add colour.  I was toying with putting a glass of wine there but realised I have quite a wine theme going on with a lot of my work, so perhaps not with this work…. I feel this girl is making a special effort with the preparation of meal, hence the title but am open to any suggestions as always for titles. Really looking forward to getting in the bright Mediterranean of the peppers and the toaster … Will probably add some red to the hair too to link the work. A lot of…
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