Archive | Exhibitions

Chasing The Light – It’s Exhibition time again at York Street, Ramsgate

Chasing the Light Exhibition Postcard

Every 2 years I have my own Exhibition at the prestigious York Street Gallery in Ramsgate.

This is my 3rd showing here and my work has really changed since the last time, so everything you see will be spanking new and fresh.  How exciting is that? So what’s changed I hear you ask?

Well – in previous exhibitions I was working in traditional Watercolour, sometimes with an Indian Ink drawing, and also using Acrylics, for a bright illustrative way of working. More recently I have been working mainly in Oils, and have really grown to love the way they work, when painting out in the field, ‘en plein air’ or Al Fresco as some prefer to call it.

Painting in my garden

Painting in my garden

I have always liked to work out of doors directly from nature, with the changing weather, clouds always on the move, bugs sticking in the paint, sudden showers of rain or wind to blow everything away, or cover it all with sand when working on the beach. I have painted in muddy fields, boatyards, river banks, industrial sites, mountainsides, when the mists descend and blank everything out, town centres, with their noise and traffic, on beaches with an incoming tide, in the cold of winter wearing my thermals, and the heat of summer beneath the sun cream and a broad brimmed hat. When working out of doors I am completely lost in another world, where time is unimportant, and the comments of passers by are shrugged off politely, until I am completely satisfied with my creation.

I am sure you will see all these elements in my work, and notice how different it is from the work of those who work indoors and rely on a photograph for their only reference.

Painting 'plein air' by Steven Alexander

Painting ‘plein air’ by Steven Alexander

Here is a painting of me working ‘en plein air’ by a friend, Steven Alexander, who is one of the Wapping Group of Artists, click on the photo for a biography.

So for an exhibition of mainly Oil Paintings created out of doors, plus a few watercolours and pen and watercolour drawings for those who like these best, remember: York Street Gallery, Ramsgate from 1pm 11th Oct to 12 noon on 18th Oct – For One Week Only! Miss it – and you have a 2 year wait!

If you really can’t get here – then second best is to look up my online shops either at Saatchi or at  Artfinder

They both have a good selection of my recent works.

Learning to Sketch?  – Don’t forget – If you would like to learn to sketch and draw you can get my FREE 10 Top Tips to get you started, by Clicking Here! 

Till the next time!

4 Days Painting in Cornwall – An adventure in wind and rain!

I recently took myself off to Cornwall for four days of painting ‘en plein air’.

Newlyn Harbour in the rain

Newlyn Harbour in the rain oil painting

The last time I painted there was many years ago, in Watercolours, so I decided as a change from my recent haunts, in Wexford, Ireland and the Norfolk Broads, to go back to Cornwall. My car was packed, with everything I needed and off I went to Penzance, a good base for west Cornwall, and its pretty little coves, fishing harbours, rocky coastlines, narrow roads, steep hills, and lovely hostelries.

The first morning was pouring with rain at Newlyn Harbour, so I found a little shelter and worked fast, beneath a clear umbrella, (used at weddings for the bride), so as not to cut out the light. I was in the newer part of the harbour where the large boats unload their catches, and refrigerated lorries are lined up ready to take the fresh fish onwards to the finest restaurants in the major cities. After a light lunch, I went a little way to Marazion, which overlooks St Michaels Mount. I painted the view from the beach using the sea wall for shelter from the wind. The sun had brightened up and before too long I had my second painting in the bag, actually on the floor of the car, under the front seat, where it can dry without being touched. The next day brought rain early morning, so I took the opportunity to see the excellent Stanhope Forbes exhibition at Penlee House Gallery. When I emerged full of inspiration, the sun had also emerged so I decided on a day at Mousehole (pron mousle). I set up on the pier and

Mousehole Harbour low tide

Mousehole Harbour low tide

started work and later was joined by a bus load of American artists and their American tutor, all doing watercolours. The afternoon brought continued good weather so I stayed and painted another oil of the outside of the harbour entrance and the rocks etc, with the afternoon sun on the water.

Later I went to the next cove, Lamorna, where Samuel John ‘Lamorna’ Birch RA, RWS, had lived and painted from 1892 onwards. I arrived in the pouring rain, and despite it being a lovely picturesque cove, at the end of a nightmare steep lane, with few passing places, it was quite dark and grey, so I called it a day and returned to Penzance.

The next day I was bound for The Lizard, England’s most southerly point. Hooray it was bright and dry, as I walked down to the Lizard point, with it’s rocky coast and abandoned lifeboat station and ramp, I picked up the South West coast path, and the strong winds which are usual for this coast, eventually I found a bush to hide from the wind with a view of the Man O’ War rocks, and managed an 8″ x 16″ oil painting. Lunch was with a cousin I hadn’t seen for many years, and afterwards I tackled Cadgwith Cove, which was more sheltered. A beautiful place with its own fishing fleet, duly captured on board size: 12″ x 17″, again working under the umbrella at times.

Cadgwith Cove fishing fleet

Cadgwith Cove fishing fleet

The next day I drove to the north coast at the Levant mine, where I would have liked to capture the old steam engine chimneys, dotted along the rocky coast, but the wind was approaching gale force now so I ventured up the coast road near Zennor, and stopped to do a painting, sitting in the car, which was rocking in the wind, I did manage to capture the coastal view in front of me with some success. Then on to St Ives for lunch and afterwards to Portreath, where the winds were still very strong and the RNLI were patrolling the red flagged beach. I did manage an indian ink drawing of the view before me with some interesting rock strata patterns etc. Before my journey home the next day, I managed a stop at St Mawes, on the Roseland Peninsular and

St Mawes Harbour

St Mawes Harbour

began an oil painting of the harbour area, but after about an hour or so along came the rain, so it was time to pack up and return home, and finish this in the studio. I hope you enjoy these paintings, which are all available and will be put in my online Artfinder shop after drying and varnishing. To be kept up to date with future posts, click on the box below, or this photo, and enter your e-mail address.

Next Time – My 3rd Solo Exhibition in Ramsgate, Kent

Chasing the Light‘  Not to be missed!

News from the Studio – It’s Summer, so it’s Holiday time!

Claude Monet painting from his boat, by E Manet 1874

Claude Monet painting from his boat, by E Manet 1874

Yes for many busy families it is time to get away for a week or two, somewhere hot maybe?

For this busy Artist though it’s time to assess what has been happening. OK so in recent weeks I have had works in a few exhibitions, in Whitstable, Herne Bay, Broadstairs and Margate and shortly in Ramsgate.

The Open Studio season is now over, and the Art on The Railings exhibitions are finished, here where I live and paint, so it is time to put things away and get back to some normality again in the studio. So what am I up to right now. I will shortly be giving an Oil painting workshop to some beginners in oils, that requires some pre-planning.  I’m also giving a course on Learning to Sketch, in six sessions starting in October, this is the third presentation of this course, so with some careful thought and a few fresh ideas, I’m rather looking forward to it this year.

My next exhibition in Ramsgate is with ‘Thanet Plein-Air Painters’ a small group of local artists who go out in varying weather conditions to capture the best of what our area has to offer. Full details are here

Lamorna Cove Cornwall

Lamorna Cove Cornwall  (courtesy of P Streeter, www.burnttoastcottage.com )

I’m then popping down to Cornwall for 4 days of painting at Newlyn, Lamorna Cove and the Lizard, and on my return it’s back to framing, labelling, mounting and varnishing works for my 3rd Solo Exhibition at York Street Gallery in Ramsgate. So no holiday for me, but I’m doing what I love to do, and that’s nearly as good. Click on the photo for a great place to stay in Cornwall!

Painting a Series  For a number of years I have wanted to paint a series of works with a single theme, much like Claude Monet, with his series of works based on Rouen Cathedral, Water lilies, or his Haystacks series. In the past I have started by painting one or two, but I never persevered so the series never really developed. Well this year I have fared a little better starting with a Sunset series of 8 and a gardens series of 10 so far.

Painting in my garden

Painting in my garden

Here is a picture of me painting in my own garden. I invited some friends over to join me and some excellent work was created. I hope this will become an annual event in our local Art Group calendar.

These series paintings are certainly nowhere near Monet’s standard of work, but I’m glad I have made a start. Onwards and Upwards as they say!

If you’d like to learn how to sketch, from the beginning, click on the garden photo or fill in the details below.

Till the next time, make the most of this good weather!

Where to find my best Paintings? My best kept secret Uncovered!

Receeding Tide, Margate

Receding Tide, Margate Oil Painting

Hello again, Yes I’m often asked this question and I hand out my card so people can look up my web site and see my latest work. But there’s a catch!

When the weather is good I spend as much time as possible out doors in my ‘plein air’ studio – painting for all I’m worth! Why? Because like any crafts person I’m on a journey, of discovery, of learning, of improvement.

Updating my web site and writing blog posts, has to be done on rainy or cold days, or at night when it’s too dark to paint. But when I finish a painting the first thing I do is take high resolution photographs of it and put it in one of my online shops. So here is the Secret: To see my latest and best works – visit my shops online – You have a choice of two: Artfinder   click here  or Saatchi  click here

Now – about that journey of discovery, – The best way to learn is to practice, a lot, because the more practice you do the better you’ll get, bit by bit, little by little.

Sunset at Margate in Oils

Sunset at Margate in Oils

Think of the musician learning to play the piano or the violin, the same rules apply. Some used to say it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become proficient in music, to play with an ensemble or an orchestra for example. So if you are only practicing for say 2 hours a week, it’s going to take you 96 years, to get there, providing you don’t have a holiday, or illness etc, or you don’t waste time by not having a good teacher or mentor.

Don’t let me deter you from your chosen challenge, but if you intend to succeed at it, you need to put in the hours. There are no short cuts, but there are rewards, even if they are internal, ie inner satisfaction, the pleasure of achieving a valuable skill, etc. etc. So do keep at it – Remember that three years at art college, plus many hours of homework etc is an excellent start to a career, but if you didn’t go to college, like me, we have to work even more, to get to where we would like to be. Q Do you know where you would like to be on this journey?

– The subject of a future post!  Thanks for reading.

Roald Dahl said: Lukewarm is no good! – Go at it Full Speed, with both arms, become passionate about it!

 

OK So It’s exhibition season again! What are you hoping to see?

Three Points of View Exhibition in Margate

Three Points of View Exhibition in Margate

It’s exhibition time again! When we like to get out and about mixing it up at Exhibition Previews, meeting the artists and seeing what’s new!

My first exhibition this year starts on Monday 3rd April for one week only. I am sharing with a couple of exciting local artists, Gesina Triggs and Vivien Barr. We all work in completely different ways and are each inspired by different things, so the result is an excitingly varied exhibition with surprises round every corner.

It’s our first time together at The King Street Gallery in the heart of Margate’s Old Town. We chose them for their friendly welcoming nature and their cafe which provides homemade cakes and light lunches. The Gallery works hard to support and give training for disadvantaged people, so please do call in and meet everyone. Open 10 – 4pm daily except Sunday. Postcode: CT9 1DD

Do you have a favourite Gallery? One which changes exhibitions weekly, are you drawn by the Artworks, or the people who visit, or the proprietors? or the wine and cake? I always like a gallery where I can meet and chat to everyone there, especially if the Artists are present. Previews or as they are sometimes called, Private Views, are especially good places to meet and chat. They are of course usually, anything but Private – so turn up and enjoy a glass of plonk an interesting conversation, oh yes, and especially the art on show. You never know who you will meet!

Receeding Tide, Margate

Receding Tide, Margate Oil Painting

Here is a recent Oil Painting of the Receding Tide at Margate Harbour. This will be on show at our King Street Gallery exhibition mentioned above.  To see more recent works here is my gallery at Saatchi Art

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What do Artists do all day?

painting a still life

painting a still life

Hello again,

While it’s cold and windy outside, it is a good time to review my activity last year and to make plans for the year ahead. In 2016 I painted just over 100 works mainly in oils, ‘en plein air’ but a few large (1/2 imperial sheet size) watercolours, just to keep my hand in.

I travelled to Wexford, Ireland again in late July for Art in The Open which is 150 approx. artists, amateur and professional, working together in picturesque locations, with prizes awarded for the best work, and demonstrations and workshops available if required. Best of all, the Irish know how to enjoy their evenings, and a BBQ and several impromptu social gatherings were also enjoyed.

In August I opened my studio, and welcomed many visitors to see where I work, when at home, and displayed over 100 paintings framed and unframed, so plenty of variety and choice. I enjoy the chance to meet up with fellow artists and enthusiasts, and to chat about everything art related and otherwise.

In September I travelled to the Norfolk Broads, for four days of painting in the glorious lakeside scenery they have to offer. This was about 80 artists, and it’s now the 3rd time I have attended this most enjoyable event.

painting of boats at Broadstairs

painting of boats at Broadstairs

Now for 2017 I am considering a week long trip to Cornwall as it is many years since I have painted in Cornwall, and I just love their small quaint seaside harbours and villages, and rocky headlands. I like to paint where the Newlyn and St Ives school artists used to paint, at the Lizard, Kynance Cove, Sennen, Lamorna, Newlyn harbour, etc.  I’d also like to paint somewhere warmer this year, if finances allow. In between these visits are day trips to London, and west Kent and Sussex for changes of scenery, urban views, or an abundance of trees and Oast Houses, and rolling downs.

 

 

painting of boats at Queenborough, Sheppey

painting of boats at Queenborough, Sheppey

I also plan on painting more frequently in 2017 and hope to achieve 200 approx. fresh works.

In between painting trips, there are Exhibitions in Margate in April Three Points of View, with two artist friends, in Whitstable in June with Locus Arts, in Margate in July with Broadstairs Arts Group, at home in Broadstairs in August with my Open Studio and in Ramsgate in October for my 3rd Solo Exhibition at York Street Gallery

I also help with a Sketch Group, in Ramsgate encouraging people to sketch regularly, and I also help create a programme of plein air paint outs in and around Thanet, and East Kent in the Summer. In the Autumn I’ll present another six session sketching course for begginers in Ramsgate. I’ve forgotten to mention framing, mount cutting, cellophane wrapping, certificates to be produced etc, and posting off sold works. Last but not least – writing occasional blog posts.

Busy? Yes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

 

Meet up with your favourite artist in 2017

This is my New Year’s resolution! It could be yours as well?

using watercolour last summer

using watercolour last summer

What do we gain from meeting Artists? –

  1. Some insight into the way they work,
  2. We can learn what motivates artists to keep creating,
  3. We can discover what it is we especially like about their works,
  4. We can get a glimpse of their lifestyle and how far they have to travel, to gather ideas for future works,
  5. We can establish a rapport with the artist,
  6. We may decide to start a collection of their work,
  7. We can learn about some of their techniques,
  8. We can perhaps improve our own creativity as a result.

I hope to do all these things over the coming months with my favourite artists.

I will meet them at their Exhibition Previews, where they are happy to discuss their work, I will visit them in their studios, during an Open Studio Event, I will see their work on Facebook, Instagram and other social media, and LIKE and SHARE their work to my friends. More importantly when I see work I really like, I will leave positive comments, and perhaps visit their web sites and online shops. I also watch their You Tube videos, I have learnt so much from these, especially online demonstrations.

As a result, wherever I go people come up to me and say “Oh I know you, we’re Facebook friends”.

So in 2017 – Go and Meet your favourite artists! Enjoy!

 

 

Open Studios – See the Artist in their studio – Get the most out of your visit!

OK It’s that Open Studios time of year again.

Whitstable boats

Boats at Whitstable painting

The time when many artists throw open their doors and welcome all comers.

It is an opportunity to show much more work than would be possible in a gallery, also the artist may choose to show older works, which help to illustrate their personal development, their own journey of learning and experience.

By following a trail of studios, using the booklet provided, visitors can seek out artists working in many different genres, mediums and styles of working. Art appreciation is a personal experience, and we all have our own likes and dislikes. I learn a lot by talking to other artists.

If you enjoy making art, or wish to learn how, then try to visit a few studios, you will meet some very interesting and creative people and by seeing how others work, you may pick up some useful ideas for your own work. Also don’t be shy, if you have a question to ask about your own work, don’t be afraid to ask. Most creative people love to talk about how they overcame problems, and are happy to help you do likewise. Don’t leave it, you may wait another year before your next opportunity.

Open Studios

My studio is open on the last three weekends in August and Bank Holiday Monday. The dates are: 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st, 27th, 28th & 29th August.

Opening times 10am to 4pm on the above dates.

You will see many new works, and some older works, many of which haven’t been shown before. My next Gallery Exhibition isn’t until Easter 2017 in Margate and October 2017 in Ramsgate, so don’t miss this chance to catch up.

To see the booklet with full details of all 33 Open Studios click this link

And to see my online shop, click here

I recently spent 10 Days in Wexford Ireland, painting out doors with 170 other artists from 16 countries.

Ancient bridge at Tintern Abbey

Ancient bridge at Tintern Abbey

Here is a sample of my work  for you. To read all about this adventure, make sure I have your e-mail address, so you can get it direct to your inbox.  Until next time!

 

 

repairs at Ballymorerepairs at Ballymore

Meet an Artist – Ask him or her the Questions you need answered –

Are you trying to improve your drawings or paintings?

Whitstable boats

Boats at Whitstable painting

Do you have some questions you would like to ask an artist, but never get the opportunity? or you feel too embarrassed to ask?

Yes I’ve been there as well, remember no one is born with these skills, we’ve all had to learn them, step by step.

I learnt best when I created an opportunity to ask an artist, or an art teacher. It’s not easy, because everyone is in a rush. I used to go and visit artists in their studios, because they are much happier to answer your questions and talk about art, when ‘at home’ in their own studio. So although I didn’t always ‘get’ their art or their philosophy, I learnt by talking about it, and where I was hoping to go in my own art development.

For three weekends, from the middle of August, I will throw open my studio doors and invite anyone to come in and browse, to drink tea and coffee and to ask loads of questions. At the same time, another 40 artists in East Kent, will be doing the same thing. Most areas of the UK have an Open Studio event, during the year, and these are valuable opportunities to meet the artists, and talk about their work, but more importantly, to use the opportunity to talk about your own artistic problems and your progress. So Make the most of the opportunity, think up the questions you would most like to ask, choose one problem area of yours, and ask clearly, for advice on how to solve the problem, and to get to your next goal. Use your visit to learn your next step. You could even take a photo of your work with you to show where you are in your own journey.

Visit some studios, and Ask Questions!  You’ll be glad you did, later on.

Thanet Artists Open Studios     Weekends of 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st, and 27th, 28th and 29th August. Open 10am to 4pm each day.

My Studio: 21 Seafield Road, Broadstairs, Kent CT10 2DD

Full details are here: Open Studio Details     I look forward to meeting you!

Here is a video from a very successful artist and motivational speaker, you may need to turn your sound down a little! Enjoy!

 

If you enjoyed this and would like to see more posts like this, put your e-mail address in the box nearby, you will also get my FREE My 10 Top Tips Learning to Draw.

Travels of a Kentish Artist – One Week Only! Why Artist’s Exhibit?

Travels of a Kentish Artist 14th – 20th October – York Street Gallery, Ramsgate CT11 9DS

An exhibition of a whole year’s work is such an exciting way to present the results of my working out in the fields, on the beaches, by the rivers, in the sunshine and the rain and also at home in the studio when it’s too cold or wet outside.

at the exhibition

Proudly displaying some watercolours

In the cold winter months I like to make the best use of all those impromptu sketches and notes I made during the year, in order to maximise the creative output, from all of those ‘al fresco‘ and ‘en plein air‘ opportunities.

This year, I have continued to specialise with my favourite medium, Watercolour, which never fails to intrigue me, watching it run down the page in a seemingly uncontrolled manner, under my watchful eye, and then seeing it blend and allowing it to merge with other washes. The process is often magical, sometimes almost out of control, and sometimes its a disaster. This is why so many people over the years, have told me they switched to other mediums like acrylics or pastels or oils. ‘easier’ mediums, they keep telling me. It’s also why I continue to persevere and to experiment, because I know there is so much more to learn with watercolours.

Another medium of choice for me this year was Acrylics. I have been using them in the studio for a few years now, but this year I took them outside, to use in the warmer weather, where they try to dry incredibly quickly, causing all sorts of problems, so that was another challenge to be overcome and visitors to this exhibition will see a selection of landscape and coastal scenes captured out of doors, all presented in hardwood frames, and ready to hang.

Why Artists Exhibit?

For me, holding an exhibition is a social occasion, as well as an economic one. Artists spend a great deal of their time working alone, out in the country or in the studio, it’s not a very sociable occupation, unless of course they are painting city scenes, or townscapes, when all sorts of people come along to chat. So it is a good opportunity to meet up with ‘real people’ and not just fellow artists, and to talk about the works on view and why and how they were created.

My 2013 Exhibition in Ramsgate

From City Bank to River Bank my 2013 Exhibition

As mentioned above, It is also an economic occasion, when we hope to sell a few works to enthusiastic viewers, but more importantly, it’s meeting those viewers that’s more exciting, and learning what appealed to them, why they chose one work over another, what was the ’emotional connection’? Did it remind them of a place or a time or event in their life? Painting – like all the Arts, is a medium of ‘Communication’ and like all communications, it works best when it is Two Way. So an exhibition perfectly sets the scene for meaningful communications. A final reason to plan an exhibition for the future, is to provide a fresh target to aim for, a new challenge if you like, in order to replenish and update the artist’s body of work.

2015 Exhibition Poster

2015 Exhibition Poster