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The ArtistStart Art Painters' Club
Your Views

Artistically, what would you most like to acheive in 2015?

 Taking part in an exhibition
 Entering a painting competition
 Visiting more exhibitions
 Exploring a new medium or subject
 Receiving painting or drawing tuition
 Other (please tell us in the forum)

90% Inspiration 10% Perspiration ...

17 Jan 2011 02:52

Following my stay in hospital in August last year, I promised one of the hurses that, if she let me have some photographs of her three young sons, I would do her a portrait of them as a `thank you` for all the care and attention she had shown me in my post-op ward.
Now said illness has resulted in rather a long painters-block (almost unknown in my life) but, having made the promise, I was acutely aware of time ticking by ... I received several photographs and fiddled with them to get three faces that would go together well as a portrait.
Media? Yes it would have to be soft pastels. Next problem? The Colourfix paper I usually use was too small - yes I know I could have sent for a full-size sheet but ... Anyway I found an Ingres pad and sized down the pictures.
Right - now for the skin tone - Filipino - mmm. I know the camera always darkens tones and I have never actually met the children. Mother is a gorgeous honey colour but I have to be careful here.
OK - tones sorted - went to Art Group and worked on youngest son. The photograph I selected showed him with rather a malcontented look on his face but, on studying a family photograph I realise he is actually very like his father whose face (in repose) takes on the same look - strange ...
Eldest son comes next - ah, he really takes after his mother - a gorgeous, happy grin and twinkling eyes. No problems there - a good likeness.
Now to middle son. Yes, I worked away quite happily on him on Thursday
and when I came home propped the picture on the back of the sofa. Disaster!!! The whole head is too small - why I didn`t notice this whilst I was working on it I really don`t know - yes I do know - I didn`t step back and look at it from time to time.
Well it is going to be the pastel equivalent of the watercolour putting it under the tap - getting a fairly stiff brush and rubbing the third boy out and resizing him to start again ...
Oh one other thing; when I propped the painting up on said sofa the previous Tuesday, I stepped back to look at it - onto my art bag which I had dumped on the sitting room floor - fell backwards onto my footstool and twisted my knee!
Tomorrow is another day - there is nothing that cannot be cured with a little patience - knee is already a lot better so lets hope the painting will respond to treatment eh?

Posted by Anne Smart

See and Try Before you Buy ...

10 Apr 2010 22:05

Easter weekend saw the first Exhibition of The Deepings Art Group - which is now affiliated to the SAA. I started the group when I moved to Lincolnshire 5 years ago and looked for the local SAA group - there wasn`t one so, with the help of Head Office, the Group came into being.
We set up on Good Friday and had our Private View that evening. Even the Lady Mayoress turned up - there was a good crowd and a lovely atmosphere.
I had agreed to steward all over the weekend as my husband was away and really I had nothing else planned. Various members of the Group popped in from time to time to give a hand and keep me company.
We had planned to take the exhibition down about 5 pm on the Monday. Members of the Group (and their helpful spouses) began arriving from about 3 pm and some discreet packing was done very quietly. The public were still coming in. One tall chap smiled at me - his blue eyes twinkling below the knitted hat that was pulled well down over his forehead. Ah yes - our local baker (who also is a very good male model - much in demand). Had a job recognising him with his clothes on.
He had a friend with him who, so I was told, was an artist. The `artist` wandered around making fairly obscure comments about some of the paintings then came over to the desk where I was sitting and asked if the Group ever used male models. Funnily enough we had actually discussed having a Life Drawing session when we had recovered from the Exhibition. I told him this and he then became very enthusiastic about the poses - giving a few demonstrations in a balletic fashion. Not content with that he offered to take his clothes off there and then and began unbuttoning his overcoat. `Er, no ... not just now ... we are a little busy. I have your phone number ... I will contact you ...`
There`s a limit as to how much the small market town can stand on an Easter Monday!

Posted by Anne Smart

Brilliant (free!) website

04 Feb 2010 23:45
Updated 04 Feb 2010 23:46

My `old` website collapsed - I was told there was a virus that had attacked all the sites and they all had to be removed. Up until then I had been very happy with IDBuilder but it has caused me a lot of bother to find a replacement site.
I have in fact purchased a site and have spent weeks struggling (I won`t give up) but on Tuesday a member of our art group told me about Weebly.com. It is wonderful - thank you Brian.
The site I have built needs tweaking but perhaps you would like to take a look - http:/www.annesmart.weebly.com. I can recommend it - Anne

Posted by Anne Smart

Is November a fallow month?

16 Nov 2009 21:59

`Cos it seems to be that way for me. Rather than actually putting brush to paper or canvas, I seem to be going around mulling over potential subjects in my head. Yes I know that this is an important part of the overall work but the `thinking time` has yet to produce anything concrete.
Mind you when I lived in Oxford some years ago I remember going to an exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art and the entire gallery was filled with pieces of blank white paper - it was an exhibition of paper - mmmmm.

Posted by Anne Smart

Post-Solo report and boxing-and-coxing!.

01 Oct 2009 21:56

Well yesterday morning found us at the Arts Centre taking down paintings at the end of my Solo Exhibition. The Arts Centre had sold 3 - which led to husband going up into the loft to find replacements (!).
A few days ago I had a phone call from a fellow artist who said that a friend of his (who was at present in France) wanted to buy another 2 paintings - no, my friend did not know exactly which two they were (admitting he was slightly inebriated at the time as his daughter had held her wedding reception at the Arts Centre). Anyway I was given the chap`s phone number and was waiting for his return from France.
Got in this evening to find a message from said chap asking me to ring him on his mobile - he had returned from France
I returned the call but had to leave a message on his mobile voicemail.
Grrr! Then I remembered I had been told that he wanted them as a present for his wife who had seen them on display and liked them. Ah - all secret stuff.
So.... as I don`t know which two he wants, I have had to leave all the bubble-wrapped paintings in their various bags around the house until he makes contact.
The problem occasioned by the clutter caused by painting in a small bungalow with no designated studio space has now been solved. When the gasman cometh or someone who doesn`t know us - I just wave an arm at various stuff around and say (grandly I hope!) `I am an artist`.
That seems to work ... Anne

Posted by Anne Smart

I`ve become a Francophile!

27 Sep 2009 11:17

I`ve been to France many times - on sailing trips, driving through or touring and only spending 1 or 2 nights in a particular place.
I have just returned from a 6-day painting holiday in Normandy and it has opened my eyes to what a beautiful, uncrowded and nice country it is.
The highlight of my trip (and, to be honest the original reason for going) was a visit to Monet`s house and garden at Giverny. I was bowled over! Although it is late in the season (the garden closes for the winter at the end of October) there was still a riot of colour everywhere one looked - flowers still in bloom long after similar ones in my garden have given up the ghost.
The house was charming and I was thrilled to see all the Japanese pictures on display in each room - those along would have been worth the €6 entrance fee. The view from Monet`s bedroom window was breathtaking - I could almost imagine him standing next to me, sighing with satisfaction.
Last, but by no means least was the Water Garden and, of course, those lilies (some still in bloom) - the Japanese bridge - I walked right round, taking many photographs to work up into paintings later (thinks: has it been done before?!)
Although there were a lot of visitors coming through the turnstiles, the gardens are large enough to get lost and sit alone on one of the many benches and just drink in the view. The people I passed whilst walking around nearly all had a calm, peaceful and happy expression on their faces - the garden was exercising its spell.
We also visited ruined chateaux, water mills, markets, churches and other places of interest.
I want to return again next year! Anne

Posted by Anne Smart

You`ve got to love a trier!

06 Sep 2009 23:05

A few days ago I received an e-mail from a woman calling herself Lisa Robert who lives in France - she said she had read my advert and I appeared to be the ideal person to tutor her son in art during his four month visit to the UK.
I replied, saying that I did not take on private pupils but stating I would pass her enquiry to an artist friend of mine. I duly did that but warned the friend to be cautious. After exchanging a couple of emails with this woman my friend has realised that it is yet another version of the money-laundering scam ... Anne

Posted by Anne Smart


12 Aug 2009 23:32
Updated 12 Aug 2009 23:33

I`ve had a slot booked for a Solo Exhibition in September 2009 for some 6 months - my first since moving to Lincolnshire four years ago.
Well the best-laid plans of mice, men and artists ...
The Flow Blue II which I have in one of my Galleries was the second of two large close-focus watercolours - easy-peasy - they would take up most of one wall ... doh! I sold them both at a recent exhibition. Oh well - out with the paintbrushes - nothing like nice, fresh work is there?
Printed off the invitations to the Private View and being rather pushed for time decided that, as we are now in the 21st century, it would be in order to send these as attachments by e-mail to various people.
One reply yesterday has had me licking my wounds (and cussing under my breath) ever since - the writer apologised for not being able to attend - away that weekend and added `I suspect I have already seen most of the paintings anyway` - she had attended the recent exhibition where I submitted 7 paintings and sold 4 of them (including the two big flowers). Grrrr - does she think I can mount an exhibition with the 4 paintings I have left ... people!!!!
Sympathy please - and pass the hot towels ...

Posted by Anne Smart

Recession? What recession ...

09 Aug 2009 22:10

Well the recent exhibition of the Maxey Art Group overturned the view that we are in the teeth of a recession and art isn`t selling.
This Group (of which I am a member) held its annual Exhibition in the Maxey Village Hall on the weekend of 1/2 August with a Private View on the Friday evening.
Accepted that it is well-established event with a `following` we were still sceptical and wondered how sales would be. Nevertheless we got stuck in and assembled the hired stands on the Friday morning and tweaked and teased (as you do) until the 70-odd pictures submitted looked their best. Interestingly enough, Maxey is a group that hangs every picture submitted by members for the exhibition - and very nice it all looked too!
Friday evening was a good turnout - the wine flowed and so did the people looking around - a pleasant buzz of conversation all evening and the red dots began to appear ...
Saturday and Sunday were busy nearly all day. The homemade cakes being served with the teas disappeared like magic.
At the end the Group exceeded their sales for 2008 with 18 framed and 11 unframed paintings being sold in a weekend. Recession? What recession ...

Posted by Anne Smart

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