Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year is in it's second year. A finished painting in 4 hours, when I normally take 15+, no pressure there then!
This is how I prepared after being selected to take a place in one of the pods. Although what happened is still pretty hush, hush so you'll need to watch it it you want to find out if it worked.!
Distinctive style can start in the most insignificant of ways. You never know when a small action can be the start of something great. There are moments in everyone’s life that are catalysts resulting in massive change. Sometimes, we’re aware of their existence and potential. Other times we just go through the motions of the day, oblivious to the impact the actions of the day will have.Only when a lengthy period of time has passed do we realise the significance. For many of us, there may be more than one such event. Let me share one of mine. A Eureka moment that only became clear some weeks/months later A painting called Abstract Flowers I have no photographs of this as a work in progress. It was done as an experiment. It is one of the first paintings I did where I used masking fluid to any extent. It was the beginning of something, a small action that snowballed into something big. So, how did it come about? I wanted to experiment with texture, and knew that masking was the best way forward. I’d used masking fluid before, wrecked brushes in the process. So I decided to try some other bits […]
Inspiring Women are everywhere but finding them can be hard? Like all artists, I often feel the need for inspiration. For creative ideas to help me produce the next artwork. But I also need people who’ll inspire me to do something extraordinary! These people aren’t all artists. But what inspires me about them is their determination to make a difference. To change things. There are many men who are classed as influential. But the number of women seems far fewer. That is untrue, there are just many unsung heroines. The emphasis being unsung! Like most women, I relate better to the achievements of other women. I’m not being sexist but we all identify with people like ourselves. It’s natural, they seem to have more clout. As a teenager I grew up in an environment where women seemed to aspire no higher than marriage and family. Not that these are not noble and valuable goals. But I knew there was more I wanted to aspire to. I want to remember women who’ve influenced and inspired me. Women who opened my eyes to the possibility that there is more to life. Maybe they will inspire you as well. Artemisia Gentileschi In an […]
Great Art needs a name. Imagine an artwork comprised of a lifesized skull made of platinum, with real teeth and encrusted with diamonds. You probably know the one I mean. Now think of its title “For the love of God” Think of Damian Hirst’s piece, and whatever you might think the artwork itself, the name provokes thought. It conjours up thoughts of decadence and futility. Of vanity, the ultimate vanity, Not only of leaving a beautiful corpse but a pretty skeleton too! I can’t claim to be a Damian Hirst fan myself but you have to admire his promotional skills. That art courts controversy is nothing new, but it’s that very controversy which catapults such artists into the media limelight, be it rightly or wrongly. Would calling it “Diamond skull” or, my personal favourite, “Glitterball” have evoked the same response? Quite possibly, but I think the nuances would have been very different. One suggests laziness whilst the other a crass indifference to death and mortality. It’s mocking in it’s implication. This is one piece where the title takes the artwork to a whole new level, as well as voicing the thoughts of many who view it for the first time. […]
Struggle to find inspiration to paint? I’m often asked where I find my inspiration from and yes, Artists do need inspiration and there are lots of ways to be inspired. Keep your eyes open Look at the world as you go about your day. I always have my phone with me, and so can take photos whenever the opportunity arises. Photos like this one taken at the beach last week. I keep a notepad with me at all times to capture ideas as they come. Sometimes I forget and you can guarantee that those are the times when I most wish I had it. But by far and away the most important thing that helps me find inspiration was itself is a habit I hadn’t appreciated would be so helpful. Brian Clark at Copyblogger created this wonderfull tips for writers poster. After reading it, I realised that the same is true for artists or any creative. JUST DO IT! There’s a great myth that you can only paint when you’re inspired. The trouble with inspiration is it’s elusive. If you wait to be inspired, you rarely or never will be. And when you are inspire your efforts will never be […]
Understanding Modern Art is challenging It can leave you wondering what on earth is going on? I have a confession. I’ve always found understanding modern art confusing! There, I’ve said it! First of all, Modern and Contemporary Art are not the same thing. The terms are often confused, but not the same. Modern art is work created from around 1860’s to 1970’s. Contemporary Art is work created after that time. Technically any artist alive and creating today is a Contemporary artist. Their work might be considered more traditional in style,but they are still contemporary artists. There is more to Modern Art than what you see. I always zoned out during art history. I was disinterested. All those names, dates, formal artwork. Maybe it was the teacher or just me? But before mid 19th century, art seemed fusty, I liked the Pre-Raphaelites. Mainly through spending hours at Manchester Art Gallery. Van Gogh was interesting but then the 20th Century stuff was just playing, wasn’t it? All that dripping paint and squares and splodges of colour. But there are rules and theories behind what you see. Cubism is the presentation of more than one side at a time, good abstracts have rules […]