Archive | Exhibitions

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

 

News from the Studio – Sun and Rain, Wexford Ireland, and Open Studios

What a Summer it’s been! Hot dry days and cold rainy days in equal measure!

But this isn’t a weather report, so here is some of my recent work, from my visit to Wexford, Ireland and then some ‘Open Studio’ news.

My visit to Wexford Ireland was to take part in “Art In The Open“. This is an annual event which attracts up to 200 artists from all over the world. Each day has it’s own chosen venue, a town or a harbour, and everyone arrives and sets up their easels, for a day’s ‘plein air painting’, as the title hints, Art in the Open. I like to get started early, to get ‘one in the bag’ so to speak, in case rain arrives later on. Here are some works in watercolour:

Stables, Wells House

Stables, Wells House

 

view from Hook Head

view from Hook Head

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

farm in wexford

farm in county wexford

You can see the variety of subjects chosen, I especially loved the farm buildings and the old homestead in this painting, which I did on the last day, which also brought warm dry weather.  It was most enjoyable to meet up with the other artists, in the evenings and to swap tales and experiences etc. Many are household names in their own countries.

What lovely friendly and sociable people and I even sold one work ‘off the easel’ to a cafe owner. The exhibition and dinner at the end of the week was brilliant and I found myself cementing long term friendships and promising to return.

 

My Open Studio was held over the three weekends ending on August Bank Holiday. I shared the studio of local artist, Andrea Chappell and we had the pleasure of welcoming over 80 guests, many of whom were unknown to us, and we both made sufficient sales to encourage us to consider holding open studios again next year.

some Open Studio works

some Open Studio works

Here is a view of some works on display, we had approx 40 framed works, and another 40 mounted unframed works, plus some prints and greetings cards, so something for everyone.

Open Studio

Open Studio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Between visitors, I managed to paint this watercolour view of our ‘Cabin Studio’, as a gift to Andrea, for her hospitality.

Have you been to Wexford in Ireland? or even visited an Artists Open Studio? I’d like to hear your stories.

Meet the Artist – Open Studios and Art Trails – What’s it all about?

Would you love to meet up and chat with artists in their studios, but are too scared to do it?

Bow open studio sign

What will they be like?  Will I get halfway down their path and turn around in trepidation?

Can I think of anything to say and will we have ‘anything’ in common?  Will I be expected to buy something?

Do you recognise these thoughts? Have you been there? Would you prefer to visit the dentist?

I’ve been there, many times, – and I’m an outgoing sort of fellow. I love to visit Artists in their Studios and in practice, it never takes long to establish friendly conversations, and I rarely buy a work of art. So why all the scary thoughts?

I think it will take a psychiatrist to explain all these feelings, but suffice to say, do go along, with a friend if you like, and meet up with your local artists. You’ll be amazed at the variety and scope of their works, and wonder how they were made. If you’re very lucky, the artist may have an item on the easel, and be working on it as you arrive.

Artists at work

Artists at work

Needless to say, once past the front door, I’ve always had fascinating experiences at open studios and met some really wonderful friendly and creative people. So what are you waiting for. Almost every area in the country now has an annual Open studios event or an Art trail as they are sometimes called.  You first need to get hold of the booklet for all the details of times and addresses of venues etc. The booklet will usually have an example of each artist’s style of work, so first of all you need to choose two or three studios, not too far away, who seem to have works that you might like. Some studios show the works of several artists, so it’s almost like two for one. Choose a day and time when those studios are open, and take a friend along for the trip.

I guarantee you wont regret it, you’ll see lots of artworks, meet lots of creative people, perhaps consume lots of tea and biscuits, and maybe make some new friends. You may even acquire a permanent reminder of your day out and I bet you will want to do the same again soon.

In my area of Kent, there are three organisations who run open studios,

South East Open Studios  – more details here       held in June each year.

Thanet Open Studios    – more details here     held in August each year,

East Kent Open Houses     – more details here        held in October each year.

This year I’m sharing the studio of another local artist, Andrea Chappell whose work is really exciting. Here’s our leaflet, with all the details:

My Open Studio

My Open Studio

 

To check out some of the works in my studio click here

 

 

 

Happening right now! Exhibitions and studio activities!

Exhibitions and Events

2015 Exhibitions! – Leave your e-mail address in the box below, to be kept up to date, and to get your Free 10 Top Tips learn to sketch and Draw !

29th April – 6th May York Street Gallery Ramsgate Kent (Spring, Group Exhibition)

2nd – 31st May  3-7 Tontine Street Folkestone Kent (Group Exhibition)

York Street Gallery in Ramsgate, 100yds from the Harbour, is hosting it’s first Open Exhibition of 2015 from Wednesday 29th April at 2pm to Wednesday 6th May at noon.

There are expected to be many framed works on the walls by a variety of local artists, including me, so there should be quality and variety by the bucket load! Enjoy.

Folkestone Art Society are holding their Spring Exhibition at the Harbour Gallery in Tontine Street, near the car park and Folkestone harbour.

This is a prestigious exhibition by their members including me again, and I have up to 10 works included. This is a lovely gallery, in the best part of Folkestone and is well worth a visit.  It is on from 2nd to 31st May – see the poster below for details.

Folkestone Exhibition Poster Spring 2015

Folkestone Exhibition Poster