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, 31 January 2013

Open Studio Events - The Pleasure and the Pain

Once again that time of year has arrived, when you fill in the form and decide which of your precious paintings is going to represent you in this years Open Studios brochure.
I've taken part in Peterborough Artist Open Studios for several years now, been on the committee and enjoyed it all a great deal. This year my role is smaller. I just take the minutes at the meetings. In previous years I've been the one who receives all the email submissions. It's been a time consuming job and quite worrying, wondering whether you're going to get it all right. A big sigh of relief when the brochure is produced and everything ties up.
So this year instead of worrying about the brochure I'm going to concentrate on my art work.
Mary Kemp - Broken Boat
Here's one I made earlier.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Electric Sunset with Hydrus Watercolours.

Mary Kemp - Sunset.
Experimenting with watercolours again.
On very rough paper with the Dr Martins Hydrus Watercolour again. The colours are so intense they make your head spin.
I drew a very simple outline and basically floated the colour on between the lines.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Masking Fluid and Watercolour - The Downside and the Upside.

Masking fluid is a latex based substance that you paint onto your paper to prevent watercolour covering an area, thus leaving a white mark.
It smells like nappies and quickly dries in the bottle. These are the down sides.
The upside is that with a bit of planning you can guarantee that the areas you want as highlights will remain white.
You can use a brush to apply the masking fluid, but it must be washed straight away afterwards . You can cover the brush with soap which both achieves a smooth point and makes cleaning easier. I have used a dip pen too, or even a cocktail stick.
When you've applied the masking fluid you have to let it dry naturally, if you use a hair dryer it will stick to the paper for ever! It usually takes about ten minutes.
The nice thing about masking fluid is that paint flows towards it and leaves a slightly darker soft line at the edge. It adds another dimension.
When everything is dry and finished you just rub it off with your fingers, or you can use an erasure but it's not so satisfying. If you leave the fluid on beyond a few days it gets difficult to take off.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Snowbound Watercolour

Remembering summer days, looking out to sea ( a long way off ) through the mist.
Mary Kemp - Through the Mist.
I used my sketches for reference, I also looked at the photos I took, but they just didn't show what I remembered.
I can still feel the cool of the morning mist on my arms. It soon warmed up, and after I'd done the drawings I had a hearty breakfast.
I used pastel over the watercolour to help with the ethereal feeling.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Norfolk Painting School

Learning is an ongoing thing. It never stops, in every area of your life. And in my life I need a lot of learning.
So this why I have booked myself in to a three day course at the Norfolk Painting School in North Creake, surprisingly enough in Norfolk.
I first came upon this school, by recommendation, about three years ago. I attended a two day course on a very cold February weekend and have never worked so hard in my life.
In a small group we were taught how to paint skies and light and so much more. We were given a 4ft by 3ft canvas and with a lot of tuition produced a picture to be proud of. Those two days opened my eyes to a much freer way of working which has carried on into my art ever since.
 This is what I painted :
Mary Kemp - Over the Wash

Monday, 14 January 2013

Indoors Water Colour.

It is snowing outside. My studio is too cold to work in comfortably. ( Yesterday I wore 3 layers of clothes, mittens and stuffed a hot water bottle up my jumper). Yes I do have heating but it wasn't enough.
So I brought my watercolours up to the house and left the oil paints to freeze.
This is what I painted.
Mary Kemp - Early Morning.
I remember now why watercolours are so difficult. You only get one chance.
I've used some lovely paper which is so thick it doesn't need stretching. I think it's handmade.
The paints I used are various makes: cobalt blue, cerulean blue, sap green (possibly) raw umber, Venetian red, yellow ochre and some sort of purple.
All done with one brush, prolene by pro arte series 101 number 14.
I painted it very wet, flooding the area I wanted to fill with water, adding the paint and hoping for the best.

Friday, 11 January 2013

New Year Jobs for This Artist.

Two things I have to do before too long.

  1. Update my website to take account of the new year. I've got fresh pictures to put on there and must write some 2013 copy.
  2. Tidy and  catalogue my picture store, i.e. the spare bedroom. I've just bunged everything in there when it's come back from an exhibition, or if I've not been happy with something I sling it in there and it never sees the light of day again. 

      I was quite pleased yesterday to uncover a few gems hidden away. On reflection these small canvases don't look too bad.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Finished Picture - Possibly......

I think I've finished this picture. Will bring it up to the kitchen and look at it while eating breakfast. Always good thinking time.
Mary Kemp - Fallen Apples and Winter Viburnum.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Hunstanton, But Better.

I've been asked to paint a picture of Hunstanton, incorperating both the cliffs and the funfair in the same picture! For those in the know you need 360 degree vision for that. So I've worked out a plan and as you see I've put in the cliffs and the sea and sky.
I added an extra layer of gesso to the canvas to help the picture stay bright. So far I've used cerulean blue and cobalt blue, and burnt sienna and caminiun yellow and alizarin crimson for the cliffs.The instructions were "happy, bright Hunstanton" which is how I think of Hunstanton anyway, except when it rains.