When my wife Cathy had treatment for breast cancer in 2011, an important part of her recovery involved sessions at the Breast Cancer Haven in Hereford. These sessions included massage, acupuncture, shiatsu, group discussions and other holistic therapies. You can find out more about the Haven on their website.
A week ago one of the fundraising team, Rachel, got in touch and invited me to display my artworks at their Blossom Fashion Show on April 5th. This show is in a sports hall and they have space for artisan stalls to be set up. I will have a table to show off my smaller original pastel artworks, prints ( mounted and unmounted ), greetings cards and mugs.
The main aim for this event is to raise money for the Breast Cancer Haven in Hereford. I will pay for the stall and a percentage of any sales made on the night will also be donated to the charity. In addition, if I receive any commission work directly as a result of my presence at Blossom then I will donate a percentage of that to the Haven too.
I am proud to be able to support a charity that was such a big part of Cath’s recovery and I feel priviliged to have been invited to take part in this exciting event. I hope to see you there, on April 5th in Hereford at The Point 4 leisure centre, Venns Lane, HR1 1DT. Looking forward to it!
Hello my friends and I hope 2020 has started off well for you. I am always looking for popular subject matter and woodpeckers have a great appeal as they are quite difficult to spot except for their distinctive call. The reference photo for this particular woodpecker, looking into it’s nest, was taken by Terry Hancock and captured my imagination.
As with most of my artwork, this great spotted woodpecker is completed using soft pastels and pastel pencils on Artspectrum colourfix paper. The sharpened pencils create the detail and the background is blended using polystyrene sticks to give the three dimensional effect to the completed painting. It is now for sale on my newly revamped website bit.ly/39Gxywc Have a great day and catch up soon! 🎆🎨👍😉😁
It has been a busy week as I have been working on a commission that is a surprise Christmas gift for a lady who found me by searching “pastel artist” on Google. She had a commission done in previous years by a local pastel artist but could not contact her so found me! This is a glimpse of the work in progress…..
Now that this commission has been completed and sent by courier today to Suffolk, I can start on my next commission – a portrait of four young people. I am not yet sure whether it will turn out but I will keep you posted…..
But in the meantime, back to hyperlapse videos, the original subject of this post. As you may be aware I have a YouTube channel that displays a variety of “artwork in progress” videos that my wife Cathy has created over the years.
She has struggled with Vegas “Movie Studio Platinum” as well as a variety of free video software package apps. The most viewed video she created was of me doing the Christmas Greyhound commission but even this is not very good…..
Recently we have been aware of videos that showed artists at work, but sped up to cover hours in minutes. We did not know how this was achieved until we discovered the hyperlapse video setting on our mobile phone. Eureka! This is my first one of a badger that is still waiting to be completed once I have completed my commission work…..
And so Cath can now record a complete video of my artwork creations – 25 hours in 25 minutes ( or less after editing). It has also been suggested that I do a voice over for the videos but we’ll see…..So I am looking forward to sharing more “artwork in progress” videos with you soon….have a great day!
It can be very difficult for any artist to find a gallery to display and sell their artwork. Always a challenge. However I was very fortunate a number of years ago to visit the Sable and Hogg Gallery & Framers and as the owner at the time, Paul Millis, was a pastel artist he was keen to have my detailed pastel artworks in his gallery.
At that time the economic climate pre-Brexit was good and I sold a number of artworks with him. However as things changed it became harder for Paul and as he decided upon retirement he sold the gallery to Catherine Arnold and her daughter Evie.
It was fortunate that just as the changeover was occurring Paul sold my kingfisher pastel painting and then a month ago Catherine sold one of limited edition Running Hare prints.
This week I took some of my artworks across to Brecon and Catherine took four pastel paintings and a framed print to display in her delightful gallery. We shall await the outcome and will keep you updated! And of course this is the place you can see the quality of my artworks for yourself as well as enjoy a most beautiful part of the world – the Brecon Beacons……
As Christmas approaches (far too rapidly!), and as I complete my current pet portrait commission, ( which is a surprise gift ) I have been thinking about gifts to my family and what would be special. As usual I come up with the possibility of a commission and that makes me think “why not promote my commission work and my availability to undertake them”.
With two commissions in the pipeline but no pressure on either I have put together a collage of my pet portrait work for posting on Twitter, Facebook and Linked In. Depending on the response I will post elsewhere too…..What do you think of it?
Before I posted this, I went to my Instagram friends to get feedback which was very useful as you will see in my feed….other artists allowed me to finetune the collage from this one below to the one above….very helpful and shows the power of social media….
I also was inspired to use Facebook more by an artist I met at the British Ironworks Museum called Lee Morgan who uses an airbrushing technique. Lee gave me some tips as to how to increase my FB followers and I will share those with you in a future post, once I have decided how to best utilise them…..So have a great day and if you want a commission done, you know who to ask! 😁
We did meet a lot of people during our exhibition as we attended the preview on Friday September 6th and stewarded on the afternoons of the 10th and 12th. It was great to hear feedback from visitors about the venue as well as my artwork and it was all very positive. And we sold the hedgehog as well as numerous greetings cards….bonus!
Over the 9 days there were 670 visitors to the Makers Mezzanine compared to my average here at home of 150! So although I could not showcase my studio, work environment and garden ( as well as 36 artworks) as I do when I open my studio to the public, we certainly had much more exposure at the gallery.
H-art also allowed me to see what other venues may be suitable for next year’s exhibition. I also have an opportunity to exhibit in a new gallery in Crickhowell in mid-Wales so watch this space for more on that soon!
So on we go with commission work. My current one is a surprise for Christmas. It is a dog portrait and you can see me working on her on my instagram feed. Luckily it is her whiskers that make her so unique – until I add them, she just looks like a spaniel…Next I have a family portrait – husband and wife with their two dogs – and then an olive tree for a friend who has a house in Northern Cyprus!
Note that this reference photo is a collage of four photos combined to make one.
So have a great day and if you ever want me to create something special for someone special then you know how to find me!
It has been a busy few weeks with my Rotary commitments but I have managed to finish another kingfisher and nearly finished a woodpecker for my next exhibition at the Makers Mezzanine in September. Each artwork takes 25 to 30 hours so you can see why it is a slow process!
It is always a bit of a pressured time in the summer because not only do I need to produce new work for H-art ( Herefordshire art week ) but also there are the commitments of the garden and so on. Getting the life balance is so important, as any artist will tell you…..there are lots of blogs on it!
But it is still enjoyable to create my detailed realistic artworks to exhibit, sell, commission, and share on social media. Pinterest and Instagram is a great way to see what subject matter appeals to others and hence help me decide what artwork to undertake next…..
The other thing I enjoy is sharing my techniques with others and hence my facebook page “Pastel Work in Progress” has quite a following. I also have posted some “Work in Progress” videos ( of varying quality ) on my YouTube channel.
So until my next update, I hope you enjoy your day, whatever you are doing, and catch up soon!
It has been a busy month, with the recent exhibition now complete and planning for the next one during Herefordshire (H-art) week in September at the Makers Mezzanine in Whitney on Wye. I have completed one new work and have started a woodpecker but more on these soon….
One thing that I found interesting was when a friend came to see me at the exhibition when I was stewarding an expressed an interest in the duckling pastel artwork that I had for sale.
She asked if I could create a greetings card for her and I said that I had created 5 ducklings (4 of which have sold ) over the past few years so which one did she want a card made from? It got me thinking of those delightful creatures and so I sent her images of the 5 to chose from…..I also posted them to my Instagram page and have had lots of nice comments….
In the end she chose two ducklings and the wife Cath made two cards of each to send her….nice memories and I know I will create another pastel painting of these appealing creatures in the not too distant future……
It has been a busy two weeks as I have flitted between catching up with the garden and house necessities, stewarding at the “Out of the Hills” art exhibition and starting on my next piece of artwork ( see below ) The exhibition ended on Saturday 16th……
I have been pleased with the outcome of the exhibition, given the current economic climate – I ended up selling two paintings and three prints as well as 30 cards. Not bad at all, though the venue does take 30% commission, but that is to be expected in this day and age.
A big advantage of stewarding at exhibitions is being able to meet people. There have been 11 different styles of art at “Out of the Hills” including woodwork, pottery and glassware as well as mixed media, oils, abstract, realistic and impressionistic styles. Watching people as the move around the space, and seeing what attracts them is an insight into human behaviour!
I have had the opportunity to chat to many people, not only about my artwork but to hear their thoughts on the exhibition as a whole and they have all been positive. Chatting to the two people who bought my paintings was interesting too, hearing what attracted them to the works. Realism is not everyone’s cup of tea but those who do like “Just Real Art” are very appreciative of the work that is involved in getting the detail I enjoy creating….A very enjoyable two weeks and thanks to everyone who came along!
It is always a challenge, when setting up an exhibition, to decide which pieces of artwork to exhibit. I have got to know that woodpeckers, ducklings and kingfishers always sell, so I try to include one of each in any display. Kingfishers are iconic but difficult to catch a glimpse of in real life, so maybe that explains their popularity?
And so it has proved so far with the current “Out of the Hills” art exhibition at Aardvark Books, where I am one of 11 artists on display. On the first day of the exhibition, which was Saturday June 1st, I was very pleased to sell my latest kingfisher painting, as well as two giclee prints of (wait for it…) a duckling and of two donkeys….
There is now just under two weeks until this exhibition finishes ( Sunday June 16th ) and I am pleased to help out with stewarding last Thursday afternoon June 6th, and then will be there again on the afternoons of Friday June 14th and Saturday June 15th. Maybe I’ll see you there? If not enjoy your day and catch up soon!