Canals of Venice: the finished painting

Canals of Venice

The finished painting which I have just framed, which will go in “The Railings” exhibition on Saturday, where I hope it may bring me more luck than those in the Royal Surrey Hospital have done. This exhibition  has been deathly quiet so far. Hard to explain this, as exhibitions at RSCH have always been so busy. Still there is yet time

The railings exhibition is a local show held at Pirbright in Surrey under the auspices of the Pirbright Art Club, with whom I paint. The exhibition is outdoor, so we pray for dry weather, and held outside the Pirbright Village Hall, which is a lovely Victorian building with beautiful iron railings. We hang our paintings on the railings, hence the name. It makes for a colourful and impressive display, and we hope for sales.

I enjoyed doing this painting as I always enjoy painting Venice. I sometimes wish I could get away from it but am always pulled back. There was considerable work in the underpainting on this one which can be tedious, so I took advice from a colleague, who advised finishing one detail, he said, which gives you that necessary boost to carry on. I finished the Gothic window in the middle of the picture, before I did anything else which I do think gave me encouragement to carry on.

When my grandchildren get back from their holiday late this week, we have a painting day lined up so I might try out the Little Green Frog which could amuse us all.

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My Artfinder Gem

I am responding to the challenge laid down by Artfinder,  https:/www.artfinder.com   which is to nominate the artist you most admire, and of course to write about them.

Since I joined Artfinder in May, I have been contacted by just under 200 fellow artists and art lovers, who were kind enough to admire my work. This I have found greatly encouraging. Naturally since I have been introduced to them,  and had a chance to look at the paintings they produce, I slowly started to form opinions on their art.

They are all good, obviously or they wouldn’t be there. They are all different. They produce wildly differing pieces in wildly differing styles,which is of course the lovely thing about art, it is so catholic. You do have to wait for the right person to come along who wants to own one of your paintings though, and you do have to be patient.

After a longer preamble than I intended, I would like to nominate Nela Radomirovic, a young lady who comes from Serbia, as my Artfinder Gem. She paints in oils.  I love her work because of the skill involved in producing a realistic, tangible image of the subject, and because the style does appeal to me. She is especially expert in representing texture, inviting the viewer to touch. Still life is a forte. Grapes with white bloom on them, how clever is that, look almost moist to the touch. Standing on polished timber table tops, which you would really like to run your hand along, these paintings of either grapes or cherries remind me of something produced by one of the old masters. I don’t wish to sound too euphoric but I am enthusiastic in my admiration

Unfortunately I am not able to reproduce an example of her work

She is versatile though. She produces equally authentic paintings of horses, nudes and vivid moonlit landscapes. My favourites are still the series of jars, carafes and a beautiful old pressing iron, entitled naturally enough, Old Iron

I believe, from what I read from her profile, that she is self-taught as a painter, something which I always gravitate to, as I never received formal training myself at an art college. You do have to be dedicated to learn your craft that way as it does take a great amount of discipline

I notice too from what she writes in her profile, that she paints everyday, like eating and sleeping.  Well, with devotion like that you will succeed

I believe her link is https.//www.artfinder.com/blog/post/nelaradomirovic/ /#/

Canals of Venice: the Painting Partway

Canals of Venice partway

The story so far

I have been concentrating on the building opposite with all that orange rendering and patchy paintwork. The walls took me quite a while, as I used several undercoats starting with my favourite raw sienna and Naples yellow mix, which gives it some backlighting. It took several coats of dilute orange before it started to look orange, and finally I scrubbed orange pigment straight from the tube to get that patchy, water-damaged effect

I decided to finish detail the Gothic window. I do that sometimes so that I can look at something which encourages me to go on. I was pleased with it, once I had finished, says he who shouldn’t. I think I colour matched correctly the timber screen or whatever it is in the window. That took several coats of cadmium red over Burnt Sienna, which surprised me as that red is so strong. The texture looked like dry, flaky varnish so I hope I got that right. I used some blue in the windows which gave a pleasant relief to all that orange

Once I had put the brown shadow in, the window suddenly came to life. The carvings stood out, and the window under the screen took on some depth. So far so good

I then detailed the two windows on the ground floor, including the one with a rusty iron grille, which seemed to work quite well

I ploughed some cadmium red into the far left building which started to look authentic Venetian. I shall probably lose that when I mount the picture. How often does that happen

There is still plenty of detailing to do, which becomes tiring after a while which is why I have stopped to write this. I would like to finish and frame this for The Railings exhibition in Pirbright, as all my other work is at the Royal Surrey. May do possibly

Still no news from the Royal Surrey, but one of my paintings has been put on reserve on my Artfinder site, which indicates interest at least. I think one sale would be like a starting pistol for this year to finally get going.

I must not moan. I love painting and would continue to do it even if I never sold another picture, although what I would do with them I do not know!

Royal Surrey Hospital 2017

RSCH 2017

My co-exhibitor and I set up our exhibition at the Royal Surrey Hospital in the Peter Thompson Gallery last Friday. I am showing twelve framed paintings, and you may recognise some from previous postings. All new work as far as this gallery is concerned for this year

My colleague is showing 24 pictures, so quite a varied collection of work

So far, this year has been bleak as far as sales are concerned. I don’t know why. Last year i was selling one a month from my web site plus exhibitions. Maybe it is the Brexit factor!

There has been no communication from the hospital to date this week. The organisers are very quick to let us know of any sales or even serious enquiries, so I fear the worst. No news is bad news, as they say

I have a serious feeling of foreboding about this exhibition. I have shown here since I started painting, nearly twenty years ago, and have always sold, sometimes in large quantities, so if I score a duck this year, it will be my first.

We have three more weeks so time for something to happen. Not that my finances depend on selling paintings, it’s just that I like to turn them over to make room for new creations. Still, time yet. We shall see

Canals of Venice

Venice Drawing

Today my colleague in paint, Elaine and I set up our joint exhibition at the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford. I have to say that it did look good. It will be on for four weeks, and now one has to forget about it, which is never easy, as it is so tempting to check one’s emails

Having said that my exhibition work is over for a while, I am reminded that on the 29th July, our local club, the Pirbright Art Club are holding their summer exhibition. We call it the “Railings” as we hang our paintings from the iron railings around the old village hall. It does look quite effective

However all my best stuff is at the hospital and will be until mid August, so a bit of a problem

There was a Venice picture which I wanted to do, and I have attached the photograph as well as my line drawing version of it. I am going to try and complete this by the 25th when we have our “auditions” for this exhibition, so at least it will look as though I am trying to support our local show.

The photograph, I found startling, with the brightness of the colours and the deep shadows, both complimentary and both fascinating to attempt. Some lovely deep oranges and some texture work with these bright colours, should be very satisfying to do. There are too some really good architectural shapes, such as the Gothic window which I hope to give more prominence. I have omitted the window next to it, shown in the photograph. The architectural iron work of he balconies is a study in itself

Anyway that is my next task, which promises to be fun

Framed Painting: Fishing Boats at Beer

Fishing Boats at Beer Framed

I framed the fishing boats painting the other day as I said I would. I bought this frame at a craft fair recently, because it was an interesting size and shape. Originally it was intended for photographs, so I have changed the mountboard, for this cinemascope style of painting.

The finish is driftwood which makes it appropriate for any seascape style of painting

This makes number twelve for my show at the Royal Surrey Hospital next week. We set up in fact a week today, so let’s see if we can break my duck. So far this year, this is my worst year for sales ever. Were I just starting I would probably give up!

But no need. I have had record years before and hopefully will again. In the meantime, now I can do one or two little exercises just for fun!