Welcome to my world in acrylics

Posts from the ‘Garden flowers’ category

The 25th Frome Valley Art Show Featured

It has been a busy month for me to date, leading up to my art group’s 25th Annual Art Exhibition. I was delighted when the committee asked if they could use one of my paintings (“Sunflowers”) on the advertisement poster, placed in local newsletters, on many sites and pages on the internet, and in local shops and libraries.

For me this year, the hardest part was in deciding …Read On

(NB: The painting of the rose above my head is by another artist.)

A Long Awaited Return Featured

After a much long-awaited time, the art club I attend (the SAA Frome Valley Art Group) finally re-opened its doors last Friday afternoon and evening. As a matter of safety, COVID rules where adhered to and we were assigned “bubbles” to work in. We are only a small group of 12, compared with our fellow members who meet Friday afternoons (30), so we were able to spread ourselves out around what is a large hall, with a work-table each. Plenty of room to spread our equipment out.

It felt strange and a little surreal arriving at the venue, masks on as we registered and elected a table, fetched our own chair and unpacked. But as everyone arrived and masks were removed, it didn’t take long before we settled, reacquainted ourselves and chatted about what we had or hadn’t painted during the long absence. When everyone said they had, like me, not painted a great deal during lockdown, often not having the inclination, I felt relieved I wasn’t the only person who hadn’t done much. Okay, I have painted what: six? maybe seven? paintings in the previous 14 months. That is not a lot for me, I am normally prolific; a painting a week, if not each month in normal times.

Until all restrictions are lifted, the kitchen is out of bounds which meant we could not stop for refreshments and a natter around the coffee table. Nor were we able to obtain water for paints and washing brushes so had to bring our own. Being an acrylic artist, this caused a dilemma for me as I could not leave my brushes unwashed until I returned back home. The paint on them would have dried by then and virtually impossible to remove; brushes would be ruined. Having a selection of watercolour pencils which I have not used and water-brushes (the water is contained in the brush itself, a little like a fountain pen), I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to practice with them.

Now, I’d be the first to admit I am not very good at drawing and sketching, something that is necessary for watercolour painting, and the image I chose from a photo of wallflowers picked the day before from my garden was, with hindsight, a little too ambitious even for me.  I was also pleased I used my “practice” sketchbook and not wasted expensive watercolour paper in learning how to paint with watercolour pencils. Plus the paper in the sketchbook is very smooth and didn’t take the pencil well. Still, all good practice, as they say. Here’s what I produced in the allotted time.

As it will be a few more weeks yet before we have full use of the venue and access to water etc, I shall continue with the pencils, but next week, start with a lot simpler image and on the correct paper for the medium. You know me, I love a challenge.

The Sunflower Project Featured

The Sunflower Covid Art Project in association with the SAA

Image may contain: flower, plant and nature

A few days ago I was more than honoured to be approached by the Society for All Artists (The SAA) for permission to use my “Sunflowers” painting as part of the social media promotion for a new fundraising project the Society has been working on in collaboration across the art industry with artists, art suppliers and others to announce “The Sunflower Project”. The sunflower is a symbol of hope and healing, so of course I said yes. There was no hesitation.

These past 6 months have been a terrible time worldwide thanks to the Coronavirus Pandemic, and many of us have lost someone to this dreadful illness. A close family member, a relative, a friend or colleague, and as a consequence of lockdown, the virus has affected how we have been able to mourn their passing at such a sad and difficult time. We’ve been unable to seek support and comfort from our families and friends. No shoulder to weep on, no comforting hand to hold or hug from those we hold dear and so often the case, unable to attend the funeral of one so cherished, whether their passing was from the illness or other causes. Such lonely and strange times.

For those in lockdown, art has proved a comfort. Many people and children taking up the hobby for the first time. My painting has certainly helped keep me going, although my “Sunflowers” was painted a couple of summer’s ago, inspired by those growing in my garden that year.

About the Project

With this in mind, the aim of the Sunflower Project is to encourage people – artists and non-artists alike – to draw or paint a sunflower in memoriam of friends and family lost during this terrible time, in order to create a lasting memorial website which will enable people the opportunity to upload their artwork, creating a gallery of creations to share with the world, and ensure that every life lost during the crisis was remembered and treasured. To build and maintain such a dedicated website is expensive, thus the society is looking to raise £20,000 from the public in order to facilitate what will be a spectacular permanent memorial to our loved ones.

The website will be launched in late August, and free of charge to use. In addition to the artwork gallery, the site will include signposting, advice and support for bereavement and mental health. In addition, it is hoped the project will be used to actively fundraise for the much-needed support of those with mental health difficulties.

To see more information and to donate, please visit here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/Co-vid-Art-project-sunflower

Please donate a little something if you are able and help create a permanent art memorial to those who have lost their lives to Covid-19. Or even better, paint a sunflower and submit to the gallery on the SAA website.

“Sunflowers”

“Sunflowers” is for sale at £100.00 (UK only). Should you wish to purchase it, I am donating the full amount to the Sunflower Project, so you will be helping this exciting and lasting cause. Contact me via the comments box to this post or direct on my email kitdominoart@gmail.com.

Painted in acrylics on stretched canvas, it measures 50×36 cm (18″x14″) and will be supplied ready to hang.

Prints and notebooks, and other items will be available soon.

And a big THANK YOU.

“Rosanna’s Garden” Featured

On rare occasions, I am so moved by a photograph I simply cannot rest until I have painted that image. This happened back at the beginning of 2015 when, trawling the Internet for inspiration, I stumbled across the work of Rosanna Castrini, a professional landscape and garden designer, botanist, writer and photographer who lives in near Turin in Italy. This beautiful lady’s photographs are simply stunning, imaginative, and blew me away. Therefore I was not surprised to learn that the photograph I had fallen in love with, “My Prairie Garden” had, in fact, won her the title 2014 International Garden Photographer of the Year.

That photograph stayed with me to the extent I was moved to make contact with Rosanna to request her permission to use some of her images as reference photos for my paintings and in, particular, the award-winning photo. Rosanna agreed, saying she was honoured by the request. That was back in November 2015.

Life and welcomed painting commissions intervened until last month, I was able to start work on the painting that had been sitting on my shoulder and in my heart, screaming to be unleashed. Progress was slow, the detail intricate; it was certainly a piece not to be rushed, and I enjoyed every brushstroke I put down on the 56cm x 46cm canvas.

Yesterday, I signed the work as complete and promptly sent a photograph of it to Rosanna in Italy, wishing for her to see the painting before going public, hoping she wouldn’t be disappointed with my efforts. On the contrary, she was delighted with the result. I am so thrilled and proud now to send “Rosanna’s Garden”, as I have entitled my interpretation, out into the wide world. I hope you like it too.

"Rosanna's Garden"

“Rosanna’s Garden”

Addendum:

In July 2018, “Rosanna’s Garden” was awarded Second Place by the Society for All Artists, in their July Challenge.

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