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, 26 February 2015

My 5 Best Facebook Pages. ( Six if You Count Mine)

Don't we all love Facebook!!

I could spend a week just flicking through this and that, not to mention all the personal stuff!
I even look at videos of cute cats!

I have been wondering about Pinterest and Instagram too, but I'm a bit of a novice there, and my non painting friends don't seem to

Monday, 23 February 2015

One of My Favourite Subjects To Paint. Children on the Beach.

Some of my happiest days are spent on the beach, and of course you have to be in the presence of those you love to make the most of it.
So here are two of my favourite people exploring the surf, and I have the memories of a great day out!

Available on Etsy.
Last year I collected a lot of material for a new series of family beach scenes which I am embarking on at the moment.
I shall be posting them on my blog .

Thursday, 19 February 2015

What To Wear When Creating That Masterpiece.

So what do you wear when creating that masterpiece?
Here's my take on the problem.
I'm an oil painter, and a pretty messy one at that.
And unless I want to end up with a wardrobe full of paint splattered clothes I've got to cover up.
Of course inevitably there's  been a few inadvertent brushes with paintings, and my heavy duty winter coat bears traces of cerulean blue after a late night foray into the studio to put on one last stroke of paint before bed.
To prevent all that this is what I put on before venturing into the studio.
But before I settled on my outfit it had to satisfy a few criteria.

Monday, 16 February 2015

An Extra Wide Painting and Making Bunting.

The flow of the bunting demanded a lovely extra wide format. 

See more.

In truth it could go on dancing forever all round the room and back again but I felt it better to stop somewhere.
I painted this on canvas and in my narrow studio it was almost too big. I had to squeeze past the easel to get to the other end!
In the summer we had a barbecue and put up these lovely flags.
( Yes I know they're a different colour in the painting! Artist's license.)
They moved round the garden a bit and I really did like them draped over the viburnum under the bird table, but eventually they were destined for the end of the studio.
Even in the depth of winter bunting makes anywhere look cheerful.
I think this year I might make some more.
What I made the bunting from:
I used pvc coated cloth, the sort you make aprons, tablecloths and bags from and cut them out with pinking sheers and sewed them onto a doubled up thin length of the same material. They've lasted quite well.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

In Search of the Ideal Sketching Kit.

I'm always searching for the ideal sketching kit. Something to take with me everywhere, so when the occasion calls for it I can whip it out and complete a five minute masterpiece.
I've written about drawing kit for a proper painting trip elsewhere but I today wanted to talk about your basic, pared down, everyday sketching kit.
And here are my criteria:

  1. It must be portable and light.
  2. Leaves no trace. No leaks or drips or dirty fingers.
  3. Instant dry or better still doesn't need to dry.
  4. Colour - optional. The trouble with colour is you have to carry more weight, more clutter.
  5. Results in a beautiful line.
  6. Quick in execution. No use having to go over a line again and again or having to press super hard.
  7. Smudge proof. Or nearly.
  8. Must look cool! 
And a consideration......

Thursday, 5 February 2015

My Epson Stylus Photo PX30WD Printer. Trials and Tribulations.

I thought I would write about my Epson printer this week.
The reason it's so big on my mind is that I've just spent the last two hours connecting my computer to it. 
I lost wi-fi connection when we changed our router last year and I've been down-loading images via a usb stick ever since.

I bought my present Epson about two years ago, and before I made my purchase did a lot of research.
There's not an artists website, photographers blog ( slight exaggeration) I didn't visit in my quest for the perfect printer.
Everything seemed to point to an Epson, and of course the higher spec the better.
I took many factors into consideration and settled on a Epson Stylus Photo PX30WD.

It's main job would be to produce super duper copies of my artwork.
And it does produce super duper copies of my artwork. I can't fault it on that.

It's the operator interaction  that I struggle with.
The hand book is very basic, and doesn't answer the questions I have about wi-fi connection. That's my main bug bear. It was only sheer luck that I got it connected this time. I had to put the code for the new router in. And I had to uninstall and then install the drivers all over again.
First two prints after being connected. I put in the wrong paper to start with!
This isn't in any way a guide to how to operate a printer. You can probably tell by my tone of despair!
I guess I'm not very advanced on the technology front, but then many users aren't.
Read some reviews here.
Would I buy an Epson again? I honestly don't know. Looking on line Canon's seem to be pretty hot at the moment, but are they easier to operate? We have an HP inkjet for letters etc and when it was plugged in away it went! Perfect.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Sometimes I Like Bright Colours.

Sometimes I like to paint with really bright colours in an expressionist sort of way and just feel the pure joy of the paint.

Usually I paint in a more restrained way and stick to spring-like colours, lots of pale cerulean blue, greens, creams and pale oranges.

 But every so often I feel the need to let rip, and here is the result.

Mary Kemp.
Cliffs at Sunset.
Available from my Etsy shop.
I think it's good to paint a little differently from time to time. It can at the very least enhance what you're already doing, or even lead to something quite amazing.

Occasionally  I paint without any blue, so the painting is very red or brown biased. It's something that feels most alien. It's not a painting if it doesn't contain pale cerulean blue.

Now here's an idea!
If you paint in a detailed way try a painting with bold areas of colour and little definition.
If you paint wild and free try taming it for once! Put in some detail.
Use colours that you don't like. ( Yuk brown and sludge green)
Paint like someone who's work you don't like.

I shall be posting the story behind one of my paintings each Monday as well as my weekly blog on a Thursday. Click on the sign up email on the right to receive directly into your in box.