Monday, 28 February 2011

Mini Painting No.2...

Very quickly, this is a painting done using a brush combined with a glue spreader (much more pliable than a plastic palette knife) which represents the view from my studio here in East Yorkshire, one grey February morning!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

First of the new batch..

Here's a quick preview of the first in the new batch of mini paintings I'm working on. I will be uploading it to my Etsy shop soon, with the rest following over the next few days, hopefully. I've also recently been working on another magnetic notepad and a hard-backed notebook.

This one is a slightly different size to my other mini paintings as it is rectangular in shape instead of being square. The easel is the same size, however.

This one is named "Berylline". She can be placed on the easel in any position, I just happen to like it this way up for now.

Don't forget, you can also see more of my mini paintings in my Etsy Shop at Arty Aitch.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Alice goes to Essex......

I've recently sold one of my magnetic notepads and it is now winging its way to Essex! The notepad, Alice, will be a surprise for the new owner, I believe - so I will not reveal anything other than to say thanks very much and here's a photo of it before I posted today:

I will be uploading more mini paintings and notebooks over the next few days, but in the meantime don't forget you can always browse my Etsy shop if you fancy buying any of them. Just click on Arty Aitch.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Two tulips for sale!

Having now completed the second painting of a tulip head, they are both on sale on my personal website and at Affordable British Art, also online.

If you haven't time to look at my web-site,  this is the latest offering, entitled "Tulip on Black" - not a very imaginative title, but as apposite as I could muster!
To see more of my work, visit any of the following web-sites: , Rogue Gene Gallery or my page on the Affordable British Art web-site.

If you would like to see the decorative crafts that I currently have for sale on Etsy, don't forget to check out my shop at Arty Aitch.

Friday, 18 February 2011

MAKING A MARK: The exhibition checklist

I must draw your attention to this excellent post by Katherine Tyrrell on her blog "Making A Mark". It is a really useful checklist for when you may be entering your work into an exhibition.

MAKING A MARK: The exhibition checklist

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Knit 'n' natter

On Saturday, I spent the afternoon at a Knit and Natter session with my sister- who is a knitter (albeit sporadically), and met a group of really nice women. As my only attempts at knitting have ever produced trapezium-shaped rectangles, I thought I would take some of my long-forgotten cross-stitch kits instead, so that I wasn't just nattering!

Organised by a local company called Little Houndales Knits, the session was based there -in the home of owner, Kath Foster. Little Houndales Knits are suppliers of home-spun yarn from their flock of Suffolk X sheep (although I have to admit, I'm not entirely sure what the 'X' stands for!) as well as stockists of many more yarns and accessories for knitting including Noro, Debbie Bliss, Araucania and Louisa Harding.

They have a website detailing prices for the yarn etc here:Little Houndales Knits and also have a page on Facebook if you wish to join: Little Houndales FB

My sister had taken with her a baby blanket that she'd started knitting when she was pregnant with her daughter, who is now 20 months old. She was really pleased to have received some help from Kath with the pattern, as she was struggling to work out where she'd got to with it. I was happy to sit with a cup of tea doing some cross-stitch that I had almost forgotten I'd had. I was even more pleased when i was joined by a young girl called Tess (whose mother was also in the room with us) who showed such an interest in the cross stitch that I let her do some of it - we had a great time, and because I managed to find a small piece of aida, I could give her some threads and a needle to take home with her and do the design she'd created on it - a tortoise.

I will be going to these knit and natter sessions again (they are to be run twice monthly, I believe) whether I take up my version of knitting or not, as it was such a change to be in a different sort of creative environment. Furthermore, Kath was so hospitable that we stayed a lot longer than the 4pm end time advertised! The Little Houndales company was only established in September 2010 and already it is proving very popular - word of mouth and personal recommendations have obviously helped, so I will be doing my bit too. One of the other things that I'm looking forward to seeing next time is their Mafana bags, which they will be stocking soon - check out the images on the website to read all about these: Mafana Bags.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I am happy to share this lovely Treasury that I have been featured in on Etsy - A Parade of Hearts. This celebrates Valentine's Day and is curated by Barbara from BarbaraCrochetStudio. My mini canvas painting and easel,  "Textured Heart" is featured in the middle row on the right, above.

If you want to view the Treasury in full, click on this link and then you can click on any of the individual items to view them in detail: A Parade Of Hearts

Thanks again Barbara.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Latest painting slideshow

I have done something I promised myself i would do ages ago - take photos of a painting as I progressed. Finally, I've done it and created a slide-show with accompanying music to show you how the painting emerged. I plan to do more of these in the future if I remember before I start painting! This one is done in acrylic and acrylic inks on a canvas board measuring 9 x 6inches.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Dealing with disappointment

I always tell myself that I am good at dealing with disappointment in life. Being an optimist, this is usually an easy thing for me to deal with. However, I wonder if you ever really learn to deal with that initial pang of disappointment when you receive news that is "bad" rather than "good". Is there anything that you can do to prepare your mind and body for the outcome?

I watched the postman arrive this morning as I was hanging up some washing, knowing that there was a chance of a letter I'd been waiting for to be delivered. I thought (irrationally and with a higher than usual level of superstition, for me) that if I didn't actually collect the post from the doormat until he'd walked away, then if I piled the letters up without looking at the envelopes first, that my letter would contain good news. I also thought (again, superstition took over at this point) that because Keith was out at the time, that was significant to me receiving good news. You will have guessed by now, of course, that I was suitably disappointed to read that my two entries for the Ferens Open Exhibition had both been UNSUCCESSFUL. I wrote that word in block capitals because that's what they do on the letter they send you - just in case you misinterpret the wording, I suppose! What tickles me, is that even though you have been UNSUCCESSFUL (you see, that word is now indelibly printed on my mind in block capitals) they still enclose an invite to the preview evening. Is it just me, or is that not just a bit insensitive? It's like that programme I remember from my childhood - Bullseye, when they used to say to the contestants "Here's what you could have won". Fair enough, I will still want to go and have a look at the other entries, I'm sure the exhibition will be fantastic and I am genuinely happy for all those people that were successful. However, I'm not sure I  want to be there on the preview night knowing full well that my two paintings are hidden away somewhere waiting for me to collect and bring home when all around me are the "winning" entries.

I tend to get over disappointment fairly quickly and try not to take it personally, but it's still not easy when it's something you've set your heart on. I'm sure I'm not alone here, so thought I'd share my thoughts with some of you that will have no doubt experienced similar rejections throughout your art career.

I am wallowing just a tad in self-pity, but at the same time I'm concentrating on my latest creation - I've painted a small acrylic and ink painting on canvas board of a tulip head. I took photographs along the way as I created this and am now in the process of trying to remember how to use Proshow Gold to create a slide show of the photographs. Then I will be posting the whole thing on here, hopefully! It's a useful distraction to disappointment, but I may also have to consume some chocolate at some point today, too!

These flowers, which Keith bought me a while ago, are a cheerful image to leave you with!

Friday, 4 February 2011

New painting completed

I've finished a painting in the past couple of days or so which is another of the collaborations that we like to do as members of the Rogue Gene Collective.  This is the one that Amanda Hunt sent me on Wednesday. Sorry Amanda, I think I may have beaten you to it this time!!!

The painting is on a canvas measuring 16x12 inches. I have decided to call it Nocturne and I have used mainly acrylic inks for the foreground layer of painting here. I started off with a glaze of yellow ink over the whole of the brown area at the bottom of the painting, then I added the "starburst" styled shapes with a metallic teal coloured ink in the night sky, as I see it - using a dropper, which often made the ink spots merge into one another. I added some transparent umber ink to certain areas of the brown/yellow section and added some yellow 3d dots along the horizon line. Then I added some metallic blue acrylic dots within the teal ink spots, and finished those off with tiny dots of white in the middle of each one. I added tiny white dots to all the yellow 3D dots (I must be going a bit dotty now!) and created lots more teal coloured ink spots and white tiny dots in the sky area. Each teal spot was painted with a line of highlight and shadow to create a 3D shape, then I used the same teal shadow colour as a final ink wash over the brown/yellow landscape. I remember playing a piece of music called Nocturne when I was learning the piano as a child, and it was a very sad piece of music, but I have such happy memories of playing it, as I really liked the tune.

You can buy the painting from the Rogue Gene Gallery or my personal website,

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Collaborative Paintings

This morning I received a canvas which had a background painted on it in preparation for a collaboration between myself and fellow Rogue Gene Collective artist, Amanda Hunt. There's something quite exciting about doing a collaborative piece, since you never know what to expect either way - whether you are painting the background or the foreground. In some cases, as with the latest one uploaded to the Rogue Gene Gallery (Mildred Pearce) the collaboration was between 3 artists!  I painted a textured background using some 3D acrylic paints and a mixture of interference medium in shimmering red with the 3d paint in crimson. This created a sort of terracotta shade overall - although apparently the colours will shine through as different hues depending on the direction of light. I also added touches of gold acrylic to the various raised areas of the 3D paint.

So, this is the original background that I sent to Kos Marton:

Having struggled to come up with a suitable foreground (the ideas don't always appear immediately with collaborations), Kos did a seascape but wasn't entirely happy with it. Therefore, Rob Kirbyson added a third layer and it became the painting "Mildred Pearce" - which is a 3-way collaboration and I think a very successful one. It wouldn't have existed without everyone's input, and even though you can now only really see the textured marks from the original background painting, it's obviously a collaboration.

Now that I have received a background from Amanda, I am just as excited at creating something that I would not normally do. The possibilities with collaborations are much greater, I think, than with painting or creating alone.

Here is the background I sent Amanda previously, which she is going to create the foreground for:

This morning, I received this background from Amanda:

The artist who completes the foreground decides on the name of the painting, which is fairly logical really since it cannot be named in advance unless all collaborators know exactly what they are going to be painting. I suppose that would be another way of collaborating, but it's not the way we are currently working and I think I prefer it this way!

I will post the completed paintings when they are both finished - I think Amanda and I are racing to see who does it first, but if my track record is anything to go by, she will win!

You can see Amanda's work on Rogue Gene Gallery here or by visiting her personal website at

Rob's work can be seen on Rogue Gene Gallery here or on his personal website at

Kosana's other works are on the Rogue Gene Gallery here.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Mini Art Show

The South Street Gallery, Scarborough, are hosting their 2nd Mini Art Show soon and I will be entering 7 post-card sized paintings this year! The exhibition runs from February 17th (12 till 5pm)  to Sunday 3rd April 2011, ending at 4pm. . Last year's show was a great success, with many of the paintings being sold on the opening night (one of mine included!) Let's hope this year is just as good, especially since the gallery will be donating £1 to St Catherine's Hospice for each postcard sold.

You can find out more about the South Street Gallery and their future exhibitions on their website at South Street Gallery. Alternatively, join them on their Facebook Page here.

Here are the paintings I will be entering - some of which I have created solely for this exhibition.




PC Emerald

PC Crimson

PC Cobalt