Tuesday, 30 September 2014

OXO Towers

So.... I don't know how my start of writing 'Birth Certificates' works when the painting is a commission. Then, it is less of an idea, more of a doing what I am asked. Well, I suppose there is an idea of sorts but it is more interpretation and client led, rather than pure thought on my part.

So maybe I'll just post commissions as regular 'look at me' paintings.  

Before you ask, yes, I do know there are three paintings here, all almost the same. The one in the middle was my first commission of the OXO Tower in London, the one on the far right the second commission and the one on the left the third; Well, part two of the second commission. Part two because I misinterpreted the style required in the second commission so I did another version to see if that was more what the client had in mind. It was, fortunately(!). This does mean I have a spare OXO Tower up my sleeve if anyone wants (another) one.

I find the OXO Tower a tough subject to paint because there is not much to it. It is simple and awkward to compose in an interesting fashion. It is also quite a stark, clean and crisp building which is not good as I find it very difficult to be neat. Not a natural choice, but I think I did an ok job.

Monday, 29 September 2014


It looks like I might have a bit of time this week to catch up with some things as my freelance work has calmed down for the moment. What a perfect day to be unable to concentrate. Not.

I finally have the time to tackle a few outstanding things that have been niggling and frustrating my outer skin and my brain has gone on holiday. This is monumentally unhelpful. I also stupidly carried a 14kg parcel half a mile up the road earlier to the post office and my arms haven't quite been the same since. I did this about 2 and a half hours ago and I still feel as though my shoulders belong to someone else.

I also just said something to a friend I probably should have kept to myself.



I did a painting last night that I can't work out how to finish. I had an idea that backfired slightly so now I am left with a start, a painted over middle and an unwritten end.

Today. I mostly don't know what to do.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Bitty Bits

I am really starting to get ants in my pants today. I have had a few days of sun, rest and recuperation on the Isle of Wight recently and am now back to reality with a bit of a bump. Seriously, why is there always so much to do? I am suffering at the moment from bitty bits. Bitty bits to do, bitty bits to sort, bitty bits to chase, bitty bits to finish. I really need something I can get my teeth into so I can sit back and relax and look at what I have achieved at the end of it, rather than sit back and look at loads of fiddly things that amount to very little and never seem to get finished.

Yes I am irritated and yes, I think I need to paint.

It has only been ten days since my last picture but I am really feeling it at the moment. I guess it might be time to make an executive decision and dedicate some time to myself either this evening or tomorrow before I get really irritable!

hmm 'before' I get really irritable? I have a feeling it may already be too late....

Monday, 22 September 2014

New York, New York

I have come to the conclusion that I actually like scheduling blog posts as then, when I do a few in one go, I can choose to write them in whatever order I please. I have no idea why this should make such a difference but I guess it gives my mind a chance to clear itself in its order of choice rather than order of timely accuracy.

I also wish I had a laptop/ipad so I could write things on the go. I have spent quite a bit of time travelling recently, and although it isn't wasted time as I always read or just enjoy not having to do anything I could save a bit of time by writing these on a train/boat/plane service to nowhere/everywhere. 

Oh well. A, better late than never and B, at least I will look up when I am travelling and not miss the world going by whilst I am glued to a small piece of electronic distraction. 

The Reason

I love New York, I have painted it before at night in the rain. I had this painting in my bedroom but I was tempted enough to sell it. I felt it was finally time to paint a replacement, but a different version, in the day, in the sun.

The Setting

It had to be Times Square, we stayed in a hotel 2 minutes away and walked through it many times, at night, in the day, in the rain, in the hot sun, when it was freezing, when we were drunk, when we were tired, when we had too much shopping, when we were dressed to impress, when we were buying Broadway tickets, when we were going somewhere else, when we did karaoke, when we were leaving, when we were dreaming of coming back....

The Inspiration

My memories, the buzz, the vibrancy, the sound of yellow taxis, the people, the mass of cultures, the colours, the WOW.

New York is close to my heart, it was the first destination outside of Europe I visited and the first place to tempt me into a long haul flight. I hate flying so this is saying something. I have tried to condense all of this excitement, anticipation, expectation, newness into this painting. I have painted my memory.


Saturday, 20 September 2014

I think it is time to PAINT

I realised I have set aside this morning to write lots of blog posts and I am totally brain dead. I know which posts I need to write but all my words have deserted me. My brain is frazzled. I think I have reached that point where I need to gaze out into the empty horizon, preferable a horizon with sea, and just totally switch off. Tune Out. Shut down. See without seeing.

Just as well I am heading to the Isle of Wight today then to recharge. Phew. It is overdue.

Whilst I moan that I haven't much time to devote to whatever art things I need to do (I am too scared to look at 'the list') Things have been happening. I don't think I actually need to worry about pouring my heart and soul into promoting every single second as it has been ticking over without me. I guess it is the thought of trying to take it to the next level, I am still worried this is all just temporary popularity and I don't want it to be. It has to be more than that. More, more, more!

Avarice. A sin you sometimes need.

So far this month, I have a painting and some prints I need to post, I have completed a commission, delivered another painting for solace, become most popular artwork and photograph of the month on Premier Gallery, and sold some cards. Yes, I know, what more do I want!? I have a feeling it may just be that I haven't painted much this month, Just two small A3 canvasses, in comparison to last months 5 canvasses, one of which was massive. I always do this, moan about lack of time, moan about all the stuff I need to do when it can normally just be cured when I sit down and paint something.

Problem solved.

Maybe I will remember this one day.

Maybe The Day After Tomorrow.


Friday, 19 September 2014

The White Birch

I don't know where the time is going at the moment. I also can't decide whether I am too busy or just incompetent. I seem to have had very little time to dedicate to any art-ing. I had a few days at the beginning of the month when I managed to catch up with some overdue urgent things and then within a couple of days my architecture work picked up and now I don't feel like I have done anything constructive!

The trouble with having regular work on is that then you have to make a choice - do I have some free time or do I use my free time to do some artwork? Normally artwork wins every time but I am worn out. Painting is draining, website updating/admin/marketing/accounting etc is time consuming, real work is my bread and butter, sleep is essential, catching up with friends a must, free time is non existent. This is ok for a few days but then I start to get stressed that I am dropping the ball, not keeping the momentum going. I am trying to build something and I need it to keep being built even if it is only a brick a day. This is why I have a morning off today before my long weekend starts. I am blog posting, I am going to schedule a lot so I can give myself a week off but know I am still doing something. Any extra I manage to do on top of this is a bonus, but at least I'll know one brick is being added.

I have consoled myself slightly this week by finding an unusual bit of music to listen to, it appeals to the creative side of me and is quite calming. It got me through a late (2.30am) deadline of work on Wednesday and for that I am grateful.


Sunday, 7 September 2014

Parlez vous anglais?

Wow, so I haven't written a post for a while now, that wasn't meant to happen. It has been a bit frustrating recently. I had a spell clear of architectural work so I finally managed to plough through quite a few art things I have been meaning to do for ages. I was momentarily feeling good about everything but it seems like suddenly, as always, I have too much to do, architectural stuff coming out of my ears, files to keep up to date, accounts to sort, people to see, paintings to do. This seems to have temporarily frightened my 'art brain' as it seems to have officially left the building. I won't worry for the moment, I have become very good at keeping lists recently so I know what needs to be done, and I am pretty sure at some point in the following week things will get back to normal. Why do you always seem to have 'vacant' brain days when you really could do with being on top form? 

Oh well, Monday tomorrow and I know what needs to be done. The sooner I can clear a few things off my plate the more likely and quickly my art self will return, or in fact, the more quickly my brain will return. As for today, I think I will just remain in that special dazed preoccupied state that is not particularly useful to anyone. 

You know you are overloaded when you are listening to songs you don't understand, just because you want to hear someone's voice but not actually take on-board, pay attention to what they are saying....