Monday, 23 July 2007

Hurrah, new paintings at last

Hi, had some spare time this afternoon and started surfing - checked my last post and it said I had to get back to some painting.......... well decided to get out my pastels as I find it easy to play around with these. Don't know why but I always find that I need to be so much more serious with my watercolours. they need a lot of thinking about before I start anything as a rule. Pastels are for me a much more relaxing medium.

Well, as I said in my last post it has been a little time since I did any real painting/drawing and although I don't often do flowers a couple of photos caught my eye from my reference pile. Pastels are also so much more about colour for me so I set about a couple of sketches with a vengeance. I think I spent about an hour altogether on the second two, which probably included setting up and pithering around before I actually started. I quite liked the results, but decided not to carry on and work them up into a finished painting; yet.

The first sketch was also about colour more than any other aspect of the image. Again it was a very quick sketch and haven't made my mind up on this one yet.

At least I have broke the run of collaged aceo's. All the above were roughly A4 in size. The first two were on Daler-Rowney black, Raven paper pad.

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I have decided that the work I shall be doing for an upcoming exhibition with my local group is going to be a set of abstracts, acrylic on canvas. Again a little unusual for me but I have purchased about a dozen box canvasses in three sizes and some nice new fresh tubes of paint so that I have no excuse to get started. -Unless the computer/internet gets in my way. But I will be posting the work on here as it comes off the production line. This will give me a reason to make sure that it happens in good time. Let you know how the work is coming on next time. - John

Saturday, 21 July 2007

I must get back to painting

hi, still playing with bits of paper..............

I really must get back to painting, I need at least 6-8 for an exhibition in early september and time is marching on. HOWEVER, here are just another small batch of altered art ACEO's. Then I really must forget about these until I have dented the target for the exhibition.

These are slightly different in that I have used some recent photographs as the background - I assume that is within the rules :-) I have again used downloaded vintage images which I have tinted with watercolour. The text/prose is this time hand-written and hopefully will be found amusing.

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there are two more to complete the collection, which I will post later ( I need to photograph them )

Cheers , John

Sunday, 15 July 2007

ACEO UK video number 2

BTW forgot to post a link for the new ACEO UK video show-reel, ACEO UK takes flight, July 2007. Please take a peek and do the usual: rate, favourite or subscribe to the channel, thanks very much. It is worth the effort, honestly, and you can see my fairies again.

Two more collaged aceo's

I am going hammer and tongs at this collaging thing, I believe I am learning, but here's a couple more - what do you think?
They are both again based on a wet-into-wet watercolour background, and using vintage photos and magazine snippets. The first I am a little unsure of - I ended up with more faces/figures than I intended and the small figure on the bottom left seems out of place. The working title was "children should be seen and not heard" hence the partially hidden faces. Don't ask! But I think there may well be a series on this theme...........

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The second was another partial failure. The original had only the one figure, the bathing beauty at the bottom left. But I put on too many overpowering flowers and as one can do with collages, I simply added the other two main figures to partially cover the flowers and make a stronger subject. The green figure at the bottom was a step too far I think and of course it is obscuring one eye of the face defeating the object of making this the main subject. Still as I say, I believe I am learning.

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The main lesson which will carry on back to my painting -when I get around to some more - is compositional. gotta run.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Hi, my first post on this new site was to say that I had found a new interest in collage. I have been experimenting with a few aceo's and thought that it was time that I included one or two on this blog. ( I have been trying to do one a day, and I find this so much easier than painting). Here are three I think are getting my juices running.

The first and second are made using a wet-int0-wet watercolour image as the background, I seem to be gravitating towards this as a starting point. I am also trying to keep the overall image quite simple with not too many additional items and for good measure using text to add a little humour (?). The last collage uses the ubiquitous wings to add a little whimsy.

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I am tempted to colour in the dresses in this image to bring out the image a little more, I think that yellow / orange shades would give me what I need. OR perhaps I need to reprint the original image with a much higher contrast, and leave it as monochrome (keep with the style).

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This is one of my favourites and I believe this is because of the colourful beads / simplicity.

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The positioning of the wings could be better, i.e. lower, but it is only in fun. I need to take a lot more care cutting out the photographic images, buy myself a sharp scalpel or similar. The six inch scissors that I am using do not lend themselves to accurate cutting on this scale.
I am beginning to think that I may start to list one or two of these on ebay in the near future to see how they do at auction. As I intimated I am finding it far easier to turn out this sort of ACEO, maybe because a lot of the originality is simply finding items to add to the image rather than making the whole image up. I am still feeling my way somewhat and feel that I need to understand all the ramifications of technique but I will definitely be doing more and will keep you posted.
If you have any constructive comments, I would love to hear from you as this is so new to me and I am stepping into the dark.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

I have joined a new WIKI group today, it is attempting to become a definitive resource for artists. Based on the same ideas as the WIKIPAEDIA, any member can create or edit pages to make this a really useful resource. From its home page:-

"The Artful Shares wiki is a source for sharing information related to artistic interests. The site contents are open to input for ANY artistic endeavors. All our members can write to the wiki! Our readers are professional artists as well as hobbyists."

If you have an opinion on any subject related to art, why not have a look and make an addition, or at the very least it is another means of advertising your own site / blog.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Video show-reel

Talking about videos on YouTube, I have just uploaded my latest epic. :-)

It is a compilation of a few images from my sketch books, done whilst on holiday. Some are simple line drawings, others are work I completed in the evenings to embellish the rough sketches. There is at least one that was actually done at a much larger size and exhibited. can you guess which one. No prizes tho', I'm afraid.

You can see my YouTube profile if you are interested in seeing more of my work viewed in this novel format. All the music on these videos is put together by myself from samples using software called ACID from Sonic Foundry. I do play guitar and a little keyboards but I find this a very relaxing way of producing music.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Not my usual output

Hi, I am a member of the ACEO UK Group on Ebay which is trying to promote aceo's in various ways. One of these is to post video show-reels of members work on YouTube. Number 1 was very well accepted and now the producer for the group is calling for more work on the theme of flying. I am normally a landscape painter, I suppose that I could have bent the rules and came up with something but I decided to paint a couple of aceo's specially for this video. The outcome is startling, I should not have bothered. It is so difficult to get the faces right at this small scale (2.5 X 3.5 inches). But like a fool, I include them in this post for your perusal.

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If I am going to list these for sale I will have to do a repair job and try to get better proportioned faces.
Thanks for reading this, cheers for now.

Sunday, 1 July 2007


Well I have done, sold my first aceo painting on, this was something of a trial since I have always listed on the UK site prior to this. As you may, or may not know, UK listings no longer appear on the USA site unless you specifically select to search WORLDWIDE. A number of UK based artists are now listing on to assess the impact on their sales.

My painting, an impressionistic view of Stonehenge sold for the princely sum of $13 (approx £6.48) to a UK buyer. Here it is for your delectation:-

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It was painted from several sketches I made recently whilst on holiday in Salisbury, very close to Stonehenge.

The real reason for this post was to share my entries for July's ACEO UK themeweek competition. The subject (voted for by the participants was : 'In The Geenhouse'. Well my usual subjects are loose landscapes in an impressionistic style so this competition is very difficult for me at the best of times. I scouted around on the internet for a couple of subjects and found two which I have personally visited. The first is the pool, in the tropical glasshouse at Birmingham Botanical Gardens which has a massive waterlily planting, here is my interpretation:-

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I did actually do another after this first attempt hoping to have learned from it, but of course under time pressure I found that I liked the first after all. Because it is indoors the water is so still and the refections of the roof and surrounding plants are seen clearly (well, if you use your imagination).

The second, is a plant that astounded experts at the Eden Project. Five years old, the Titan Arum one of the world's largest and smelliest flowers bloomed in the rain forest biome over a period of 13 days. Its height was reported at 5 feet 4 inches, all flower. Many hardy visitors were said to have braved the aroma to catch a glimpse of this rare event, even standing around the plant whilst the specialists lectured on it. Here it is, in all (?) its glory:-

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What a whopper! Wish me luck folks, although there is a lot of opposition and I am not expecting too much.