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, 29 November 2012

New Way to Buy My Art. I Try to Make It Easy For You !

Mary Kemp - Hunstanton Cliffs
I have just opened an Etsy shop . I've been trading for a while on Etsy with my fantasy art so I'm having a go with the more serious work, mainly my seaside paintings , but of course whatever I paint.
The process of posting stuff online is not as simple as it seems.
There's a lot of photographing to be done , then editing.
 Then you have to think of something to say about your painting, and if you're not a copy writer it's not easy. "I thought this boat would make a nice picture" will not do.
But it does make you think about your art.
I wish I could just paint and not do so much on the computer side, but even before the time of computers there were other things to do to publicise your art, and they took up a lot more time.

Monday, 26 November 2012


On Sunday morning we woke up to find the garden covered in several inches of water. Of course it had rained all Saturday night, it was quite beautiful and quite exciting.
I couldn't get to the studio without my wellies on, and anyway it was Sunday so I was having a day off .
The studio and workshop and on a raised plinth making all  dry there thank goodness.
It subsided in the afternoon , a relief and a disappointment!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Grace the Dog Makes Another Appearance

Mary Kemp - Grace the Dog Makes Another Appearance
Despite the dull weather I have been painting in the studio today from first thing, using natural light, although I think I shall have to use the daylight bulbs for the next few months. You can see by my photos that the light is not good.
I wanted to paint the Border Collie Grace again, remembering her joyousness from the summer, so here she is for the third time with one of the family before rushing off into the sea.
I've photographed my palette too to give you an idea of the colours I'm using.
Palette - Titanium white, buff titanium, Naples yellow, raw sienna, burnt sienna, Venetian red, raw umber, yellow ochre, ultramarine violet, cobalt blue, cerulean blue, lamp black 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Music to Paint By.

Blissful joy! I am back painting again after a month in the wilderness.
Yesterday I started three paintings, yes three, and there's loads more ideas fizzing away.
Do I Really Own All These Brushes???????
It started to get me thinking about what I like to listen to whilst painting.
Mary Kemp - Work in Progress
When working something out I need SILENCE.
But after that I need part of my brain occupied so I can paint with ease.
Radio Four and Radio Four Extra are brilliant.
Otherwise I have about twenty CDs that I play time and time again.
Levelling the Land by the Levellers, Joan Biaz, Simon and Garfunkle, Ladysmith and Black Mambaza, the Best of Bob Dylan being just some, and I've just bought a John Denver CD for £3.00!!!!!

Monday, 19 November 2012

My Other Life Involves Dragons

 I thought as I'm writing a blog about my art I ought to telling the whole truth, painting-wise that is.
Mary Florence - St. George and the Dragon
To those who know me it will come as no surprise that I have another string to my bow, which over the years has come and gone.
Although I like to paint in a serious grown up way most of the time every so often my teenage self comes to the fore and the dragons roam through my work and live in spooky landscapes.
Mary Florence - Gnarled Tree
I call myself Mary Florence and sell these through  my Etsy shop, a fabulous place to shop for hand made unique things.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

An Artist's Work is Never Done! Prints of my Beach Scenes for Art in the Heart - Peterborough

Mary Kemp - Beach Scenes
At long last I have produced some prints of my beach scenes.
The thing is it doesn't stop when you have the prints.
I like to put them in a mount, so that has to be decided upon, in my mind the plainer the better. I generally use antique white, not quite white, not quite cream.
Then a backing, then all the labelling, artist, title, medium, price.
Last of all cellophane sleeve, to keep it clean.
An artist's work is never done !
And there they are , at Art in the Heart, Peterborough in the town centre , waiting for their final home.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Wonderful Watercolour !

Mary Kemp - Mary's Garden, Alan's Garage.
Oh gosh , oh golly! It's a long time since I painted in watercolour.
But I've been staring out of the kitchen window and this is what I see.
I rested my pad on the draining board and painted.
I used:
Canson 200gms  cold pressed watercolour paper.
White Knight watercolours, dead cheap but jolly colours. I can't tell you precisely which colours because I ripped the paper off the pans and didn't record anything. Usually I'm a bit more traditional with my materials.
I used no8 and no14 sable brushes, hold lots of water, feel lovely.
I might add some lines to this later.
The light was going as I put the on red blobs for the apple trees.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Louise Stebbing of Skylark Studios

Louise Stebbing in front of my favourite reduction linocut.
Yesterday I attended the opening of an exhibition of the work of Louise Stebbing of Skylark Studios in Tydd Gote near Wisbech.
I've long been an admirer of her work and her dedication to print making. It's her beautiful fen skies and stark trees that attract me. I enjoyed seeing lots of her work together and  hope to visit her studio soon. I'm rather attracted to the courses on print making that she holds there.
This exhibition is being held at the Andronicas Coffee Shop in the Van Hage Garden Centre in Peterborough until the end of January.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

It's All Possible

I have two pictures I've been struggling with for ages.
They're not very big, my favourite size 12 x 12 inches, or if you're decimal 30 x 30cms.
Mary Kemp - At Anchor
But the solution I think is simple. Both have beautiful parts, areas where I think it really worked, and areas where I think it's a load of not very good painting and no matter how I try they get worse and worse. At least I have the good sense not to touch the nice parts.
So I'm going to extract one rather elegant boat, and one row of beach huts, enjoy them, and consign my mistakes to the bin !

Mary Kemp - Beach Huts

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Some Graphics Programmes I Have Known

Mary  Kemp - Digital Portrait
In my naivety I thought that I could draw and paint pictures using my trusty computer. Armed with only a Wacon tablet and a very rudimentary knowledge of how it works I could conquer the world of art. After all I am an artist aren't I ?
But it's not easy, after all they do degree courses in graphic design, don't they?
I started off using Photoshop 7, it was on my laptop, I spent a lot of time fiddling with it, and drew a bit, altered scanned images, played with the colour. So time consuming !! Then the laptop died and the next one didn't have Photoshop on, and it was expensive.
So I downloaded Gimp , free to us all, and as far as I can tell nearly as good as Photoshop. I learnt about layers, resizing and a whole lot more, but I still got a wobbly line when drawing on the Wacon tablet.
Then I downloaded Inkscape which is brilliant for achieving a smooth line. I'm still struggling with saving the images as I want and placing them, it would help if I read the manual...
But when all said and done there's nothing like drawing with a pencil, feeling the rasp against the paper or letting a pool of watercolour spread slowly and luxuriously into another pool of watercolour and just helping it along with a brush.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

My Website..!!!!

Oh my website........
Not quite right website.

I am a starving artist and therefore cannot afford to have someone design and keep my website updated.
Plus I'm a control freak who enjoys a challenge.
This is why my website is hosted by clikpic Which I must say for £40.00 a year is brilliant and all I need to do is spend some time, and READ THE MANUAL !!!!!!
Then I shall have exactly the website I want, and be able to tweak it as and when.
As it is I have a good enough website, that shows the work I do.
I want to make it clearer, more elegant, give people the opportunity to buy my paintings through it. All those commercial things. But really and truly all I want to do is DRAW and PAINT.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Sparkly Seas and Light

When there's lots of light and just a gentle breeze you get sparkly seas. Smooth seas don't sparkle, angry seas flash and are very white, or if the light's low they're grey, but a gentle breeze creates a sea that is interesting and a joy to paint.
Mary Kemp - Paddling
I usually start with the background colour of the sea, squinting to get the tones right in my head and then add the splashes of sparkle later. Generally bigger sparkles at the front, smaller at the back. Of course this is very simplistic and there's no substitute for observation.