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Gallery Highlights E-Newsletter January 2017

Read more from the gallery artists whose work has been selected for this month's gallery highlights e-newsletter

Amanda Price   Bron Stubbington   Charles Wilby   Errol Dyer   Fran Larcombe   Ray Burnell


Windy Walk by Amanda Price

This was a commission piece. My client wanted to capture the personality of her mother's dogs and the windy day they had enjoyed at a beach in Lowestoft - one of the dogs' favourite places to roam. My client and her mother are happy that I caputured this moment for them, they enjoy fun of the piece, as do I, you can almost feel the wind in their ears yourself!

Here you can see Chips, a 13 year old Jack Russell and Nelly, a 4 year old Staffy.

For this painting I used watercolour and pen on Bristol board. 

I love the result of this commission. I fall in love with all of my artwork, handing it over to the client is the hardest part!

At the age of 34 I decided to go through a life and career change and become an artist full time, to take it from a hobby and follow my dreams, well, at least attempt to, life's too short not to!

I have been an artist for as long as I can remember. I achieved GCSE level and yearned to continue, but life at the time didn't allow it. So until now art has always been my passion, but never my career, I am working hard to change this.

I work in various mediums, a lot of the time mixed media and, unless I am doing a specific commission, what I use and the style in which I paint in really depends on what mood I am in! 

I welcome commissions alongside producing personal pieces that I sell. I am working on getting a website together but in the meantime can be found on PaintersOnline by clicking here and on Facebook.


Winter is Here by Bron Stubbington

I was very pleased to have been asked to write a piece about my painting Winter is Here.

I have loved drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. I am a self-taught artist but in early years I was inspired and encouraged by two excellent art teachers at school. In later years, I have been on many courses and workshops and am currently studying watercolour and mixed media on a weekly basis with another excellent teacher. I belong to three local art clubs and always enjoy the monthly demonstrations and events and the encouragement you get from other members. I have had some success at the exhibitions and sold some of my work. I also enjoy going out with the local Urban Sketchers, drawing the surrounding areas and comparing notes afterwards in the tea shop!

I see the trees in this painting all the time, whilst walking my dog in my local Alver Valley Country Park and I have sketched there many times. On this occasion I backed up my drawing with photographs as it was bitterly cold and the wintry sun had long gone. The painting is on 16in x 12in watercolour board, which I use sometimes instead of paper, as it is excellent for fine ink work. The background is a watercolour wash and the distant line of trees and bushes worked in whilst wet. Finer detail was put in when dry, with ink. I use a .003 waterproof drawing pen for very fine detail. For the foreground trees, I used a mix of black and sepia acrylic ink as I wanted to achieve a dense solid, stark look against a softer, mistier background. I have tried to convey that sense of dull cold and starkness, where distant lines are blurred at the onset of dusk.

Some of my other work can be viewed and purchased at www.awashwithpaint.wordpress.com as well as in the PaintersOnline gallery by clicking here.


Windy Day at the Lake by Chas Wilby

Windy day at the lake was painted from one of my own photos of Lake Buttermere area in Cumbria.

Nowadays due to disability I have to paint from photos - mainly my own or from close friends - but if from friends - I have to have been there and know the area.

Even when painting from these photos, my finished work will only resemble the chosen area. I like to alter  the composition, move things about (trees for one), alter the light, change the background and so on.

The reference photo for Windy Day at the Lake was not windy nor even autumn - but that's how I chose to paint it!

As I may have mentioned in my entries to the gallery, I am completely self-taught. I have no idea if I am painting correctly. I have built up my own techniques and, for now, that's how I shall continue.

For most of my paintings I mainly try to create depth and light.

Anyway into the painting itself - I started with the background hills, most of which were not even there, these were created to give the painting the depth I like to make. Once done and dry, I misted the tops of the hills with a glaze of titanium white in order to create even more distance.

Next, moving down, I painted and glazed the lake, trying to make it fairly simple so as to not be a distraction. Then, moving over to the left, I created the darker mass of trees and foliage plus the fence. I then carried on downwards, painting in the grassy area and shoreline.

Having got all this done, and feeling satisfied with the results, I decided to impose the big tree - thus creating even more depth.

Once the trunks and branches were in and dry, I added the foliage using a No1 bristle fan brush (I cut some of the hairs out of my fan brushes).

Once dry, I had the idea of trying to create a windy appearance to the whole scene. So I started flicking and throwing paint from all directions. It was either going to work or not! Luckily for me it seemed to work - that's my opinion anyway!

And there you have it, Windy Day at the Lake, painted in acrylics. I won't bore you anymore with any of my life story, except to say that I love to paint and show you my memories.

You can see more work by Chas in the PaintersOnline gallery by clicking here.


Hare by Errol Dyer

My name is Errol and I took up painting two years ago after selling my business and retiring at just over 69 years of age. I attend a local art club, the Tenbury & District Art Group. I put some of my work on a web gallery for art club members and one of the other painters suggested that I put my work on PaintersOnline. I never dreamt of being asked to write about my painting but I am flattered. It has taken me by surprise but I am, at the same time, very pleased to do so.

I remembered the basics of art from my high school days but otherwise I am self taught, and at my age I have to get a move on and explore as many styles as possible before I find myself unable to continue. My training now comes from Youtube. I feel I have something to offer and just love to get in my small studio/office and paint.

I have had some successes and of course many failures, which I over paint and start again, the advantage of painting on canvas, but this does not work now that I have started to use palette knives, a style I like, and hope to develop further, as you can see in my later work. I like the dramatic use of images and colour, and try and convey to the viewer, a sense of the occasion be it stormy weather or some other event.

The inspiration for my treatment of the Hare came from seeing a similar style, and trying to do it my way without knowing how. For this work I worked with quite watery acrylics. I felt like throwing colour at the outline and seeing where it took me and I did appear by pure chance I suspect, to get the blend about right. The whole painting took no more than fifteen minutes, after the initial sketch. But the overall effect was pleasing and there are thankfully many people seem to like it. I will keep experimenting with different media and styles, especially with pallet knives, and ever larger canvases and hope to put sufficient good work together to enable me to show my work at maybe a small local gallery. Some of my work has been sold and I have completed three commissions and am working on the third a three canvas work 1m in overall length.

You can see more of Errol's work in the PaintersOnline gallery by clicking here.


Crow by Fran Larcombe, an artist with a love for the wild things

I was flattered to be asked if I would write a little something about the drawing of the Crow.

I’m a predominantly self taught artist and illustrator based in Cornwall.

My favourite subject being the local flora and fauna and living on the edge of Bodmin Moor there is no shortage of inspiration.

I was born in London in the 'swinging sixties', I suppose my love of art was apparent right from the start. I was always happiest sitting on my own quietly drawing, lost in my imagination waiting for the moment I would be let loose in the art supplies shop to rummage through the pencils and paper. Some things never change.

Many years later and after an extremely nasty health scare, I decided to take a leap and become a full time artist. Thankfully my wonderful, long suffering family continue to support me so I can work from my home studio producing commissions, illustrations and original art.

Most of my work starts from memory with a pinch of imagination, I will then use reference photos for the finer details. This particular drawing is the first in the collection ‘Reflecting Black’ a series of drawings and paintings of primarily black subjects on a black ground.

I am interested in exploring form by working with the areas of reflected light and not applying any dark shadows.

Although the contrast is quite dramatic I try to portray a sense of delicacy in the subjects. I have used Derwent Artists Coloured Pencils in this piece, the pencils have a high level of pigment with a slight waxy consistency enabling them to blend quite well and still deliver a subtle finish.

It was a little bit of a challenge using coloured pencils as I usually use pastels or oils in my paintings but I enjoyed the process and I am happy with the outcome.

You can follow the progress of this collection by visiting my website at www.franlarcombe.com and in the PaintersOnline gallery.


Preseli Hills and Posts by Ray Burnell

Preseli Hills and Posts is painted in oils on a prepared MDF board 30 x 30 cm square.

For this landscape I used the Zorn limited palette colours of yellow ochre, cadmium red, titanium white and black. The Zorn palette is named after Swedish artist Anders Zorn (1860 – 1920).

I find this palette works well for landscapes especially on grey moody days.  It is also a great palette when starting out with landscape painting as the colours harmonise automatically and naturally.

Although not used here, I sometimes add a little Prussian blue and cadmium yellow if needed.

The subject is inspired by visits to the Mynachlog-Ddu area in the Preseli Hills in North Pembrokeshire, West Wales close to where I live. 

It is an interesting and historic area very near Carn Menyn a rocky hilltop outcrop thought to be the source of the bluestones at Stonehenge. 

There are lots of standing stones, wind-sculptured stunted trees, very old decayed fence, gate and boundary posts that are really useful in helping to create interesting compositions.

Although up in the hills this is also a boggy area and I tried to show a hint of some white cotton grass which grows well here.

The last time I painted plein air at this location, and was concentrating hard, wild Preseli ponies 'snuck’ up and stole the sandwiches from my bag when my back was turned!

You can see more of Ray's work in the PaintersOnline gallery by clicking here or by visiting his website www.rayburnell.co.uk