Monday, 1 September 2014

The Camel and the Spoon

Oil  6x6" £80

Click here to purchase

So here it is. The very first painting of 100 - a camel serenading a spoon. Probably a bit of a stranger combination than some of my other paintings but when you feel like doing a dromedary based romantic artwork you just need to follow your instincts...
Actually I had two pretty good reasons to be painting this random assortment of objects. Firstly I wanted to concentrate my energies this time round on colour and composition. Instead of painting a portrait of one random little object all by its lonesome self, I want to paint a whole bucket load of them jostling and fighting for space or maybe even getting along together sometimes.
The second reason is that it was a friends birthday yesterday and this certain friend has a bit of a dislike for camels (beaten up by a gang of unruly camels as a small child? Who knows...).
You may say that dedicating this painting to say Happy Birthday is a bit mean but he's a lovely guy and will take it good jest (please, please, please take it in good jest).
Anyway, Happy Birthday certain friend (I hope you know who you are but if you don't that's probably a good thing) and to everyone else, welcome to the first of 100 Paintings in 100 Days Squared.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

And so it begins again...

100 days out of my life just wasn't enough so I have decided to do it all again starting tomorrow! Welcome to 100 Paintings in 100 Days Squared. By squared I actually mean that little 2 you pop behind a squared number but as I can't work it out on the keyboard I have to explain it the long way round (talk about a picture tells a thousand words...). By squared I mean that this will be round two (denoted by that pesky little 2) and that all of the paintings will be square. Ah my logic is faultless, just please don't ask me why I'm not doing 10,000 paintings which is actually what 100 squared is.

The picture above is my pile of over 100 little boards all ready and raring to go. Now all that's left to say is BRING IT ON!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Exhibition

So here it is. All one hundred paintings in one place. Three and a half months of hard work up on the walls, all in date order and looking beautiful (even if I say so myself!).

I have loved the online aspect of this project - it has been an amazing platform from which to shout about my work and to connect with some incredibly like-minded and supportive people. Saying that, there is something very special about being able to walk around a real gallery, to look at the actual paintings themselves and maybe sneakily touch one! For that alone, I just had to put on this show and boy am I glad I did. It has been nothing but fun and good cheer (well maybe a teesie bit of stress thrown in now and again). Of course it was only possible to do it through the help and generosity of 124 Studios and Sorbon Estates. Thank you guys!

The project overall has been so incredibly successful, in both achieving my aims (working more efficiently, with more skill) and financially (so far 48 of the 100 paintings have sold), that I can't help thinking that another project will be worming its way into my head soon.
All I can do for now though is hope that the worm is a bit tired so I can have a little rest before the painting and hard work begins again!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

A Dedication SOLD


This was definitely the hardest painting of the entire series. Since day one everyone has been asking me (apart from "are you mad?!"), "what are you going to do for the last painting"? Now imagine that building up to a mighty peak yesterday and that's a hella lotta pressure on this poor little last piece.
So I decided to do what I normally do and wander aimlessly around the house until I come across some inspiration. Actually to be fair that's a bit of a lie. I have been collecting a lot of random objects over the last few weeks, so I went rummaging through that lot. Firstly I thought about doing a champagne cork (celebration) or a fork (the last supper) but as I sat looking at my blank board, well-used palette and trusty brushes, I thought why not acknowledge the tools that made this project possible? After all, 100 crude finger paintings really wouldn't have been the same.

So I am eternally grateful to my geriatric and much loved palette knife which is in good health but is a little more of a colourful character than when I started. My two poor brushes however actually sacrificed themselves for the project - they are completely unusable, split-ended scraggly little things...and for that, I thank them.

Now, if this is turning into a gushing dedication, I would also like to thank Jon who would often wait to eat dinner at 10pm because I was still painting and would quietly put up with my tantrums when paintings went wrong. And of course I am much obliged to all those patient life drawing students, friends and models who starred in my pictures. And then I would also like to thank (I promise this is the last one) all you guys who are reading my bizarre ramblings and have been so encouraging and supportive (can you believe I have just sold my 20th painting of the series!).

So what of the future? Well my stream of silly ideas are never ending so all I can say is watch this space.

But for now, for this project, that's all. 100 paintings in 100 days. Done and dusted.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Jacqui SOLD


For the first time in weeks I thought I would attempt a portrait. And I do mean 'attempt'. Painting skills are hard earned yet so easily lost and with portraits there are loads of little bits of information to remember. When I started this one, I was completely off track (off track, down the footpath and into the pond...) because I was trying to paint a portrait like I would a still life.
Jacqui, my gorgeous friend sat as still as a post for me which helped no end, and didn't even blink an eye when she saw the terrible Mr Blobby painting I had done of her by the teabreak. Not only that, she made me lunch afterwards! Now that's a good friend.
I managed to pull the painting back from the point of no return after three hours, but it's still quite rough. That's the joy of painting - however good (or bad) your painting turned out to be, you can always practice, practice, practice and then do a better one.

Monday, 6 January 2014

The Philly Thing SOLD


I hope you like today's subject, a chinese lantern, also known as a philly thing (I can never remember the posh name for it). They really are quite beautiful little sculptural pieces in their own right - a load of delicate transparent membranes which glow when light shines through them, hiding a gorgeous bright orange sphere inside. I find beautiful things the hardest to paint, and this was no exception. As with so many paintings in this project, I would love to have the chance to paint this again...and again...and again...

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Matching Outfits SOLD


Don't you hate it when you turn up to a party and someone else has exactly the same outfit on?! These two pretty little blue jelly beans have done exactly that and are now wondering what to do. Go home and put on another colour or stand at opposite ends of the room and hope no-one notices? Decisions decisions...

Saturday, 4 January 2014


Proto-guacamole is avocado that hasn't quite evolved into a full blown dip yet. Give it time. A bit of lemon and garlic and in about 5 minutes it will be a newly born descendant of the primitive proto-guacamole.
I learnt from when I painted a slice of cake (way back in October) and ate the other half of the avocado before I even started the painting. It reminded me just how much I love it so I could put my heart and soul into the painting. Well...not quite that far but I did return to a technique which I had forgotten about. The old masters used to make sure they kept their shadows transparent and their light areas opaque. It produces strong bright spaces which seem to bounce off the canvas at you and beautifully rich translucent shadows.
I'm really pleased I remembered this technique and absolutely chuffed sideways that it turned out so well on this painting. I haven't done many very traditional still lifes (as they often bore me to tears) but if the light and shadows are well painted, then it really doesn't matter what you paint - even a proto-guacamole can look interesting.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Hot Stuff SOLD


I've been wanting to do this little spicy number for ages but never seemed to get round to it until today. Since I've been getting better and better at painting jars and bottles I thought it would be pretty easy. Big mistake. Never underestimate mustard...
It wasn't the straight lines which tripped me up this time, it was that gorgeous happy yellow. It's such a bugger to work with because it's so transparent that the colour beneath it shows through (unless you smear it on like butter, which is really tough on such a small scale). As I always use a raw umber base coat, the top layer of yellow took on a dirty, muddy finish.
In any other painting all you would have to do would be to wait a couple of days for the layer to dry then simply add more paint over the top, but as you know that luxury isn't mine for the taking. So in the end I spread it on like butter....or perhaps you could say that I spread it on like mustard?

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Staying Sharp SOLD


This was quite a typical scene at work today, but not in a lovely arty, doing-a-quick-sketch sort of way. It was the annual stock take which meant pencils sharp and ready to scribble (tick), stock cards printed and ready to be filled in (tick) and brain alert and ready to count (...well two out of three ain't bad).
So this little one had to be painted once I had got back from work (with a number-frazzled brain). I have to admit I did have quite a lot of trouble getting the pencil right. My freehand straight lines are absolutely shocking so I had to slowly and patiently work the edges back and forth until they were relatively straight. I'm really pleased with the outcome, as I think it would never have worked out this well if I had attempted it at the start of the project. So sadly the countdown begins. Only six paintings left to go...

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!
There was only ever one thing I was going to paint today - the remains of a celebratory party popper.
This is one of the hardest paintings I have had to do so far throughout this project. Not because of the subject matter but because of my self inflicted hangover. I been putting it off for the last two hours finding fascinating programs to watch on the TV. Never has 'Police Camera Action' been so enthralling...
Having finally scraped myself off the sofa and stumbled into the studio, I think I managed to capture the right image of January 1st. Well that's what's left in the bombshell of my party-ravaged flat at least.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Red

So it's not particularly New Year themed but you have to admit it is very cute. I bought it just before Christmas to dye some vodka pink (for a zombie shaped decanter). Probably one of the more unusual uses for food colouring...
I still find bottles and man-made objects tough to paint but I am really chuffed at how much I have improved over the last 90-something days. Now I haven't got many left to do, I keep thinking of all the things I haven't had the chance to paint yet. Maybe another 100 paintings project?

Monday, 30 December 2013

The Man Spoon SOLD


Siblings will fight about everything under the sun, but one of the most memorable and reoccurring arguments between my brother and I was who got to use the "man spoon". The "man spoon" I discovered recently, is actually an apostle spoon, normally comes in sets of 12 and (not surprisingly) depicts the apostles. To me though it will always be a man spoon and as it was the only one in the drawer, it was definitely something to fight over.
So not only do I have a painting of the man spoon, I have the original one. I definitely won this round, big brother! Ha!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

One Green Bottle

So the Christmas season is just about over and we are on the countdown to the New Year. January means New Year resolutions, days getting longer and thoughts of spring in a few months. Ok so maybe it's a little premature to be thinking about spring...but after all that eating and drinking over Christmas I really wanted to paint something bright and fresh and new.
It was a tough painting and (as with many of my other paintings) I would have loved to work on it for another couple of days. Maybe my next project should be one painting in 100 days!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Love Hearts SOLD


There is a massive tub of these yummy Love Hearts under the till at work and they are perfect when you are feeling a little low on energy and need a little pick-me-up. Their teeny tiny size was the main challenge - trying to make the writing legible yet realistic and catching the embossing on the surface. And of course I had to find the best three Love Hearts to paint. I ate my way through four packets before I found these ones. Oh the sacrifices I make for my art...

Friday, 27 December 2013

Love in a Red Foil Wrapper

'Tis the season for eating and drinking and general overindulgence so what subject could be better to paint than scrummy chocolate?! These are definitely my favourite chocs, and someone who knows me well got me a huge box of them for Christmas. When I started this painting there were three of them lined up in a row but my self-restraint has gone out the window since the gargantuan Christmas feast I attacked on Wednesday. This little fella never stood a chance. As soon as the painting was finished, that was it. One gulp and he was gone.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

The Grape of Christmas Yet to Come

So you may have already guessed what the theme of todays painting will be... The scrooge-like grape gets a glimpse of his potential future, chopped half and served with a lovely slice of smelly stilton, and maybe a cheeky cracker.
Well I hope that Mr Grape-Scrooge has learnt his lesson and is more generous, festive and sweeter to his brother and sister grapes (ooh that sounds delicious actually - a sweet grape and stilton. Maybe I don't want him to learn his lesson after all...).

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

The Grape of Christmas Present

So today's painting is following on from yesterdays silly one. 'The Grape of Christmas Present' was great fun to paint - lovely shiny wrapping on the pressy and a little reflection underneath. Painting, blogging, eating and present giving is over. Now it is time for sleeping... Merry Christmas everybody!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The Grape of Christmas Past

Being in a silly and festive mood and all, I thought I would do a silly and ....(you guessed it) festive painting.
 May I acquaint you with 'The Grape of Christmas Past' (said in a loud booming voice).
In this piece, the scrooge-like grape is peering into the mirrored surface of the magic bauble (thank you 99p shop!), which is showing him his past mistakes. I don't think that he quite realises how mean and stingy he has been to his fellow-grape. He may have some more visitors at some point to teach him his lesson so watch this space!

(and before you say it - I know that it doesn't make any sense at all as the grape should be the ghost and all that but hey it Christmas which is a magical time...and of course the time for forgiveness!)

Monday, 23 December 2013

Unconventional Love

I was painting at work at the art shop today, so the characters in this piece were found all over the shop. The lovely lady dinosaur is a paint-your-own papermache figure from the kids section and I found the little green geek in a pile of pens behind the till (I tell you, it's a treasure trove back there for all sorts of weird and wonderful things!).
 So it's a match made in heaven...well actually just a match made in the art shop. That'll do.