This blog is moving!
At last I have discovered a way to have my website and blog all in one place.
So from now on all new blog posts will be on my new website.
I'm still writing about the same sort of things, and you can still find the old posts on this page.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Dynamic Dawn of Art in the Heart

Dawn Birch-James
In Peterborough we have a very dynamic lady called Dawn Birch-James
who champions the art world with zeal and enthusiasm.
Her latest project is Art in the Heart, a retail outlet to showcase local artists' and craft peoples' work in the busy thoroughfare of Bridge Street in Peterborough.
So all us artists and makers are working our socks off at the moment preparing for the opening in October.

There's a Facebook Page
It's all there.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

The Secret of Magnolia

I went to a demo at Peterborough Art Society several years ago, and the man painting a picture of sky and seas for us told us all about his fabulous MAGNOLIA colour that he used to blend in with blue and it didn't turn green !
I thought it was fabulous and have been using it ever since for loads of things
Titanium white, raw Sienna and Cadmiun yellow light.
And that's it.
So thank you to this unsung hero, who spread a little joy.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Sea Breeze

Mary Kemp- Sea Breeze, oil on canvas 30 x 30cms.

I've just completed this picture. Another blue one again.
I used a sludgy purple ground and lots of cerulean blue, and absolutely tons of magnolia white, the secret of which I will reveal in my next post.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Ready to Paint

This morning I am ready to paint. Lots of things to finish off. It's very hot so I might not last very long.
Here I have:
Tear off palette. Very waxy and pleasant to work on, and you can just discard when you've finished. I often cover with clingfilm, and then at the next session scrape off the paint to a new page.
Scissors. For cutting off the bottom of tubes of paint that have got bunged up.
Kitchen roll. Obvious, but rags are better, old tea towels especially.
Palette knife.
Lots of brushes, I like pro arte size 0 and 2 very much. They're supposed to be for acrylic mainly, but they suit the way I work.
Latex gloves. Protect my delicate hands. I use them for most painting, but when I have to do fine brush work I take them off.
Paint. A mixture of different brands of oil paints there. I sometimes mix alkyd in with them as they take less time to dry.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Why Sketching is Like Press-Ups.

For us finely honed artists sketching is our daily exercise.
Just like an athlete we need to put in the time and patience to get it right, and if necessary repeat and repeat, build the muscles in our brains, train our memories, put memories in our drawing muscles and remind ourselves how to see.
So OK I don't limber up every day, but when I do I find the ideas flow, the line I'm trying to paint goes just  right, and I feel pretty damn good about what I'm doing.
Mary Kemp- Greenhouse Sketch.
In the studio if I get a bit bogged down I know an unrelated burst of drawing will work wonders. And if it's executed sitting outside in the sunshine that's even better.

Mary Kemp- Tomato plant sketch.
So today, feeling a bit glum about this and that I went out into the garden and before 9am produced a couple of pictures.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Facebook/ Blog Picture

I am thinking of changing my Facebook picture, and thought why not a self portrait of how I would look on a good day.
So I painted a few little oil paintings on canvas, 20 x 20 cms.

Mary Kemp- Self portrait 1

Mary Kemp - Self Portrait 2

Mary Kemp- Self Portrait 3
Mary Kemp - Self Portrait 4
Really in order to see I need my glasses on.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Keeping Track of Your Art Work.

If you don't keep track of your paintings its easy to forget what you've got stacked up just waiting for that chance to shine so..
Mary Kemp - Cool Sea
I decided I would like to keep a proper inventory of my art work. I was giving the same picture a different name each time I put it out there. I was getting confused!
So each picture as I paint it I will give it a number and a title..not to be changed.
Sometimes I complete 3 or 4 paintings a week, when the wind is behind me. So I must be more organised.
I also have the added complication that my computer died last month and nothing was backed up....I know, I know.
So I've a lot of photographing to do.

Meanwhile here is my latest offering. It's the children again running to the sea.
I used a pale red ground on a canvas on panel, used lots of cerulean blue and Naples yellow, and of course burnt Sienna.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

The Problem with a Long, Vertical Painting.

My friend Jean paints a lot of vertical pictures so I thought I'd have a go.
But I found out that the problem with a long vertical painting is that you've never got the whole of the image in your sight at once.
Eyes don't see up and down, they do side to side, we see in landscape format, not portrait.
I struggled a bit with this picture, well I struggle with every picture really.
It all became clearer however when I took it out the studio and put it outside, and then it seemed to make sense.

Mary Kemp- Quay at Brancaster Staithe

It's oil on canvas, heavy relying on a combo of Venetian Red and Ultramarine Violet.
It doesn't sit happily on the page though.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Before the Picnic

One of my favourite pictures has found a new home.
I called this Before the Picnic because that's what it was.
We were getting everything ready and it was blowing a gale, eventually we ate in the car.
When I look at it , it was us grown ups getting everything ready. The children were obviously just choosing the site.

On a technical note - to get such a high colour in the picture I used a bright red ground. I was feeling on top form that day! I've painted several more in this series.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

What to paint on.

I usually paint on either
canvas covered panel,
primed mdf
or stretched white cotton canvas.

Of the three I prefer the canvas covered panel. I like a firm surface and the weave is close on the canvas so it's quite a gentle support and allows for detail if I feel so inclined.

But last week I bought some linen canvases mainly because Great Art, whose catalogue I take to bed to read, has a deal on. So I  bought 4 of 30 x 30 cms.

I'm now wondering, do I paint a different coloured ground, or do I just pitch in?