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, 28 November 2013

Painting in Public at Art in the Heart, Peterborough.

I've been asked to be part of Live Art Saturdays at the lovely Art in the Heart venue in Peterborough. I'm a bit of a coward and kept putting this off, which is silly really considering you're going to have a nice time and have the chance to talk about your favourite subject, yourself.
Painting kit.
I'm going to paint two seaside pictures, or at least start them. I usually paint in oils but the logistics of transportation and all the mess has made me think I'll use acrylics this time. After all I do sometimes start off a painting that way.
Here's a list of what I am taking with me :

Two pre-prepared boards with the image loosely drawn on. One I've painted red.
Acrylic paint.
Drying time  retartder.
Selection of brushes.
Pencils etc.
Pots for water.
Palette.
Kitchen roll.
Cling film.
Apron and glasses.

Friday, 22 November 2013

If Only I'd Worn the Computer Glasses.

I know it sounds stupid but I visited the Cambridge Art Fair last week and didn't take the right glasses with me.
Let me explain. I've been short sighted all my life and now I'm long sighted as well. As a rule I get on fine out and about with bi focals, I can't get the hang of varifocals. For indoors , art work, cooking, computer work a pair of middle distance specs does the trick, but I rarely take them out with me, just something else to loose.
So when I went to the art fair, and later popped in to the Fitzwilliam Museum I was struggling to get the right distance from what I wanted to see plus the light was rubbish because it was a dull day and the lighting was all conservation biased.
How I long for sunny days and the great outdoors.
Mary Kemp - Poppy Field Last Summer.
Oil on canvas 30 x 30 cms.

Monday, 18 November 2013

On the Rocks. (I Paint in Twos.)

I paint in twos quite often. If I can't decide which way I want a painting to go I'll start two from the same beginning.
Mary Kemp - On the Rocks. x2

This is a scene from a family holiday in the Canaries, the sea was deep and churning. It reminded me of Cornwall.
I used different grounds for the paintings. The first my usual canvas panel, quite a smooth weave, the other was on a natural coloured coarser primed stretched canvas. I'd bought 4 of them when they were on offer at Great Art.
The latter I finished quickly, the neutral ground helping and also having a fresh perspective to a familiar subject.
The painting on the white canvas I will tackle today.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Colour and Light in Oils by Nicholas Verrall.

One of my favourite modern day painters is Nicholas Verrall. His composition and use of colour just wow me, so his very informative book Colour and Light in Oils is a book I refer to often. I also have a couple of catalogues from shows  at the Catto Gallery in Hampstead.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Why Drawing is Important

Mary Kemp - Drawing of a Field.
If you're a visual artist one of the crucial tools at your disposal is the ability to draw. Not all visual disciplines require you to draw well, but it's useful to get information down on the page, to work out your ideas and plan what your finished art work is to be.
I think of myself as a painter, and if I carry on painting without doing much drawing, all of a sudden I come up against a brick wall, fresh out of ideas and can't get things to look how they ought to look. And now I know it's time to get back to the drawing board.
So yesterday morning the sun shone, I went out into the countryside and drew a field.
 For this I used my eight inch square spiral bound sketch book, various pens, two of which ran out of ink, but the brown one kept going, and a selection of Derwent Coloursoft pencils.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Keeping Track of the Artwork

It is a sad fact that my art is not snapped up the minute it leaves the easel.
Therefore I need a system for keeping tabs on it. Over the years I've had several goes at this with limited success.
Files on the computer are essential for preserving images and data about the work, but it takes time to locate and you can't keep a lot of info with the image.
Mary Kemp - Filing system?
So my latest idea, one I've had boiling in my brain for a while, is a digital inventory but with an old fashioned card index where I keep data on the life of the artwork.
I also have a little book with each venue and occasion and what I have there.
Is that enough?

Sunday, 3 November 2013

The Studio Handbook by Martin Kinnear.

After two brilliant sessions at the studio of Martin Kinnear I am definitely a fan.
I attempt to paint like him but I think my work is just a bit too light weight to match up to his skills. Never the less I have learnt an awful lot from his courses some of which I have applied to my own work, but I have to say it deflects me from my main thrust which is light and happy and dare I say just a bit frivolous. Jack Vitriano says he keeps away from other art because he doesn't want to be pushed off course, and I kind of get what he's saying.
However this little handbook by Martin Kinnear is very useful, full of technical information and a great addition to my studio.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Masterpieces, Art and East Anglia at the Sainsbury's Centre, University of East Anglia.

My favourite game to play when visiting an exhibition is pouncing on something I would like to take away with me. But there was so much at this exhibition to love I never got to make up my mind.
Part of the fun was the venue, breathtakingly modern at the University of East Anglia. (Did it feature in a Most Peculiar Practice on the telly in the 80's, 90's?)
The art spanned pre history to the present day.
My husband wanted to take home Christopher Saxton's map of Norfolk from 1574, quite portable if only you could get into the cabinet without being noticed.
Despite there being a cornucopia of artefacts I still lusted after a couple of paintings, a Munnings Suffolk Horse Fair and a bright fresh Cotman watercolour that could have been painted yesterday.
Sainsbury's Centre UEA
Happy day out.