Saturday, 29 September 2007

The exhibition opens

Hi all, today was the day! All the hard work came to a head, we turned up at the venue at 8.30am and spent the next 90 minutes putting up our work for perusal by the general public - hoping it might turn out to be the buying public.

The first photo here shows a general view of the main area of the display:-

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A close up shows the centre of our display - shown here only because it has the name of the group writ large.

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It might be of interest to note that the display boards were designed and made by ourselves, this means that we can put on exhibitions of various sizes in almost any area. Each board has a central area and hinged side areas. We can therefore butt-up the boards to create a large display area. A feeling for the size can be got by considering that the larger central paintings are 16X20 inches, mount size. I.e. not counting the frame dimensions. The boards are stabilised by fitting them into table top runners. They have been an excellent investment for a group such as ours, we no longer have to look for venues where we can hang on the walls.
We have worked hard at planning the installation so that on the day we have a good idea where the boards will go in the room/venue. We know which paintings will go where and we set up teams to do the necessary tasks, everybody knowing what to do and in what order. A real military operation. In this case, we can provide the basic layout of tables and lay banqueting roll on them. Install ten display boards, seven table easels and three free standing easels. We also set up tables for program and information sheets, visitors book, and treasurer (hoping that we will see sales). We then hang/install about eighty paintings in the space of 90 minutes. Quite a feat for seven people.
The day was not as successful has we would have liked with only half the number of visitors that we would have expected:

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Also we did not make any sales - what a downer! We spent most of the afternoon discussing ways of marketing the group and our exhibitions for next year - how sad is that? but we did have several interested people asking about the group and its programme. We have always said this is the main reason for all our work on staging these events, sales are a very welcome side effect but we do not paint with sales as a target. we are all hobby painters, if I can call us that without upsetting anyone.
I will post some of our thoughts on marketing as we harden up our thinking and plans over the next few weeks. One thing that we have decided is that planning for our next exhibition starts today. In the past we have tended to leave it until fairly late in the day. We can do the paintings! We can set up the exhibition! It is the unpalatable marketing aspect that we do not get a grip on. This, we have promised ourselves will change!

watch this space!

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Exhibition and Collaged ATC's

Well almost everything is ready for next Saturday's opening. Few last minute admin details, like payingfor the rental of the hall in advance. Making sure we have adverts strategically placed in local shops and noticeboards. And a few other things which have to be done but will only start to take up space here. If any body is local, the exhibition is held at The Knowle Village Hall and will be open from 10.00 am.

I am still making ATC's, and include another batch here, the first two are made with the old family photographs which I have previously mentioned

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The next few are again something that I now do for relaxation - whatever happened to my sketching?

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Well - back to more mundane things, I have to go and help serve up the sunday dinner, catch you later...............

Thursday, 20 September 2007

just joined up with Blogrush

Just found out about this apparently simple way to increase readership. Blogrush offers a way of directing new readers to your blog, try it out by clicking on the link in my sidebar. If you like it it is easy to join and benefits could be worthwhile - try it!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Some recent ATC's made for relaxation

Hi, I'm back from a wonderful, but far too short, holiday and raring to go. I am busy with my art group colleagues putting together the last few admin details for the exhibition on 25th of this month. So much to do even when the paintings are complete. Planning the layout, advertising, preparing catalogues and posters, hand-outs about the group and 1001 other little tasks.

But, I can still find time to relax, and what better way than enjoying making some ATC cards.
Here are a "random" selection made just prior to hols:-

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As you acan see the early style which I seemed to have adopted is changing. May be due to the ebay group which I have joined, Papercrafting for fun and money , a new group and as yet has few members with a bias toward (greeting)card making. It is however a lively group and some of the techniques are rubbing off. I found a web site, DO-CRAFTS which has a very active swapping fraternity and again I am learning new techniques.
A pair of scissors and a pot of glue, all that is required to start swapping. Great fun!

Saturday, 8 September 2007


Alright! I have completed the last two canvasses, and trying to catch up and post these on here just for completeness. Still having problems with the photography unfortunately but at least I don't need to bother with that for the exhibition itself. Here they are titled "Broken Lines" and "Random Lines". Guess which is which.

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Theses are both 10 X 24 inch, again gallery wrapped. I can breathe a sigh of relief now, admin completed and all I have to do is deliver them for the opening day. Cross my fingers and hope that some kind soul takes pity on a poor artist (in a manner of speaking) and opens his/her wallet.
Won't be around my PC for a few days so my next posting will be a little delayed, but don't go away - too far!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Nearly there!

Last night I completed another two canvasses. I now have eleven in four sets. All quite small, from 8X8 to 10X12 inches and gallery-wrapped. just need cords adding now but that can be done at my leisure (warning - dangerous attitude!). Tonight I have to deliver them to my art group and I have all day to complete the last group of 2. These are 12X24 inches so will take a little more time but I am sure that I will not now be asking for more time. I'm glad I started to post the works as they were finished on here because it has kept me focused. Again I know exactly what I need to do to complete them, I know the colours and compositions so it is just a matter of slapping on the paint (?)

Here are the latest two, titled "Free" (and the pun is intended, good eh!) and "Double-Cross". Both working titles, and will probably change before tonight's submission meeting.

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I will be putting up an exhibition page on my on-line gallery, so that the paintings may be seen in their proper grouping and all together, without any inane chattering. I will put up a post on this blog when that is ready, can't promise when that will be.

The last two await - the first is a background of red/blue - by the way I am painting these backgrounds using a brush which has been loaded with both colours. I have found that by mixing the colours in ths way I get a much more varied series of intermediate colours; from splashes of the original to numerous tints/shades. The background pattern will be across the short dimension and the lines (two narrow and one wider) will be parallel to the long edges and will be in copper and gold.

The second is in red and black with silver lines which will be broken into random lengths.


Monday, 3 September 2007

Finishing canvasses by the dozen????

I blithely talk about completeing several paintings in a day...............

Many readers might say, "well that just goes to show that abstracts could be done by my three year old". Well of course that is true, but that's exactly what many artists who paint this gendre are aiming for (stand back and wait for the vocal blasts). the simplicity and unpretentiousness are exactly the objectives.

(I am not even going to mention elephants, chimps and similar wild beasties.)

But for an adult this can actually be a difficult task. And to come up with a message, however simple, can be an added problem. I have actually been "designing" these paintings for a considerable time, the actual painting is the least time consuming part of the whole process and can in my estimation be left until the very last. In fact difficult not to leave it until last, but you know what I mean I hope. About four months ago I started thinking about what I was going to enter for this exhibition. here is a page from my sketchbook, with quick coloured pencil drawings, playing with ideas :-

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I very quickly discarded most of these early ideas, but they gave me something to work on. Just like a quick draft of a letter or report. get a few ideas down and edit until it begins to look right.
this process has been going on more or less continuously ever since, refining the basic themes and deciding how to express them in the chosen media. In this case acrylics ( including metallic colours because I found some in my local superstore) on gallery wrapped canvasses. A few rough ideas on paper show how some of the ideas have started to come to fruition

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Sorry, it's a bit small but in the lower left for example is the sketch from which the next canvass is developed (Sunrise). Again many of these have been discarded in the process as it moves through to completion.

So, here are two more completed canvasses titled "Sunrise" and "Sunset"

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Again, the gold, metallic paint is not showing up too well in these photos. they were taken in direct sun and horizontally (thanks to antikva for the advice) but hasn't seemed to have helped.

Still only a few more to do. thanks for staying with me.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Another Canvass

Well just to keep up to date here is the latest, titled "Waterfall"

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I believe that now makes eight, a safe number but I do so want to have at least a dozen. and I have two more days. I think I am going to make it - yippee

Getting there! I think.

Another day another canvass, but is it enough? The deadline is approaching and I am still off-plan. Well it is creative art. But I have finished another and must look on the bright side, here it is entitled "Mountains" :-

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It is so very difficult to photograph the gold and silver paint which I have used for the outlines. I have tried daylight, flash, close-up and moving away but a good compromise is eluding me. maybe I should play with the settings on my camera, but that's another issue and could lead to yet more procrastination.
Talking of other issues.................. here is another ATC, which I allowed myself to complete after I had finished this canvass. A sort of sweetener, you might say, to get some more work done.

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Well that's it, back to the grindstone - will hopefully have a couple more canvasses to show tomorrow. And this time that's not a promise - it doesn't work. Cheers!

Saturday, 1 September 2007

A broken promise

Well they say that promises are there to be broken.............

I have two more canvasses to show, although the waterscape did not turn out as I planned it at all. It was supposed to be an abstract in the style of the other canvasses that I am doing, I was painting it infront of someone and my landscape instincts took over. It is neither one thing or another as it has ended up. I do not really like it and may yet go over it. Well all the masters have overpainted to save costs on canvasses.

The abstract is called '3+2', a really original title, but that's the problem I have with abstracts. The other was to be called 'Over the Water'.

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The result of the broken promise is another dose of ATC cards; and they are getting further away from my original painting style...... I am developing. Don't know if it's a good thing but I am having a great deal of fun and making new web friends at

Here's a sample:-

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I am currently swapping ATC's on the aforementioned site and had to do two further copies of the first, 'Butterfly Crazy' for buddies who asked very nicely. The title of the second is 'Garden Of Delight', this was also claimed very quickly.

More paintings and ATC's very soon.