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The Pink Hat, nearly completed. 18 May 2016

A quote for today : ‘Art is the only way to run away without leaving home’ . When I am in my studio space I completely cut myself off from the world, with or without music in the background. I need this space for myself, my body space, my privacy. Without it, I can’t really function properly and find it almost impossible to start a new work, let alone finish it. But then to mention another quote by Frida Kahlo: ‘At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can’.  Hmmmm, not sure about that one at the moment … It’s a difficult balance sometimes getting it right as an artist; we need to be alone in order to create, but we also need the social interaction with other artists/people, otherwise we can feel very isolated and go into a downward spiral of negativity. To The Pink Hat now.  I felt the blues of the pool were overwhelming the painting too much and the wall our lady was leaning on was too grey in tone. The hat looked bland and generally speaking,  I wanted to  throw the work out the window… However, I have battled…
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The Pink Hat, week two. 11 May 2016

This is a slightly larger piece, 24 x 18″ (60 x 45 cm) than my recent works and space permitting I would like to paint larger still in this style. The swimming pool water is crying out for a large 5 x 5 ft (150 X 150 cm) canvas in the bright Mediterranean colours I love so much, but living in a one bedroom end flat makes this well nigh impossible …. For now!  When I finally get discovered and am selling all over the world, well David Hockney eat your heart out. But for now I am so enjoying painting the water in this painting; the different shades of blue, the white highlights which bring out the effect of the rippling water and the lighter blue lines of the paintwork. Can’t wait to do all the coloured highlights next week, the paler blue turquoise etc. I will be adding different shades of red/pink and orange to the hat to make it sing out more, as at the moment it looks too flat and two dimensional. Likewise I have to find a way to make the feet really look as if they are under the water, probably toning down the…
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New Work, week 1. Pink Hat. 4 May 2016

Having finished my quiet piece ‘Should I stay or should I go’ I wanted to paint a similar work, and failed totally. I realised, yet again, that I have to be spontaneous when I paint, and to paint another painting in similar vein so soon after the original just doesn’t do it for me. I wasted several hours working out compositions, blocking in the work etc, getting increasingly frustrated. I left the work overnight and the next morning could see that I was going wrong. All is not lost, as I do like the final composition and will come back to this work at a later date. So to this piece, which is going to be completely different and I love the good feeling I get when I feel a painting is going the right direction. Instead of a quiet piece, this will be bright and lively with Meditarranean colours. Can’t wait to get into all the detail of the swimming pool with different shades of turquoise and blue and splashes of white; you can see the start in the right hand corner of the painting.  A hot and sunny artwork… The pink hat will be brighter as time goes…
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‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go’ completed 27 April 2016

Finally a title! I had a great response from Twitter followers for a name for this painting which I had struggled with. Once I had added in the phone, this title just did it for me, so thank you Mark and to all who came up with such great ideas. Again you, the viewer, can decide what is happening here. The blue light from the phone reflects an incoming message and the girl has to decide what to do next, hence the title.  Is it from a lover? Does she need a glass of wine to help her decide? Or is it just a random call from No Caller ID ….. At present this is unframed and I had wanted to pair it up with the framed Waiting, Wishing, Wanting which is in a beautiful dark wood frame, but am open to offers on either or both of them. I am at last getting a bit of help with the admin side of my work from an independent assistant, so things might look a little more organised in the future and I can concentrate on the painting… Please sign up for my Newsletter at the top of my Home Page…
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New work, week 2. Still untitled. 20 April 2016

This work is 14 x 10″ and will I think be completed next week. There is a painting called Wishing, Waiting, Wanting on my website which is framed in a cool, contemporary dark wood frame (email me for photo image), which was to be included in my work at the Affordable Art Fair in Hampstead. However, the gallery I am with in London has now decided to take my work to Miami Art Fair instead and for this they require larger paintings. So the work is now available on my website to buy. The reason for mentioning the above is that I thought it would be great to paint another work to compliment ‘WWW’. The blonde young woman fits with the dark brunette putting her hair up; they are both quiet, peaceful works and I am looking forward to seeing them side by side. If you are interested in purchasing one or both of these works, please get in touch – I am open to offers on one or either. I have had great feedback on titles this piece, but am still not totally decided. Since adding in the phone I am getting closer, but please let me know if…
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New Work, week 1, untitled so far. 14 April 2016

After the bright, fun colours of ‘Moving On’, I felt I wanted to paint a quieter piece, more reflective and peaceful, which I think I am achieving with this work.  Looking again at ‘Waiting, Wishing, Wanting’ on the website, I decided I would like to have a painting that compliments this, a young, pensive, blonde woman set next to a dark haired woman putting her hair up, also looking thoughtful.  I would be interested in any feedback here too? It is important to think as much of the background as the figure when painting a picture.  Invariably, I will put touches of colour from the figure into the background, to pull the whole composition together.  Hence there is a hint of the pink used in the skirt on the wall, and also a touch of the blonde shade in the hair is in the backdrop.  The same pink tone has been put into the deep red of the wine glass and even a little of the deep red into the flesh tones. The bedspread she is sitting on is a neutral cream/beige but I may change this as time goes on if I feel the painting is too bland.  I…
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‘Moving On’ completed. 6 April 2016

4 different images were involved in this piece and then I used my imagination to work out what I wanted to portray.  For me it is a woman kicking up a splash as she metaphorically moves on from some situation in her life, be it a relationship issue, a job situation, or perhaps kicking back against ageing;  as always the viewer can make up his or her mind. The painting of the shadows in the background was deliberate, as was the light shining on the water.  I had originally wanted to paint another swimming pool scene, but as the painting evolved, decided there was more depth (!) in a sea water painting than in a swimming pool, which is man made.  Having said that, I wonder if the ‘man made’ idea would have worked better for a relationship issue of Moving On.  Ah well, too late. I have started my next painting, which is going to be a blonde woman brushing her hair set in half light.  I want this to complement my ‘Waiting, Wishing ‘Wanting’ work as I think a pair of women, one with dark hair, one with light, would work well – and the dark frame on…
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‘Moving On’ Week Two. 30 March 2016

So, Week two of this piece and I am thinking more about the story behind this painting.  What started as a bit of fun, leading on from my last first attempt at water, ‘Dolce Vita’ (on the website Recent Work) has begun to develop a bit of a story and got legs, as it were (!). The sky is darkening, which is emphasising the light on the water.  I can’t wait to put more detail into this light, but have to be patient and wait for the paint to dry.  This could be a metaphor for the woman’s life, emerging from a troubled past into a bright future, hence her kicking up the splashes of water, which will add vivacity to the work.  Again, I have to wait to paint these essential dashes of white to the water, so hopefully next week will see this sorted. Alternatively, it could just be a woman enjoying being by the water, showing off her shoes – you the viewer can decide. I am a great advocate of strong women, happy in their own skin. I am working up the water now and should be able to give it more definition by next week,…
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‘Moving On’ Week 1, 23 March 2016

Last week a small painting of a pair of legs set over swimming pool water featured in the Blog and received a very positive response.  I feel I want to paint more along these lines, hence the new work above, which is a little larger. I loved painting the water and as followers of my Blog will know, I always like painting female legs, but would like to have a bit more of a narrative theme to this piece.  The title ‘Moving On’ is because I feel this woman wants to move on, start again, possibly from a failed relationship and she is going to kick up the water  – making a bigger splash.  There will be much more light to this painting as I work it up, more white highlights to make the splashing etc. There will be more light on the horizon, shimmering on the water, which looks a bit obvious, but I would like this to be a positive painting.  There is darkness on the horizon as well, but the light is breaking through and the woman is, I think, happy to kick up the water.  There will be more lighter tones on the water, but I…
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‘La Dolce Vita’ 16 March 2016

This is a relatively small piece, oil on block canvas, 8 x 10 x 1.5 inches (20 x 25 x 4 cm) One of my followers on Twitter sent me a link to a competition in The Hamptons, NY where water was the theme.  I was interested until I saw I only had about two weeks till the deadline and had decided this was impossible.  However I thought to myself, are you man or mouse?  You CAN do this, so I did, hence the smaller than usual size. I have really enjoyed painting water, a first for me, and with the little time available, I realised I could not put a whole figure into the piece as flesh tones are notoriously difficult to get right (for me at least), so decided on legs only.  Add the trademark red shoes in, and I am very pleased with the result.  Even I do not get into the competition, it has pointed me in a new direction as I now want to paint a larger piece involving water and a whole female figure, with or without the red shoes…. Please have a look at www.opperandwebb.com to see more of my work.  I shall…
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