Thursday 27 October 2011

On the Shortlist

I have just returned from a very busy and successful week in London.  I was exhibiting (and working) with Beside The Wave Gallery at the Affordable Art Fair

It was hard work but very enjoyable, a fantastic buzz to the whole event and I got to meet several people who had only been blogging names to me before. 

I sold a lot of work, both mine and the other artists that the gallery represents, got some commissions and was approached by another gallery about an exhibition. 

So I returned home on a bit of a high to find a message about the Artist of the Year Award which is being run by Artist and Illustrators magazine.  Now I am impossibly excited!  I have been shortlisted!

There is a voting page with all of the images, I am in the landscape section.  Looking through them I think the standard is high so I will be extremely proud to win but I am very proud to have been shortlisted. 

The image above is the painting, the River Helford  (of course) and here is where you can vote

Check out the others as well, they are all interesting paintings. 

I had actually forgotten that I had entered, I have to frame the painting now, in super quick time and get it delivered up to London, right by where I was staying a couple of days ago!  I am just relieved that I hadn't exhibited it of sold it!!

Wednesday 19 October 2011

A sea change - in membership of Watermarks

Since Watermarks was created nearly three years ago, this blog has:
  • published 273 posts on a wide range of topics relating to the drawing, painting or printing of art related to water in different places around the world - and its contents
  • attracted nearly 100,000 visitors and 
  • publishes content to nearly 500 subscribers as well as many ad hoc readers

A sea change

The Wave by Gustave Courbet
52 x 79.5 cm Private Collection

However as time has passed, members' individual agendas have changed, new work commitments (artistic and otherwise) have arisen and life gets very full from time to time.

Four of our members have now retired and we will be seeking to recruit new members in the near future.

We have a number of people in mind and intend to start approaching artists with blogs in the near future.

However if you're interested in being a member of this group and think you might be a good fit we'd be interested to hear from you.

In general we're going to be recruiting from people we already know but don't let that stop you.  If you know a member of the group please get in touch with them in the first instance.

Below you can find out:
  • About Watermarks
  • How Watermarks works

Do also take a look at past blog posts to get a sense of the sort of posts we publish.

Leave a comment below or get in contact with us (see "Contact Watermarks" at the top of the side column) if you'd like to be considered for membership.

It's important to note that not all those who express an interest can become members - but we do thank you in advance for putting yourselves forward.

About Watermarks

Watermarks is a small community of artists who make art from water. We like to sketch, draw and/or paint water - the sea, the coastline, beaches, rivers, streams, waterfalls, fountains - in all contexts, styles, genres and media.

In this blog we will display our works in progress as well as completed art, highlight other artists (past and present) whose art involves water, and discuss various media matters and tips and techniques for creating art out of water

You can find out more about the artists by clicking this link

How Watermarks works

The basic way the group works is:
  • each artist has an interest in and a track record of painting water and aspects related to water (eg aquatic life) - in whatever form you prefer.  (For potential new members this means you have a body of work where this is already demonstrated)
  • We particularly like people who are:
    • interested in exploring different ways in which water (or fish or other sea life) can be portrayed 
    • are supportive of the endeavours of others
    • can provide constructive and informative feedback rather than "happy clappies"
  • each artist makes a a commitment to produce one post per month - but can also post more often
  • it's OK to post an image you've already included on your own blog - so long as you rewrite the text which accompanies it.  Duplicated content is NOT allowed.
  • fresh art is great but we don't mind seeing past artwork you are proud of
  • every new member will need to write a post about themselves to post on the blog -  by way of introduction to our readers.
In return, the artist member gets to list their blog and website in the side column and to be a part of this great group!

Over to you........

Sunday 18 September 2011

Klimt: Park of Schönbrunn

Park of Schönbrunn (1916) by Gustav Klimt

This is another landscape painting involving water by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt.  This time it's a bit of a puzzle.

The painting is of a lake in a Schönbrunn Park in Vienna, Austria.  Last November I tried to do a copy of this painting - see Schönbrunn Park - after Klimt - but I think the original is soooooo much better!

I like the fact that it's a puzzle picture.  You have to stare at it for a bit before you realise this is a painting of a large expanse of water in the middle of a very green park.  Most of the reflections are quite subtle.  The only really significant clue are the clouds in the bottom right hand corner which are only hinted at in the top right corner.  You still have to look at it again to make sure this isn't some isolated pond reflecting the sky.

I like paintings which are not obvious!

Monday 12 September 2011

Klimt - Island in the Attersee

Island in the Attersee (1902) by Gustav Klimt

This painting by Gustav Klimt is one of my favourites.  It's called Island in the Attersee.  He painted more than one version - and this is the 1902 version.

I first came across it on the cover of the book about Klimt's landscapes which I currently have out of the library - see Gustav Klimt: Landscapes

I absolutely adore the colours in this work.  Colour was also incredibly important in determining the nature of Klimt's imagery.  I also love the really high horizon which is also very characteristic of his work - it plunges your focus into the way the surface of the lake looks.  It has a square format with distinct rectangular zones of colour.

The mountain lake called "Attersee" can be found in the Salzkammergut region of Austria. Klimt used to visit the small island in this lake in summer. Apparently the water is very clear and the lake is favoured by swimmers and sailors.

I wonder if this is the painting he used to hang on his wall so he could dream of summer days in the middle of winter!

I'm not drawing/painting a lot of water at the moment - which is not to say it's not one of my favourite subjects.  So I'm going to start posting work which I like which does portray water - and will maybe learn something in the process

Who's your favourite painter of water?

Friday 5 August 2011

Wimperis on the Wall

Today is the opening of my exhibition at Beside The Wave all of the paintings are now on their web site and looking glorious in the gallery, framed and beautifully hung.  There is a watery section with paintings of the Helford River, where I am so lucky to live,
where I spend my time painting in all weathers and all times of the day and night.
The river and water is complimented by a selection of paintings about gardens, another of my passions.  There are gardens on and around the Helford as well as further afield...
Which leads on to a selection of paintings that were done during my trip to Provence. 
Drop by if you happen to be in Falmouth during the next two weeks, (as well you might be the place is heaving with folk due to it being Falmouth week, even Brad Pitt is in town filming his new movie, maybe he will call in and purchase some paintings!!)
If you cant be there in person then please enjoy the pictures on line and take a look at a very nice blog post on the gallery blog.  If you are interested in the collection of very fine artists that the gallery represent then sign up as a follower of the blog as it has some fascinating insights into the studios and working practices of the represented artists and the blog is written mostly by the official gallery blog reporter...thats me!

Sunday 31 July 2011

The Drained Lake, Victoria Park

The Drained Lake - Victoria Park - July 2011
8" x 10" pen and sepia ink in Moleskine sketchbook
This week I walked home from my physio at the hospital via Victoria Park

I planned on sketching the lake on the basis that it must surely have been refilled for the summer months.

Yet again, I was met with a park which for most of 2011 has resembled a very large building site. Huge screens block off access to large parts of the park.  It's so depressing that I now rarely visit.

I ended up sketching the line of stakes which go out to the defunct fountain in the middle of the lake and the puddles which remain in the middle.

All this in the middle of summer after the schools have broken up.

Did nobody at Tower Hamlets Council think it might be a good idea to have most of the park operational in time for the school holidays and the good weather?

I'd add at this juncture that I watched while the lake in St James Park in Central London (which is run by the Royal Parks and is a much bigger lake) was drained, silt removed and then refilled.  I seem to recall think this took a few weeks - and every time I visited I saw vehicles scurrying around the lake bed moving silt around.  It was unsightly while it lasted - but it was also relatively speedy in getting back to normal

Every time I have visited Victoria Park in 2011 all I can see is a nearly drained lake and lots of screens preventing access to the edge.  What I never see are
  • any signs of anybody doing anything to the lake
  • any signs indicating start and finish dates for any of the jobs being done in the park.  In the past I've always found lack of communication on dates to be an absolute sure-fire indicator of poor project planning and poor project management.
Does nobody at Tower Hamlets Council care about the people who use Victoria Park?

Monday 27 June 2011

Cornwall in May - Vivien

Dawn across the bay, oil about 14 ins or so across

 Life has been getting in the way of me posting here so I thought I'd do a big post of images from a trip to Cornwall in May.   Most have been on my blog but you can see them together here.

What interests me is the changing light and colour as time, season and weather pass.    As the day moves on the colours change constantly, by the minute, the tide moves in or out, clouds change the colours, the sun moves from behind the silhouetted cliffs - ever changing.  It's great to revisit the same view in the way that Sarah has with the creek near her home and Jeanette does with the bays, Katherine does with the ecology park.  Some of these are of the same view, others are from different viewpoints or a few miles along the coast.

Sunset over the bay, coloured pencil

 Double page spread, across the beach, afternoon light, double page spread in the Canson watercolour sketchbook (pages are 12 ins wide), watercolour/mixed media

I use whatever medium either fits in with the time/family committments I have available or suits the subject.

We shared a house with my daughter, her husband, 3 year old grandson and 5 month old grandaughter - which inevitably affected painting time and materials.   I did manage to get out painting  alone though, leaving the family to their own devices :>)

The Crowns at Botallack, A3, charcoal and ink

 The Crowns again, inktense and coloured pencil

 The family wouldn't have tolerated sitting in the wind while I did the above charcoal sketch for instance - and my blood runs cold at keeping hyperactive grandson away from those sheer drops!

 Ink and wash sketch in the Canson watercolour book, The Crowns again

Porthgwarra, oil, approx 14 ins

 Porthgwarra is a little cove that is accessed via a cave - the tide was in and so there was no beach.   This was done sitting on the cliff top with a seal bobbing in the waves watching us.   Himself sat happily in the sun - it was windy but we were sheltered.   The programme 'Coast' explained yesterday how those waves are created by winds way out at sea, not so much local conditions.   Up to thousands of miles away.

The USA is somewhere off over the horizon :>)  - the first transatlantic telephone cables were laid from the nearby beach at Porthcurno (very very beautiful).


Study of dawn colours across the bay, coloured pencil in moleskine sketchbook, A5

Study of afternoon colours across the bay from the house, coloured pencil in moleskine sketchbook, A5

Moorland Stream and ancient pack horse bridge, watercolour and mixed media on A3 sketchpad

Moorland stream in moleskine sketchbook, ink and coloured pencil. A5

There are more but this is probably enough!

Now I need to go and get the paints out and do some more work.